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Pritzker Researchers Develop Crystal within Crystal Formula for New Electronic Devices

Liquid crystals have given rise new technologies, like LCD screens, through their ability to mirror specific color wavelengths

Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory) researchers have discovered a revolutionary technique to sculpt a liquid “crystal within a crystal.” These new crystals might be used for next-gen display technologies or sensors that consume very little power.

Because such crystals-inside-crystals can reflect light at specific wavelengths that others can’t, they may very well be used for better display technologies.

They can be manipulated with temperature, voltage, or added chemicals, which would make them valuable for sensing applications.

Modifications in temperature, for instance, would lead to color adjustments. Since such modifications would require only slight temperature variations or small voltages, the units would consume little or no energy.

Liquid crystals’ molecular arrangement makes them useful for critical points of many display technologies. They also can create “blue phase crystals,” in which molecules are arranged in regular patterns that reflect visible light.

Blue phase crystals have the characteristics of both liquids and crystals, which means they can move and are pliable while showing highly common features that transmit or reflect visible light.

They have better optical properties and faster response time than traditional liquid crystals, making them a great candidate for optical technologies.

Moreover, the features responsible for reflecting light in blue part crystals are divided by relatively massive distances compared to standard crystals such as quartz.

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