Collective orientational order of molecular liquids revealed by optical birefringence

December 2, 2010

High-resolution optical birefringence isotherms reveal collective orientational order in molecular liquids upon condensation in a monolithic, mesoporous silica membrane (see publication in Physical Review B [pdf]).

Optical Switching - Movie

October 21, 2010

Short video on optical switching in a porous silica matrix.
Press this link in order to see the same phenomenology for porous alumina!

For more information on the physics of the process, see the following article - pdf.

Thermotropic nematic order upon nano-capillary filling

5.4.2013 Thermotropic nematic order upon nano-capillary filling

Our study on the optical birefringence and light absorption of silica nanochannels filled by a rod-like liquid crystal (published in Physical Review E (pdf)) documents that the thermo-optical properties of nanoporous systems (or single nano-capillaries) can be tailored over a surprisingly wide range simply by variation of the the filling fraction with liquid crystals.

Smectic and nematic order of 8OCB

October 12, 2010

Optical birefringence study on the phase transition behavior of a rod-like liquid crystal (8OCB), confined in silica channels, published in Applied Physics Letters (pdf).

Neutron Spin Echo study on confined liquids

September/October 2010


Neutron spin echo studies on the dynamics of polymers and alkanes confined in silicon nanochannels (published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters and in Macromolecules) indicate sticky boundary layers and anisotropic self-diffusion dynamics.