Nanorods Developed in UC Riverside Lab Could Greatly Improve Visual Display of Information

Technology has potential applications in a wide variety of color displays

Story content courtesy of University of California-Riverside, US

Chemists at the University of California, Riverside have developed tiny, nanoscale-size rods of iron oxide particles in the lab that respond to an external magnetic field in a way that could dramatically improve how visual information is displayed in the future. Professor Yadong Yin’s lab has succeeded in applying a coating of silica (silicon dioxide) to the iron oxide particles so that when they come together in solution, like linearly connected spheres, they eventually form tiny rods – or “nanorods” – that permanently retain their peapod-like structure.

When an external magnetic field is applied to the solution of nanorods, they align themselves parallel to one another like a set of tiny flashlights turned in one direction, and display a brilliant color.

Applications of the technology include high-definition pattern formation, posters, pictures, energy efficient color displays, and devices like traffic signals that routinely use a set of colors. Other applications are in bio- and chemical sensing as well as biomedical labeling and imaging.

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