Alignment of Rod-Shaped Single-Photon Emitters Driven by Line Defects in Liquid Crystals

Abstract : We use arrays of liquid crystal defects, linear smectic dislocations, to trap semi-conductor CdSe/CdS dot-in-rods which behave as single photon emitters. We combine measurements of the emission diagram together with measurements of the emitted polarization of the single emitters. We show that the dot-in-rods are confined parallel to the linear defects to allow for a minimization of the disorder energy associated with the dislocation cores. We demonstrate that the electric dipoles associated with the dot-in-rods, tilted with respect to the rods, remain oriented in the plane including the smectic linear defects and being perpendicular to the substrate, most likely due to the dipole/dipole interactions between the dipoles of the liquid crystal molecules and the dot-in-rods ones. Using smectic dislocations, we can consequently orient nanorods along a unique direction for a given substrate, independently of the ligands’ nature, without any induced aggregation, leading as well to a fixed azimuthal orientation for the associated dot-in-rods’ dipoles. These results open the way for a fine control of nanoparticle anisotropic optical properties, in particular a fine control of single photon emission polarization.
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Laurent Pelliser, Mathieu Manceau, Clotilde Lethiec, Delphine Coursault, Stefano Vezzoli, et al.. Alignment of Rod-Shaped Single-Photon Emitters Driven by Line Defects in Liquid Crystals. Advanced Functional Materials, Wiley, 2015, 25 (11), pp.1719-1726 ⟨10.1002/adfm.201403331⟩. ⟨hal-01211308⟩

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