doi:10.1038/nindia.2016.37 Published online 18 March 2016
Researchers have synthesized a nanomaterial-dispersed liquid-crystal cell that exhibits interesting electrical and optical properties1. It could potentially be used to develop high-performance static memory devices.
Cadmium sulphide nanostructures are semiconducting with band gaps that can be tuned for various optoelectronic applications. But to realize their full potential, the semiconducting nanostructures need to be combined with material systems such as liquid-crystal cells.
To achieve this, the researchers dispersed cadmium sulphide nanostructures of different shapes and sizes in a liquid-crystal cell. They then explored the electrical and optical properties by applying an external voltage to the cell.
When an external voltage was applied in the presence of a specific optical frequency, the nanomaterial-loaded cell exhibited a nonlinear response, showing a complete optical memory. After a direct-current-induced voltage was applied, the cell displayed a static memory state. This static memory state was retained for more than 25 hours after turning off the external voltage.
The memory behavior and physical parameters of nanostructure-loaded cell depended strongly on the nanostructure concentration.
The device possesses unique light emission properties, which arise from the semiconducting nanostructures. As this light emission can be electrically controlled, such a system could find applications in nanoelectronics, the researchers say.