Smectic flower texture, consisting of nanoparticles (Photo: University of Pennsylvania)
Smectic flower texture in a nanoparticle covered region surrounded by a nanoparticle-depleted region (Photo: University of Pennsylvania)
An illustration of smectic liquid crystal defect layers bent into an array of cones with their size changing radially on a curved interface (Image: University of Pennsylvania)
Scientists grow a liquid crystal flower-like structure that allows them to create lenses as complex as an insect's compound eyes (Photo: University of Pennsylvania)
Smectic flower texture organized around a single (or double) microparticle "seed" when the pool of liquid crystal interface is distorted by the seed (Photo: University of Pennsylvania)
A liquid crystal "flower" under magnification (Photo: University of Pennsylvania)
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have grown liquid crystal flowers, making it possible to create lenses as complex as the compound eye of a dragonfly. When perfected, the technology could allow the growth of lenses on curved surfaces, and structures to be assembled out of liquid crystals to build new materials, smart surfaces, microlens arrays and advanced sensors.
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