World's first successful achievement of nanosheet manipulation using light.

A group led by Professor Jun Kawamata and Associate Professor Yasutaka Suzuki of the Division of Chemistry, Graduate School of Sciences and Technology for Innovation (Science) at Yamaguchi University has successfully achieved the manipulation of niobate nanosheets using light, in cooperation with a group led by Professor Teruyuki Nakato of the Kyushu Institute of Technology Graduate School of Engineering and Professor Toshiaki Iwai at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology Institute of Engineering. Not only is this the first example of manipulating nanosheets by using light: it is also the first example of being able to arbitrarily control the position and direction of nanosheets. The researchers found that the direction of the captured nanosheet at the focal point can be rotated by rotating polarized direction of laser light, They also found that by irradiating laser light to a nanosheet liquid crystal in which there are large inter-particle interaction between the nanosheets, the direction of the nanosheets in the surrounding area that the light does not hit (which covers an area hundreds of times larger than the focal point) can be controlled like a domino effect by inter-particle interaction.

The research results were published in the following journals.
・『The Clay Minerals Society』(IF=1.014) (doi:10.1346/CCMN.2017.064075)
・『American Chemical Society』(IF=6.756) (doi:10.1021/acsphotonics.7b01230)


Figure 1. Single nanosheet is captured at a focus and its direction was changed to polarized direction of light.