Nanocomposite of superparamagnetic maghemite nanoparticles and ferroelectric liquid crystal


We present a novel type of hybrid nanocomposite prepared by mixing maghemite nanoparticles (MNPs) and a chiral liquid crystalline compound. The multiferroic system exhibits the ferroelectricity as well as superparamagnetic (SPM) properties. The impact of nanoparticles and effect of applied magnetic field on ferroelectric liquid crystalline properties were established. The magnetic behavior is typical for a system of SPM nanoparticles with inter-particle dipolar interactions and surface spin disorder. The unique SPM properties are preserved in the studied nanocomposite system and the magnetic response was analyzed. We established that the magnetic properties are modified due to the reduction of the dipolar interactions strength between the MNPs. Moreover, we were able to influence the ferroelectric properties by applying the magnetic field.

Texture of the smectic liquid-crystalline phase

Texture of the smectic liquid-crystalline phase for two different nanocomposites with magnetic nanoparticles.