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'Smart Dust' Self-Assembles and Self-Orients

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Micron-size, chemically asymmetric photonic crystals that were developed at the University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla target organic liquid/water interfaces and orient themselves to display discrete reflectivity spectra. The particles of porous silicon, called "smart dust," may have applications in chemical and biological sensing, drug discovery, telecommunications and information display. University researchers create the smart dust by electrochemically etching rugate filters with different periodicities into the opposite sides of a single-crystal silicon film so that one side...Read full article

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