Quasi-Crystals Produced by Colloidal Photochromic Dyes in an Applied Electric Field

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Abstract

Colloidal solutions are formed during the photochemical transformation of solutions of photochromic spiropyrans in non-polar solvents. The systems are composed of globules ~ 0.1–0.4 µm in diameter. The globules consist of highly dipolar crystalline nuclei enclosed in amorphous envelopes. In a constant external electric field linear quasi-crystalline material is formed composed of globules joined together like straight strings of beads aligned along the electric lines of force. The distinctive features of quasi-crystal formation were studied in the electron microscope.