Smart surfaces - magnetically switchable light diffraction

By combining specially tailored magnetic stray field landscapes with superparamagnetic plate-like microrods, a tunable reflective diffraction grating was developed in cooperation with the ISC Fraunhofer. 

The smart surface exhibits remotely switchable diffraction properties due to a unique interplay between nanostructured microrods and a magnetic stray field landscape generated by an engineered magnetic stripe domain pattern superimposed by small external magnetic fields.

Depending on their strength and direction, the application of external magnetic fields can either result in a doubling of the grating constant or a complete vanishing of the diffraction effect. The experiments were performed in fluid containers of only a few hundred micrometers height. The obtained results are very promising considering their potential application in smart surfaces with remotely switchable properties.


I. Koch et al., Adv. Optical Mater., 1800133 (2018)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/adom.201800133

Dipl.-NanoSc. Iris Koch @ AGE - functional thin films