Optically Anisotropic Colloids of controllable shape

In this work, we engineer monodisperse birefringent colloids of different shapes. The main idea of the process resides in starting with liquid-crystal emulsion whose orientational order can be frozen by photopolymerizing the drops. Deforming the drops before locking in the ordering allows different colloidal shapes to be explored. We employ polarized microscopy and optical tweezing to demonstrate both the optical and the geometrical anisotropies of the particles. In optical-tweezing systems, this offers a promissing mechanism for a range of microfluidic applications.