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Adv Mater. 2018 May;30(21):e1707344. doi: 10.1002/adma.201707344. Epub 2018 Apr 2.

Responsive Block Copolymer Photonic Microspheres.

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Key Lab of Materials Chemistry for Energy Conversion and Storage of Ministry of Education, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), Wuhan, 430074, P. R. China.
School of Chemical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, 16419, Republic of Korea.
Department of Physics and KU-KIST Graduate School of Converging Science and Technology, Korea University, Seoul, 02841, Republic of Korea.


Responsive photonic crystals (PCs) have attracted much attention due to their broad applications in the field of chemical and physical sensing through varying optical properties when exposed to external stimuli. In particular, assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) has proven to be a robust platform for constructing PCs in the form of films or bulk. Here, the generation of BCPs photonic microspheres is presented with 3D periodical concentric lamellar structures through confined self-assembly. The structural color of the spherical PCs can be tuned by selective swelling of one block, yielding large change of optical property through varying both layer thickness and refraction index of the domains. The as-formed spherical PCs demonstrate large reflection wavelength shift (≈400-700 nm) under organic solvent permeation and pH adjustment. Spherical shape and structural symmetry endow the formed spherical PCs with rotation independence and monochrome, which is potentially useful in the fields of displays, sensing, and diagnostics.


block copolymers; confined assembly; photonic crystals; stimuli response


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