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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2019 Jun 26;11(25):22777-22785. doi: 10.1021/acsami.9b06470. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Large-Area and Water Rewriteable Photonic Crystal Films Obtained by the Thermal Assisted Air-Liquid Interface Self Assembly.

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State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals , Dalian University of Technology , West Campus, 2 Linggong Rd. , Dalian 116024 , China.


Compared with traditional paper, water rewritable photonic crystal (PC) paper is an environmentally friendly and low resource-consuming material for information storage. Although, recently reported PC papers have high-quality structure color showing promising prospect, the paper size, that is within several centimeters, still limits turning it from potential to reality. Here, we present a new water rewritable PC film as large as the A4 size (210 × 300 mm2) with a high-quality structure color. The material is prepared by thermal assisted self-assembly on the air-liquid interface. To fix such a large-area self-assembled PC film, we partially deform and coalesce the self-assembled nanoparticles, which have low glass transition temperature. This process causes the film to be transparent and structural colorless but still keeps the inner 3D-ordered structure. Then, utilizing the hydrophilic nature of the assembled block, the film can be switched to a structural color state by touching water. Diverse brilliant structural colors appear with different assembled particle (poly(butyl methacrylate- co-methylmethacrylate- co-butyl acrylate- co-diacetone acrylamide) named as PBMBD) sizes. The transparency-structural color transition can be performed multiple times reversibly in all or specific regions of the film. It provides a new solution for future applications of rewriteable PC paper.


large-area; photonic crystal film; structural color; thermal assisted air−liquid interface self assembly; water rewritable


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