Strain-Tunable One Dimensional Photonic Crystals Based on Zirconium Dioxide/Slide-Ring Elastomer Nanocomposites for Mechanochromic Sensing


We demonstrate the fabrication and performance of tunable, elastic organic/inorganic composite one-dimensional photonic crystals (1DPCs) in the visible spectrum. By controlling the composition of high refractive index metal oxide nanoparticle/polymer composites, a refractive index difference of 0.18 between the filled and unfilled polymer layers can be achieved while maintaining desirable flexibility and elasticity. This index contrast is achieved with a loading of 70 wt % zirconium dioxide nanoparticles within a slide-ring elastomer matrix, which is composed of topologically cross-linked polyrotaxane polyols. The large refractive index contrast enables high reflectivity while simultaneously minimizing the number of layers necessary, compared to purely polymer systems. Because the films are both flexible and elastic, these nanocomposite 1DPCs can function as colorimetric strain sensors. We demonstrate the sensing behavior of these 1DPCs by applying over 40% strain, resulting in a visible color shift across the visible spectrum from red to blue. 1DPCs of just 6 periods maintain reflectance of 40% throughout the visible spectrum, with a tensile mechanochromic sensitivity (Δλ/Δε<sub>max</sub>) as high as −6.05 nm/%

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Last time updated on 12/02/2018

This paper was published in FigShare.

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