1D photonic crystals based on the periodic stacking of two different dielectric layers have been widely studied due to their potential use in low-power reflective mode displays, e-books and sensors, but the fabrication of mechanically flexible polymer structural color (SC) films, with electro-active color switching, remains challenging. Here, we demonstrate free-standing electric field tunable ionic liquid swollen block copolymer films. Placement of a polymer/ionic liquid (IL) film-reservoir adjacent to a self-assembled poly(styrene-block-quaternized 2vinyl pyridine) (PS-b-QP2VP) copolymer SC film allowed the development of R, G and B full-color SC block copolymer films by swelling of the QP2VP domains by the ionic liquid associated with water molecules. The IL-polymer/BCP SC film is mechanically flexible with excellent color stability over several days at ambient conditions. The selective swelling of the QP2VP domains could be controlled by both the ratio of the IL to a polymer in the gel-like IL reservoir layer and by an applied voltage in the range of -3V to +6V using a metal/IL reservoir/SC film/IL reservoir/metal capacitor type device.
Cheolmin Park, "Electrically and chemically tunable soft-solid block copolymer structural color (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9928, Nanobiosystems: Processing, Characterization, and Applications IX, 99280L (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 29, 2016; Published: 11 November 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238891.5163995451001.
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