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Materials 2017, 10(7), 688;

Generating Bulk-Scale Ordered Optical Materials Using Shear-Assembly in Viscoelastic Media

Department of Physics, Prifysgol Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, Wales SY23 3BZ, UK
Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrei V. Petukhov
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designed Colloidal Self-Assembly)
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We review recent advances in the generation of photonics materials over large areas and volumes, using the paradigm of shear-induced ordering of composite polymer nanoparticles. The hard-core/soft-shell design of these particles produces quasi-solid “gum-like” media, with a viscoelastic ensemble response to applied shear, in marked contrast to the behavior seen in colloidal and granular systems. Applying an oscillatory shearing method to sub-micron spherical nanoparticles gives elastomeric photonic crystals (or “polymer opals”) with intense tunable structural color. The further engineering of this shear-ordering using a controllable “roll-to-roll” process known as Bending Induced Oscillatory Shear (BIOS), together with the interchangeable nature of the base composite particles, opens potentially transformative possibilities for mass manufacture of nano-ordered materials, including advances in optical materials, photonics, and metamaterials/plasmonics. View Full-Text
Keywords: Nanoassembly; photonic crystals; polymers; viscoelastic media; shear processing Nanoassembly; photonic crystals; polymers; viscoelastic media; shear processing

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Finlayson, C.E.; Baumberg, J.J. Generating Bulk-Scale Ordered Optical Materials Using Shear-Assembly in Viscoelastic Media. Materials 2017, 10, 688.

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