Photonic Resins: Designing Optical Appearance via Block Copolymer Self-Assembly.

06 Jun 2018

Despite a huge variety of methodologies having been proposed to produce photonic structures by self-assembly, the lack of an effective fabrication approach has hindered their practical uses. These approaches are typically limited by the poor control in both optical and mechanical properties. Here we report photonic thermosetting polymeric resins obtained through brush block copolymer (BBCP) self-assembly. We demonstrate that the control of the interplay between order and disorder in the obtained photonic structure offers a powerful tool box for designing the optical appearance of the polymer resins in terms of reflected wavelength and scattering properties. The obtained materials exhibit excellent mechanical properties with hardness up to 172 MPa and Young's modulus over 2.9 GPa, indicating great potential for practical uses as photonic coatings on a variety of surfaces.