Transparent Polymer Opal Thin Films with Intense UV Structural Color

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Article number3774
Number of pages12
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2022
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We report on shear-ordered polymer photonic crystals demonstrating intense structural color with a photonic bandgap at 270 nm. Our work examines this UV structural color, originating from a low refractive index contrast polymer composite system as a function of the viewing angle. We report extensive characterization of the angle-dependent nature of this color in the form of ‘scattering cones’, which showed strong reflectivity in the 275–315 nm range. The viewing range of the scattering was fully quantified for a number of planes and angles, and we additionally discuss the unique spectral anisotropy observed in these structures. Such films could serve as low-cost UV reflection coatings with applications in photovoltaics due to the fact of their non-photobleaching and robust mechanical behavior in addition to their favorable optical properties.


  • UV reflecting films, UV spectroscopy, optical characterization, photonic crystals, polymers, thin film coatings