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Advanced optical materials: mechanochromism of structural color materials and its application

color is of great significance in our life. It not only plays the role of aesthetic decoration giving people visual enjoyment but also carries transmits rich information. In the colorful world we can see there are two main sources of color: pigment color structural color. The former is due to the selective absorption of light by pigment molecules while the latter is due to the selective diffraction reflection of light by ordered nanostructures. Because the composition of color does not depend on specific chemical structure structural color has better chemical stability light bleaching resistance than pigment color can avoid the use of a large number of toxic pigment dyes. Structural color has existed in nature for hundreds of millions of years from chameleon tropical fish beetle to peacock feather inverse opal forming a beautiful picture of nature.

with the deepening of human research manipulation ability of nano scale materials people have gradually prepared structural color materials with different structures such as photonic crystal liquid crystal photonic glass. By controlling the sub micron refractive index periodically the door to prepare dynamic responsive structural color materials is opened. Among a series of structural color materials responsive to external stimuli mechanochromic materials can be used as an effective indicator to visualize the invisible mechanical force as a color change that can be recognized by the naked eye.

Dr. Chen Guojian Associate Professor Hong Wei from school of chemistry Sun Yat sen University reviewed the emerging mechanochromic structural color materials in recent years. According to the order degree of structural color materials on submicron scale (including fully ordered photonic crystal structure partially ordered liquid crystal structure long-range disordered photonic glass structure) the preparation strategies color generation color changing mechanisms of various kinds of structural color materials are introduced the advantages disadvantages of different types of structural color materials are discussed. The rapid development of such materials depends on the unremitting efforts of researchers all over the world including the ability of large area response multi wavelength response so on. In addition the applications of mechanochromic structural color materials in a wide range of fields in recent years including mechanical sensors color changing fibers photonic display devices information encryption anti-counterfeiting devices intelligent windows adjustable laser emitters adjustable filters so on are also introduced in this paper which reflects the broad application prospects of mechanochromic structural color materials.

are attributed to the ingenious design of nanostructures the introduction of new materials. Mechanochromic structural color materials have made amazing achievements in performance application. However there are still some scientific problems to be solved. For example how to maintain the structural integrity high color purity of the materials while preparing the large-area mechanochromic materials; in addition the mechanochromic materials often rely on the elastic polymer component but the refractive index of the component is generally low which leads to the insufficient refractive index difference in the final structural color materials the reflection intensity color purity of the structural color are limited; how to improve the quality of the materials These materials are combined with optical detection devices computers other equipment to further realize the accurate reading subsequent fine analysis of optical signals. It is believed that with the development of new generation of color response devices it will be developed in a new field.

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