Photonic glass for high contrast structural color.

Sci Rep 2018 May 17;8(1):7804. Epub 2018 May 17.

Institute of Optical and Electronic Materials, Hamburg University of Technology, Eissendorfer Strasse 38, 21073, Hamburg, Germany.

Non-iridescent structural colors based on disordered arrangement of monodisperse spherical particles, also called photonic glass, show low color saturation due to gradual transition in the reflectivity spectrum. No significant improvement is usually expected from particles optimization, as Mie resonances are broad for small dielectric particles with moderate refractive index. Moreover, the short range order of a photonic glass alone is also insufficient to cause sharp spectral features. We show here, that the combination of a well-chosen particle geometry with the short range order of a photonic glass has strong synergetic effects. Using a first-order approximation and an Ewald sphere construction the reflectivity of such structures can be related to the Fourier transform of the permittivity distribution. The Fourier transform required for a highly saturated color can be achieved by tailoring the substructure of the motif. We show that this can be obtained by choosing core-shell particles with a non-monotonous refractive index distribution from the center of the particle through the shell and into the background material. The first-order theoretical predictions are confirmed by numerical simulations.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-26119-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5958089PMC
May 2018
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