Template Synthesis and Optical Properties of Chameleonic Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) Gels Using Closest-Packed Self-Assembled Colloidal Silica Crystals


  • This work was supported by Grant-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas of “Molecular Synchronization for Design of New Materials System” (No. 404) and “Dynamic Control of Strongly Correlated Softmaterials” (No. 413) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan. We wish to thank H. Oishi of Nippon Shokubai Co. Ltd. for a technical suggestion to use the silica colloidal suspension.


Smart macroporous hydrogels with a range of optical behavior have been prepared using colloidal crystals as templates. The structural color imprinted in the gel (see Figure and cover) varies with a change in the volume of the gel. It is now possible to build a soft material that displays the various structural colors available to living things.