Sculptured Layer-by-Layer Films


  • This work was supported by the AFOSR, FA9550-05-1-0209 and NSF-CBET-0650705 grants, and the 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award (ZL). JX thanks the Institute for Physical Research and Technology of Iowa State University for a Catron graduate research fellowship. The authors also thank T. M. Pepper and O. Ugurlu for SEM images, and H. Ko and E. Merrick for assistance with sample preparation. Supporting Information is available online at Wiley InterScience or from the author.


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Sculptured freely suspended layer-by-layer (LbL) films with microscopic periodic modulations of refractive properties are reported. The modulated refractive properties are achieved by the topological variation of the film shape, which generates optical diffraction effects with bright structural colors and optical grating properties. An LbL assembly on a sacrificial microimprinted substrate is employed to generate such a sculptured LbL structure with an effective thickness of 60 nm and a 160 nm peak-to-peak modulation.