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Keywords:

  • Layer-by-layer assembly;
  • Lithography, soft;
  • Optical microstructures, gratings;
  • Patterned microstructures
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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.