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Keywords:

  • cholesteric;
  • liquid crystals;
  • reflectors;
  • biomimetic materials;
  • liquid crystal polymers
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The photograph shows a polymer reflector that mimics the colour and underlying molecular structure of a golden beetle. It is formed from self-organizing layers of photopolymerised liquid crystal. These require an aligning layer, but we show that a layer of the material can be used as to self-align subsequent coatings, enabling the construction of complex structures by sequential coating of engineered materials.