Electroactive Inverse Opal: A Single Material for All Colors


  • G.A.O. holds a Government of Canada Research Chair in Materials Chemistry. He is deeply grateful to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada NSERC for generous and sustained funding of his research. I.M. thanks the EU for a Marie Curie Chair. D.P.P. would like to thank W. Wang for the schematics provided and the University of Toronto for financial support.


original image

I see the light: When an electroactive inverse polymer-gel opal is electrochemically oxidized and reduced, the lattice swells and shrinks, respectively. Concomitantly the wavelength of brightly diffracted light can be altered all the way from the ultraviolet through the visible to the near infrared (see picture).