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Optical Devices Constructed from Multiresponsive Microgels


  • M.J.S. acknowledges funding from the University of Alberta (the Department of Chemistry and the Faculty of Science), the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Alberta Advanced Education & Technology Small Equipment Grants Program (AET/SEGP), and Grand Challenges Canada. M.J.S. acknowledges Mark McDermott for the use of the thermal evaporator.


Novel multiresponsive microgels based on poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) were synthesized to contain triphenylmethane leucohydroxide, and used to construct etalons. The optical properties of the resultant etalons were investigated, and their response to ultraviolet and visible irradiation, solution pH changes, and the presence of a mimic of the nerve agent Tabun characterized. We clearly show that the optical properties of the device depended dramatically on these stimuli. This investigation illustrates the versatility of the microgel-based etalon structure, and showcases the clear utility of such devices for remote actuation, color tunable optics, sensing, and potential remotely triggered drug delivery applications.