Controlling Thermochromism in a Photonic Block Copolymer Gel

Authors

  • Joseph J. Walish,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • Yin Fan,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • Andrea Centrone,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA
    2. Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-6203, USA
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  • Edwin L. Thomas

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    2. Brown School of Engineering, Rice University, Houston, TX 77030, USA
    • Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
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Abstract

The tunable properties of stimulus-responsive materials attract great interest in a variety of technological applications. Photonic gels are a new class of these materials, which can be tuned to reflect different wavelengths of light. Controlling this reflected color via temperature-induced changes of self-assembled photonic materials is important for their application in sensors and displays. In this work, the thermochromic behavior of a PS–P2VP photonic gel was found to originate from a temperature-induced change in the pKa of the P2VP blocks. Control was obtained through the manipulation of the solution pH. The findings of this work provide the basis for understanding and controlling the properties of thermochromic block copolymers fostering their use in technologically relevant applications.

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