3D Bulk Ordering in Macroscopic Solid Opaline Films by Edge-Induced Rotational Shearing

Christopher Edward Finlayson, Peter Spahn, David R. E. Snoswell, Gabrielle Yates, Andreas Kontogeorgos, Andrew I. Haines, G. Peter Hellmann, Jeremy J. Baumberg

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A breakthrough in the field of large area photonic structures is reported, based on permanent ordering of solid polymeric films of sub-micrometer spheres by edge rotational-shearing. The resulting high-quality polymer opal thin-films exhibit strikingly intense structural color, as confirmed by combining a number of spectroscopic approaches. This induced self-assembly on macroscopic length scales represents a step-change away from current surface lithographies, presenting new routes for assembling solid ordered photonic materials. Despite previous reports of shear-ordering in sedimentary colloids in solution, no precedents exist for the application of such techniques to these granular solvent-free systems, which allow formation of permanent composite structures in the solid-state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1540-1544
Number of pages5
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2011


  • opals
  • self-assembly
  • polymers
  • photonic crystals


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