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Pixelating responsive structural color via a bioinspired morphable concavity array

Professor Anderson H.C. Shum of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and his team had worked on the research for the topic “Pixelating responsive structural color via a bioinspired morphable concavity array (MoCA) composed of 2D photonic crystal elastomer actuators”. This work is a collaboration with Professor Mingzhu Li from the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The research is recently published by Advanced Science on February 15, 2023.


Details of the publication:

“Pixelating responsive structural color via a bioinspired morphable concavity array (MoCA) composed of 2D photonic crystal elastomer actuators”

Yi Pan, Chang Li, Xiaoyu Hou, Zhenyu Yang, Mingzhu Li, and Ho Cheung Shum

Article in Advanced Science, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/advs.202300347


Abstract:

Stimuli-responsive structural coloration allows the color change of soft substrates in response to environmental stimuli such as heat, humidity, and solvents. Such color-changing systems enable smart soft devices, such as the camouflageable skin of soft robots or chromatic sensors in wearable devices. However, individually and independently programmable stimuli-responsive color pixels remain significant challenges among the existing color-changing soft materials and devices, which are crucial for dynamic display. Inspired by the dual-color concavities on butterfly wings, we design a morphable concavity array to pixelate the structural color of two-dimensional photonic crystal elastomer and achieve individually and independently addressable stimuli-responsive color pixels. The morphable concavity can convert its surface between concave and flat upon changes in the solvent and temperature, accompanied by angle-dependent color-shifting. Through multi-channel microfluidics, the color of each concavity can be controllably switched. Based on the system, we demonstrate the dynamic display by forming reversibly editable letters and patterns for anti-counterfeiting and encryption. We believe the strategy of pixelating optical properties through locally altering surface topography can inspire the design of new transformable optical devices, such as artificial compound eyes or crystalline lenses for biomimetic and robotic applications.















Note: Pictures are reproduced under the terms of the CC-BY license. [Adv. Sci. 2023, 10(11), 2300347] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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