Deconvoluting the Optical Response of Biocompatible Photonic Pigments.

Change log

To unlock the widespread use of block copolymers as photonic pigments, there is an urgent need to consider their environmental impact (cf. microplastic pollution). Here we show how an inverse photonic glass architecture can enable the use of biocompatible bottlebrush block copolymers (BBCPs), which otherwise lack the refractive index contrast needed for a strong photonic response. A library of photonic pigments is produced from poly(norbornene-graft-polycaprolactone)-block-poly(norbornene-graft-polyethylene glycol), with the color tuned via either the BBCP molecular weight or the processing temperature upon microparticle fabrication. The structure-optic relationship between the 3D porous morphology of the microparticles and their complex optical response is revealed by both an analytical scattering model and 3D finite-difference time domain (FDTD) simulations. Combined, this allows for strategies to enhance the color purity to be proposed and realized with our biocompatible BBCP system.


Funder: Emil Aaltosen Säätiö; Id:

Block Copolymers, Confinement, Inverse Photonic Glasses, Self-Assembly, Structural Color, Norbornanes, Photons, Plastics, Polyethylene Glycols, Polymers
Journal Title
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/K014617/1)
European Research Council (639088)
BBSRC (BB/V00364X/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/N016920/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/R511675/1)
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Marie Sk?odowska-Curie actions (722842)
Royal Society (IE160420)
European Research Council (790518)
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Marie Sk?odowska-Curie actions (893136)
The European Research Council [ERC-2014-STG H2020 639088; ERC-2017-POC 790518], the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council [BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship BB/K014617/1; BB/V00364X/1], the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [EPSRC EP/N016920/1; EP/R511675/1], the Royal Society [IE160420], the Swiss National Science Foundation [SNSF 40B1-0_198708], the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Grant No. 893136 and No. 722842), the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, a CSC Cambridge Scholarship, and a Croucher Cambridge International Scholarship.