Che Ho Lim, Hyelim Kang, and Shin-Hyun Kim, "Colloidal Assembly in Leidenfrost Drops for Non-iridescent Structural Color Pigments," Langmuir, accepted for publication (2014).
Non-iridescent structural color pigments have great potential as alternatives to conventional chemical color pigments in many coloration applications due to their non-bleaching and color-tunable properties. In this work, we report a novel method to create photonic microgranules composed of glassy packing of silica particles and small fraction of carbon black nanoparticles, which show pronounced structural colors with low angle-dependency. To prepare isotropic random packing in each microgranule, a Leidenfrost drop, which is a drop levitated by its own vapor on a hot surface, is employed as a template for fast consolidation of silica particles. The drop randomly migrates over the hot surface and rapidly shrinks, while maintaining its spherical shape, thereby consolidating silica particles to granular structures. Carbon black nanoparticles incorporated in the microgranules suppress incoherent multiple scattering, thereby providing improved color contrast. Therefore, photonic microgranules in a full visible range can be prepared by adjusting size of silica particles with insignificant whitening.
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