, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 593-601
Date: 11 Nov 2012

Block copolymer photonic mesogels exhibiting dual volume phase transitions

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Photonic mesogel films exhibiting brilliant photonic colors were prepared by selective swelling of polystyrene-b-quaternized poly(2-vinyl pyridine) (PS-b-QP2VP) block copolymers, and their volume phase transition behaviors were investigated in various solvent mixtures. The swollen PS-b-QP2VP lamellae segregate into mesophased gels where the highly swollen QP2VP gel layers are alternating with the glassy PS layers and exhibit strong responsive photonic colors in visible regime. Utilizing the changes of photonic stop bands, the swelling behaviors of the photonic mesogels were able to be monitored with sub-nanometer accuracy. Unusual dual volume phase transitions were observed at certain conditions where hydrogen bonding became significantly strong.