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Bioinspired, Cholesteric Liquid-Crystal Reflectors with Time-Controlled Coexisting Chiral and Achiral Structures

Abstract : The twisted structures of the chitin-based cuticle of beetles confer specific optical characteristics on them. Intrigued by the observation of Bragg gratings with a depth-dependent periodicity in the cuticle of Chrysina beetles, we determine the experimental conditions leading to their transcription into cholesteric liquid-crystal oligomers. We correlate the optical properties of reflectors thus produced with their internal morphology, as observed by transmission electron microscopy. With the use of a single parameter, thermal annealing time, the reflection color is made time-tunable. Different spectral bands and reflection colors from golden yellow to NIR are available, and the irreversibility of the final color is reached at the end. On the basis of the design concept and these properties, these hybrid chiral–achiral materials inspire the fabrication of smart reflective labels. When encapsulated in the package of a product to be kept under cold conditions, the label records the history of the product conservation. Two kinds of information based on color changes are recorded as follows: qualitative information reporting that the product was kept outside of the specified storage temperature and quantitative information giving an indication of the time elapsed since the temperature exceeded the storage temperature of the product.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03281412
Contributor : Michel Mitov <>
Submitted on : Thursday, July 8, 2021 - 11:04:15 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 3:50:57 AM

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Cécilia Boyon, Vanessa Soldan, Michel Mitov. Bioinspired, Cholesteric Liquid-Crystal Reflectors with Time-Controlled Coexisting Chiral and Achiral Structures. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Washington, D.C. : American Chemical Society, 2021, 13 (25), pp.30118-30126. ⟨10.1021/acsami.1c08218⟩. ⟨hal-03281412⟩

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