Rapid self-assembly of brush block copolymers to photonic crystals

Benjamín Ragnar Sveinbjörnsson, Raymond A. Weitekamp, Garret M. Miyake, Yan Xia, Harry A. Atwater, Robert H. Grubbs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

242 Citations (Scopus)


The reduced chain entanglement of brush polymers over their linear analogs drastically lowers the energetic barriers to reorganization. In this report, we demonstrate the rapid self-assembly of brush block copolymers to nanostructures with photonic bandgaps spanning the entire visible spectrum, from ultraviolet (UV) to near infrared (NIR). Linear relationships were observed between the peak wavelengths of reflection and polymer molecular weights. This work enables "bottom-up" fabrication of photonic crystals with application-tailored bandgaps, through synthetic control of the polymer molecular weight and the method of self-assembly. These polymers could be developed into NIR-reflective paints, to combat the "urban heat island effect" due to NIR photon thermalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14332-14336
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2012


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