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Published December 17, 2014 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Improving Brush Polymer Infrared One-Dimensional Photonic Crystals via Linear Polymer Additives


Brush block copolymers (BBCPs) enable the rapid fabrication of self-assembled one-dimensional photonic crystals with photonic band gaps that are tunable in the UV-vis-IR, where the peak wavelength of reflection scales with the molecular weight of the BBCPs. Due to the difficulty in synthesizing very large BBCPs, the fidelity of the assembled lamellar nanostructures drastically erodes as the domains become large enough to reflect IR light, severely limiting their performance as optical filters. To overcome this challenge, short linear homopolymers are used to swell the arrays to ∼180% of the initial domain spacing, allowing for photonic band gaps up to ∼1410 nm without significant opacity in the visible, demonstrating improved ordering of the arrays. Additionally, blending BBCPs with random copolymers enables functional groups to be incorporated into the BBCP array without attaching them directly to the BBCPs. The addition of short linear polymers to the BBCP arrays thus offers a facile means of improving the self-assembly and optical properties of these materials, as well as adding a route to achieving films with greater functionality and tailorability, without the need to develop or optimize the processing conditions for each new brush polymer synthesized.

Additional Information

© 2014 American Chemical Society. Received: September 10, 2014; Published: November 5, 2014. This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) "Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion" Energy Frontier Research Center under grant DE-SC0001293 (R.J.M., R.A.W., and H.A.A.). This work was also supported by the NSF under grant NSF CHE-1212767, and the California Energy Commission EISG, grant no. 57642A/13-02. R.J.M. acknowledges the Kavli Nanoscience Institute for fellowship funding, and R.A.W. and A.B.C. acknowledge the NDSEG for graduate fellowships. UV-vis-IR reflection and IR absorption measurements were collected at the Molecular Materials Research Center of the Beckman Institute of the California Institute of Technology. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. DOE Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. The simulations were conducted at the UCSB MRL/CNSI computational facilities, supported by the MRSEC Program of the NSF under DMR 1121053.

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