Colloidal photonic crystal pigments with low angle dependence

Carlos I. Aguirre, Edilso Reguera, Andreas Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)-based colloidal photonic crystals have an incomplete photonic band gap (PBG) and typically appear iridescent in the visible range. As powders, synthetic PMMA opals are white, but when infiltrated with carbon black nanoparticles, they exhibit a well-defined color that shows little dependence on the viewing angle. The quantity of black pigment determines the lightness of the color by controlling scattering. The combined effects of internal order within each particle and random orientation among the particles in the powder are responsible for this behavior. These pigments were employed as paints, using a mixture of polyvinyl acetate as a binder and deionized water as the solvent, and were applied to wood and paper surfaces for color analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3257-3262
Number of pages6
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 24 2010


  • colloidal photonic crystals
  • powder pigments
  • structural color
  • synthetic opals


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