Large-area crack-free single-crystal photonic crystals via combined effects of polymerization-assisted assembly and flexible substrate

Jinming Zhou, Jingxia Wang, Yu Huang, Guoming Liu, Libin Wang, Shuoran Chen, Xiuhong Li, Dujin Wang, Yanlin Song, Lei Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Cracking of photonic crystals (PCs) has received considerable attention because of its severe limitation to PC's applications in high-performance optics devices. Although enormous efforts have been focused on the understanding and elimination of the uncontrolled cracks in the self-assembly process, no reliable, low cost and scalable methods have been demonstrated for the fabrication of large (cm or more) crack-free single-crystalline PCs. Herein, we present a facile, reliable approach for the assembly of crack-free single-crystalline PCs on the centimeter scale by the synergistic effects of substrate deformation and monomer infiltration/polymerization. The co-assembling monomer infiltrates and polymerizes in the interstices of the colloidal spheres to form an elastic polymer network, which could lower the tensile stress generated from colloid shrinkage and strengthen the long-range interactions of the colloidal spheres. Otherwise, the timely transformation of the flexible substrate releases the residual stress. This facile, scalable and environment-friendly approach to centimeter-scale crack-free singlecrystalline PCs will not only prompt the practical applications of PCs in high-performance optics devices, but also have great implications for the fabrication of crack-free thin films in other fields, such as wet clays, coating and the ceramic industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21
JournalNPG Asia Materials
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • crack-free
  • large area
  • photonic crystals
  • self-assembly
  • single crystal

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