ABSTRACT: The change of optical properties that some usually natural compounds or polymeric materials show upon the application of external stress is named mechanochromism. Herein, an artificial nanomechanical metasurface formed by a subwavelength nanowire array made of molybdenum disulfide, molybdenum oxide, and silicon nitride changes color upon mechanical deformation. The aforementioned deformation induces reversible changes in the optical transmission (relative transmission change of 197% at 654 nm), thus demonstrating a giant mechanochromic effect. Moreover, these types of metasurfaces can exist in two nonvolatile states presenting a difference in optical transmission of 45% at 678 nm, when they are forced to bend rapidly. The wide optical tunability that photonic nanomechanical metasurfaces, such as the one presented here, possess by design, can provide a valuable platform for mechanochromic and bistable responses across the visible and near infrared regime and form a new family of smart materials with applications in reconfigurable, multifunctional photonic filters, switches, and stress sensors.
Project description:A number of marine organisms use muscle-controlled surface structures to achieve rapid changes in colour and transparency with outstanding reversibility. Inspired by these display tactics, we develop analogous deformation-controlled surface-engineering approaches via strain-dependent cracks and folds to realize the following four mechanochromic devices: (1) transparency change mechanochromism (TCM), (2) luminescent mechanochromism (LM), (3) colour alteration mechanochromism (CAM) and (4) encryption mechanochromism (EM). These devices are based on a simple bilayer system that exhibits a broad range of mechanochromic behaviours with high sensitivity and reversibility. The TCM device can reversibly switch between transparent and opaque states. The LM can emit intensive fluorescence as stretched with very high strain sensitivity. The CAM can turn fluorescence from green to yellow to orange as stretched within 20% strain. The EM device can reversibly reveal and conceal any desirable patterns.
Project description:Electrochemical hydrogenation has emerged as an environmentally benign and operationally simple alternative to traditional catalytic reduction of organic compounds. Here, we have disclosed for the first time the electrochemical hydrogenation of alkynes to a library of synthetically important Z-alkenes under mild conditions with great selectivity and efficiency. The deuterium and control experiments of electrochemical hydrogenation suggest that the hydrogen source comes from the solvent, supporting electrolyte, and base. The scanning electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction experiments demonstrate that palladium nanoparticles generated in the electrochemical reaction act as a chemisorbed hydrogen carrier. Moreover, complete reduction of alkynes to saturated alkanes can be achieved through slightly modified conditions. Furthermore, a series of novel mechanofluorochromic materials have been efficiently constructed with this protocol that showed blue-shifted mechanochromism. This discovery represents the first example of cis-olefins-based organic mechanochromic materials.
Project description:Metasurfaces have facilitated the replacement of conventional optical elements with ultrathin and planar photonic structures. Previous designs of metasurfaces were limited to small deflection angles and small ranges of the angle of incidence. Here, we have created two types of Si-based metasurfaces to steer visible light to a large deflection angle. These structures exhibit high diffraction efficiencies over a broad range of angles of incidence. We have demonstrated metasurfaces working both in transmission and reflection modes based on conventional thin film silicon processes that are suitable for the large-scale fabrication of high-performance devices.
Project description:Mechanochromic luminogens are of significant importance in both academic and technical aspects. Thus far, most mechanochromic compounds exhibit bathochromically shifted emission upon grinding; the examples of those that exhibit blue-shifted emission still remain limited. Herein, a donor-acceptor-donor (D-A-D)-structured conjugate, namely 4,7-di(2-thienyl)-2,1,3-benzothiadiazole (DTBT), comprising benzobis(1,2,5-thiadiazole) and thiophene units, has been carefully synthesized and investigated. DTBT exhibits typical intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) characteristics, crystallization-induced phosphorescence (CIP), and remarkable mechanochromism. Although it merely emits fluorescence in solutions with distinct ICT features, its crystals demonstrate bright-red room-temperature phosphorescence (616 nm) with efficiency up to 25.0% and generate yellow excimer fluorescence (578 nm) upon mechanical grinding, accompanying decreased lifetimes from 10.9 ?s to 3.5 ns and a blue-shifted emission of 38 nm. These results highly indicate the feasibility to fabricate novel CIP luminogens with blue-shifted mechanochromism.
Project description:High quality opal-like photonic crystals containing graphene are fabricated using evaporation-driven self-assembly of soft polymer colloids. A miniscule amount of pristine graphene within a colloidal crystal lattice results in the formation of colloidal crystals with a strong angle-dependent structural color and a stop band that can be reversibly shifted across the visible spectrum. The crystals can be mechanically deformed or can reversibly change color as a function of their temperature, hence their sensitive mechanochromic and thermochromic response make them attractive candidates for a wide range of visual sensing applications. In particular, it is shown that the crystals are excellent candidates for visual strain sensors or integrated time-temperature indicators which act over large temperature windows. Given the versatility of these crystals, this method represents a simple, inexpensive, and scalable approach to produce multifunctional graphene infused synthetic opals and opens up exciting applications for novel solution-processable nanomaterial based photonics.
Project description:Artificial electromagnetic surfaces, metasurfaces, control light in the desired manner through the introduction of abrupt changes of electromagnetic fields at interfaces. Current modelling of metasurfaces successfully exploits generalised sheet transition conditions (GSTCs), a set of boundary conditions that account for electric and magnetic metasurface-induced optical responses. GSTCs are powerful theoretical tools but they are not readily applicable for arbitrarily shaped metasurfaces. Accurate and computationally efficient algorithms capable of implementing artificial boundary conditions are highly desired for designing free-form photonic devices. To address this challenge, we propose a numerical method based on conformal boundary optics with a modified finite difference time-domain (FDTD) approach which accurately calculates the electromagnetic fields across conformal metasurfaces. Illustrative examples of curved meta-optics are presented, showing results in good agreement with theoretical predictions. This method can become a powerful tool for designing and predicting optical functionalities of conformal metasurfaces for new lightweight, flexible and wearable photonic devices.
Project description:Mechanochromic response is of great importance in designing bionic robot systems and colorimetric devices. Unfortunately, compared to mimicking motions of natural creatures, fabricating mechanochromic systems with programmable colorimetric responses remains challenging. Herein, we report the development of unconventional mechanochromic films based on hybrid nanorods integrated with magnetic and plasmonic anisotropy. Magnetic-plasmonic hybrid nanorods have been synthesized through a unique space-confined seed-mediated process, which represents an open platform for preparing next-generation complex nanostructures. By coupling magnetic and plasmonic anisotropy, the plasmonic excitation of the hybrid nanorods could be collectively regulated using magnetic fields. It facilitates convenient incorporation of the hybrid nanorods into polymer films with a well-controlled orientation and enables sensitive colorimetric changes in response to linear and angular motions. The combination of unique synthesis and convenient magnetic alignment provides an advanced approach for designing programmable mechanochromic devices with the desired precision, flexibility, and scalability.
Project description:Camouflage and wound healing are two vital functions for cephalopods to survive from dangerous ocean risks. Inspired by these dual functions, herein, we report a new type of healable mechanochromic (HMC) material. The bifunctional HMC material consists of two tightly bonded layers. One layer is composed of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) for shielding. Another layer contains supramolecular hydrogen bonding polymers and fluorochromes for healing. The as-synthesized HMC material exhibits a tunable and reversible mechanochromic function due to the strain-induced surface structure of composite film. The mechanochromic function can be further restored after damage because of the incorporated healable polyurethane. The healing efficiency of the damaged HMC materials can even reach 98?% at 60?°C for 6?h. The bioinspired HMC material is expected to have potential applications in the information encryption and flexible displays.
Project description:Smart materials responsible to external stimuli such as temperature, pH, solvents, light, redox agents, and mechanical or electric/magnetic field, have drawn considerable attention recently. Herein, we described a novel rhodamine (Rh) mechanophore-based mechanoresponsive micellar hydrogel with excellent mechanochromic and mechanofluorescent properties. We found with astonishment that, due to the favorable activation of rhodamine spirolactam in the presence of water, together with the stress concentration effect, the mechanoresponsive sensitivity of this hydrogel was enhanced significantly. As a result, the stress needed to trigger the mechanochromic property of Rh in the hydrogel was much lower than in its native polymer matrix reported before. The hydrogel based on Rh, therefore, exhibited excellent mechanochromic property even at lower stress. Moreover, due to the reversibility of color on/off, the hydrogel based on Rh could be used as a reusable and erasable material for color printing/writing. Of peculiar importance is that the hydrogel could emit highly bright fluorescence under sufficient stress or strain. This suggested that the stress/strain of hydrogel could be detected quantificationally and effectively by the fluorescence data. We also found that the hydrogel could respond to acid/alkali and exhibited outstanding properties of acidichromism and acidifluorochromism. Up to now, hydrogels with such excellent mechanochromic and mechanofluorescent properties have rarely been reported. Our efforts may be essentially beneficial to the design of the mechanochromic and mechanofluorescent hydrogels with enhanced mechanoresponsive sensitivity, fostering their potential applications in a number of fields such as damage or stress/strain detection.
Project description:The invisibility cloak, a long-standing fantastic dream for humans, has become more tangible with the development of metamaterials. Recently, metasurface-based invisibility cloaks have been proposed and realized with significantly reduced thickness and complexity of the cloaking shell. However, the previous scheme is based on reflection-type metasurfaces and is thus limited to reflection geometry. In this work, by integrating the wavefront tailoring functionality of transparent metasurfaces and the wave tunneling functionality of zero-index materials, we have realized a unique type of hybrid invisibility cloak that functions in transmission geometry. The principle is general and applicable to arbitrary shapes. For experimental demonstration, we constructed a rhombic double-layer cloaking shell composed of a highly transparent metasurface and a double-zero medium consisting of dielectric photonic crystals with Dirac cone dispersions. The cloaking effect is verified by both full-wave simulations and microwave experimental results. The principle also reveals exciting possibilities for realizing skin-thick ultrathin cloaking shells in transmission geometry, which can eliminate the need for spatially varying extreme parameters. Our work paves a path for novel optical and electromagnetic devices based on the integration of metasurfaces and metamaterials.