A photonic shape memory polymer film that shows large color response (∼155 nm) in a wide temperature range has been fabricated from a semi-interpenetrating network of a cholesteric polymer and poly(benzyl acrylate). The large color response is achieved by mechanical embossing of the photonic film above its broad glass transition temperature. The embossed film, as it recovers to its original shape on heating through the broad thermal transition, exhibits multiple structural colors ranging from blue to orange. The relaxation behavior of the embossed film can be fully described using a Kelvin-Voigt model, which reveals that the influence of temperature on the generation of colors is much stronger than that of time, thereby producing stable multiple colors.
- cholesteric liquid crystals
- mechanical embossing
- semi-interpenetrating polymer network
- shape memory polymers
- stable colors