News Release 07-136
Photonic Gel Films Hold Promise
Sensors, display devices and tunable lasers could benefit
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Photonic gel crystals demonstrate the "tunability" of materials made from alternating layers of hard and soft polymers. The soft polymers are easily swollen with liquid or vapor, causing the materials to reflect different colors of light based on the way their molecules are chemically "tuned".
Credit: Joe Walish, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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MIT researchers Edwin Thomas and Joseph Walish report in Nature Materials they've created photonic gel crystals that can be tuned to emit light of many different colors across the visible and near-infrared spectrum. The responsiveness of the photonic crystals makes them likely candidates for active components of display, sensory or telecommunication devices.
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