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Polymeric Photonic Materials

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Macromolecular Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 14175

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Physics, Prifysgol Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, Wales SY23 3BZ, UK
Interests: photonics; soft matter; polymers; macromolecular semiconductors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The development of soft matter materials, particularly both synthetic and naturally occurring macropolymers, offers a novel approach to the generation of nano-ordered arrays and photonic structures. Such “soft nanoassembly” paradigms facilitate bottom-upwards approaches towards manufacturable low-cost, bulk-scale photonic materials. The inherent tractability and versatility of platforms based on these materials thus presents opportunities for a step-change away from the monolithic photonic architectures that have previously been relied upon, with potential applications spanning optical materials and coatings, smart materials, optoelectronics, and sensing.

It is my pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript to the Molecules Special Issue on Polymeric Photonic Materials. We are particularly interested in original research in the synthetic chemistry and materials science of polymeric materials with broad applications in photonics, optical materials, photonic devices, and optical sensing and detection. Potential specific topics include but are not limited to the following:

Development of polymeric materials used in photonic structures and devices;

Soft matter in nanophotonics;

Photonic crystals, gratings, opals, and synthetic analogues;

Polymeric nano- and microparticles, including composites;

Nanoassembly and ordering;

Viscoelastic media and rheology;

Polymers in photonics-based or photonics-enhanced optoelectronics;

Polymer-based optical sensing technologies and environmental detection (e.g., mechano-, chemico-, or thermochromism)

Dr. Chris E. Finlayson
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • soft matter and polymers
  • photonic materials
  • photonic devices
  • nanoassembly

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 2055 KiB  
Article
Multifaceted Structurally Coloured Materials: Diffraction and Total Internal Reflection (TIR) from Nanoscale Surface Wrinkling
by Annabelle Tan, Zain Ahmad, Pete Vukusic and João T. Cabral
Molecules 2023, 28(4), 1710; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28041710 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1570
Abstract
We investigate the combined effects of surface diffraction and total internal reflection (TIR) in the design of 3-dimensional materials exhibiting distinct structural colour on various facets. We employ mechanical wrinkling to introduce surface diffraction gratings (from the nano to the micron scales) on [...] Read more.
We investigate the combined effects of surface diffraction and total internal reflection (TIR) in the design of 3-dimensional materials exhibiting distinct structural colour on various facets. We employ mechanical wrinkling to introduce surface diffraction gratings (from the nano to the micron scales) on one face of an elastomeric rectangular parallelepiped-shaped slab and explore the roles, in the perceived colours, of wrinkling pattern, wavelength, the directionality of incident light and observation angles. We propose a simple model that satisfactorily accounts for all experimental observations. Employing polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which readily swells in the presence of various liquids and gases, we demonstrate that such multifaceted colours can respond to their environment. By coupling a right angle triangular prism with a surface grating, we demonstrate the straightforward fabrication of a so-called GRISM (GRating + prISM). Finally, using a range of examples, we outline possibilities for a predictive material design using multi-axial wrinkling patterns and more complex polyhedra. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Photonic Materials)
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19 pages, 52084 KiB  
Article
Random Copolymers of Styrene with Pendant Fluorophore Moieties: Synthesis and Applications as Fluorescence Sensors for Nitroaromatics
by Mohamad Zen Eddin, Ekaterina F. Zhilina, Roman D. Chuvashov, Alyona I. Dubovik, Alexandr V. Mekhaev, Konstantin A. Chistyakov, Anna A. Baranova, Konstantin O. Khokhlov, Gennady L. Rusinov, Egor V. Verbitskiy and Valery N. Charushin
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 6957; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27206957 - 17 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1232
Abstract
Five random copolymers comprising styrene and styrene with pendant fluorophore moieties, namely pyrene, naphthalene, phenanthrene, and triphenylamine, in molar ratios of 10:1, were synthesized and employed as fluorescent sensors. Their photophysical properties were investigated using absorption and emission spectral analyses in dichloromethane solution [...] Read more.
Five random copolymers comprising styrene and styrene with pendant fluorophore moieties, namely pyrene, naphthalene, phenanthrene, and triphenylamine, in molar ratios of 10:1, were synthesized and employed as fluorescent sensors. Their photophysical properties were investigated using absorption and emission spectral analyses in dichloromethane solution and in solid state. All copolymers possessed relative quantum yields up to 0.3 in solution and absolute quantum yields up to 0.93 in solid state, depending on their fluorophore components. Fluorescence studies showed that the emission of these copolymers is highly sensitive towards various nitroaromatic compounds, both in solution and in the vapor phase. The detection limits of these fluorophores for nitroaromatic compounds in dichloromethane solution proved to be in the range of 10−6 to 10−7 mol/L. The sensor materials for new hand-made sniffers based on these fluorophores were prepared by electrospinning and applied for the reliable detection of nitrobenzene vapors at 1 ppm in less than 5 min. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Photonic Materials)
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12 pages, 2658 KiB  
Article
Transparent Polymer Opal Thin Films with Intense UV Structural Color
by Giselle Rosetta, Matthew Gunn, John J. Tomes, Mike Butters, Jens Pieschel, Frank Hartmann, Markus Gallei and Chris E. Finlayson
Molecules 2022, 27(12), 3774; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27123774 - 11 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1710
Abstract
We report on shear-ordered polymer photonic crystals demonstrating intense structural color with a photonic bandgap at 270 nm. Our work examines this UV structural color, originating from a low refractive index contrast polymer composite system as a function of the viewing angle. We [...] Read more.
We report on shear-ordered polymer photonic crystals demonstrating intense structural color with a photonic bandgap at 270 nm. Our work examines this UV structural color, originating from a low refractive index contrast polymer composite system as a function of the viewing angle. We report extensive characterization of the angle-dependent nature of this color in the form of ‘scattering cones’, which showed strong reflectivity in the 275–315 nm range. The viewing range of the scattering was fully quantified for a number of planes and angles, and we additionally discuss the unique spectral anisotropy observed in these structures. Such films could serve as low-cost UV reflection coatings with applications in photovoltaics due to the fact of their non-photobleaching and robust mechanical behavior in addition to their favorable optical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Photonic Materials)
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15 pages, 3378 KiB  
Article
Embedding Photoacids into Polymer Opal Structures: Synergistic Effects on Optical and Stimuli-Responsive Features
by Martin Bitsch, Anna Katharina Boehm, Alexander Grandjean, Gregor Jung and Markus Gallei
Molecules 2021, 26(23), 7350; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26237350 - 03 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1904
Abstract
Opal films with their vivid structural colors represent a field of tremendous interest and obtained materials offer the possibility for many applications, such as optical sensors or anti-counterfeiting materials. A convenient method for the generation of opal structures relies on the tailored design [...] Read more.
Opal films with their vivid structural colors represent a field of tremendous interest and obtained materials offer the possibility for many applications, such as optical sensors or anti-counterfeiting materials. A convenient method for the generation of opal structures relies on the tailored design of core-interlayer-shell (CIS) particles. Within the present study, elastomeric opal films were combined with stimuli-responsive photoacids to further influence the optical properties of structurally colored materials. Starting from cross-linked polystyrene (PS) core particles featuring a hydroxy-rich and polar soft shell, opal films were prepared by application of the melt-shear organization technique. The photoacid tris(2,2,2-trifluoroethyl) 8-hydroxypyrene-1,3,6-trisulfonate (TFEHTS) could be conveniently incorporated during freeze-drying the particle dispersion and prior to the melt-shear organization. Furthermore, the polar opal matrix featuring hydroxylic moieties enabled excited-state proton transfer (ESPT), which is proved by spectroscopic evaluation. Finally, the influence of the photoacid on the optical properties of the 3-dimensional colloidal crystals were investigated within different experimental conditions. The angle dependence of the emission spectra unambiguously shows the selective suppression of the photoacid’s fluorescence in its deprotonated state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Photonic Materials)
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11 pages, 3456 KiB  
Article
Flexible Polymer–Organic Solar Cells Based on P3HT:PCBM Bulk Heterojunction Active Layer Constructed under Environmental Conditions
by Georgy Grancharov, Mariya-Desislava Atanasova, Radostina Kalinova, Rositsa Gergova, Georgi Popkirov, Christosko Dikov and Marushka Sendova-Vassileva
Molecules 2021, 26(22), 6890; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26226890 - 15 Nov 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3542 | Correction
Abstract
In this study, some crucial parameters were determined of flexible polymer–organic solar cells prepared from an active layer blend of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and the fullerene derivative [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) mixed in 1:1 mass ratio and deposited from chlorobenzene solution [...] Read more.
In this study, some crucial parameters were determined of flexible polymer–organic solar cells prepared from an active layer blend of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and the fullerene derivative [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) mixed in 1:1 mass ratio and deposited from chlorobenzene solution by spin-coating on poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET)/ITO substrates. Additionally, the positive effect of an electron transport layer (ETL) prepared from zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO np) on flexible photovoltaic elements’ performance and stability was investigated. Test devices with above normal architecture and silver back electrodes deposed by magnetron sputtering were constructed under environmental conditions. They were characterized by current-voltage (I–V) measurements, quantum efficiency, impedance spectroscopy, surface morphology, and time–degradation experiments. The control over morphology of active layer thin film was achieved by post-deposition thermal treatment at temperatures of 110–120 °C, which led to optimization of device morphology and electrical parameters. The impedance spectroscopy results of flexible photovoltaic elements were fitted using two R||CPE circuits in series. Polymer–organic solar cells prepared on plastic substrates showed comparable current–voltage characteristics and structural properties but need further device stability improvement according to traditionally constructed cells on glass substrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Photonic Materials)
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15 pages, 3716 KiB  
Article
Cellulose Acetate Fabrics Loaded with Rhodamine B Hydrazide for Optical Detection of Cu(II)
by Rania E. Morsi, Moataz Elsawy, Ilse Manet and Barbara Ventura
Molecules 2020, 25(16), 3751; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25163751 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3105
Abstract
In this work, different materials were fabricated from cellulose acetate, loaded with rhodamine B hydrazide and tested as Cu(II) optical sensor. We prepared membranes displaying a sub-micron porous structure using the phase inversion technique, clusters of fibers with varying diameter depending on the [...] Read more.
In this work, different materials were fabricated from cellulose acetate, loaded with rhodamine B hydrazide and tested as Cu(II) optical sensor. We prepared membranes displaying a sub-micron porous structure using the phase inversion technique, clusters of fibers with varying diameter depending on the preparation procedure using electrospinning, and casted films presenting a smooth non porous structure. Loading of rhodamine B hydrazide on the fabrics after their production was found to be the best procedure to ensure the stability of the dye in the polymeric materials. Absorption and emission analysis of the solid substrates revealed the presence of the dye on the porous fabrics and allowed to choose the most suited materials and loading conditions to test their response towards Cu(II) ions. Reaction of the loaded rhodamine B hydrazide with Cu(II) was confirmed by absorption and emission spectroscopies and by confocal fluorescence imaging, through detection of the product rhodamine B. The results point to promising sensing applications of the prepared composite materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Photonic Materials)
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