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Bioinspired Hydrophobic Cellulose Nanocrystal Composite Films as Organic-Solvent-Responsive Structural-Color Rewritable Papers

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journal contribution
posted on 28.05.2020, 13:08 by Chengyuan Sun, Dandan Zhu, Haiyan Jia, Chongchong Yang, Zhen Zheng, Xinling Wang
Lots of beetles, moths, and birds in the natural world present stunning unique structural colors as well as excellent hydrophobic performances. Herein, a novel bioinspired variable structural-color film with organic-solvent responsiveness and surface hydrophobicity was fabricated. Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) provided structural color with left-handed helicity. PEG-PPG-PEG triblock copolymers (PPPTCs) were blended with CNCs, giving rise to the organic-solvent-responsive structural color and wider red-shift window of the reflectance peak. The color of the film could be regulated repeatedly under the stimulus of cyclohexanone with an obvious red shift up to 107 nm, corresponding to a macroscopic color change from blue to yellow. Low-surface-energy compound hexadecyltrimethoxysilane (HDTMS) was covalently grafted on the surface in a one-step method to introduce hydrophobicity, successfully preventing the effect of water on the ordered nanostructure. Based on the bionics principle, the as-prepared CNC/PPPTC nanocomposite films with variable structural colors and hydrophobicity are beneficial to their prospective applications in display screens, rewritable hydrophobic structural-color-changing paper, biomimetic sensors, and so forth.