American Chemical Society
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Waterborne Polymer Coatings with Bright Noniridescent Structural Colors

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-12-28, 17:04 authored by Laurinda R. P. Areias, José Paulo S. Farinha
Structural color pigments offer an efficient, sustainable, and environmentally friendly approach to obtain waterborne polymer coatings. We developed polymer-based spherical photonic pigments to incorporate in aqueous dispersions of polymer nanoparticles used to obtain waterborne polymer films. Our spherical photonic pigments are assembled from polymer nanoparticles and are highly stable in water dispersion, maintaining their optical properties in the final polymer films. Unlike conventional dyes and pigments, which are prone to photobleaching because they are based on the absorption of light, photonic pigments rely on the selective reflection of light by their nanostructure and therefore are not photodegraded. Furthermore, different colors can be obtained from the same materials, changing only their nanostructure, in this case, the size of the polymer nanoparticles. Our novel spherical photonic pigments are noniridescent and can be incorporated in aqueous polymer nanoparticle dispersions without deteriorating their structure to produce waterborne polymer coatings with structural color. This approach for structural colored waterborne polymer coatings is efficient, simple, and environmentally friendly, offering excellent prospects for application in paints and coatings.

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