Structural colored material as smart sensors

Fast stimuli-sensitive polymer gels are promising materials for the development of various sensors. Structure color is a phenomenon where the color observed from the the fine structure of the light and matter interactions without using pigments or dyes. Traditionally, “structural color” is described as “bright color with angle-dependence observed from material whose refractive index is periodically changed with the wavelength size of visible light”.  We also observed that a system with a short-range order in the refractive index change displays a structural color without angle-dependence. Our group is using these angle dependent and independent structural colored materials as templates to make stimuli-sensitive smart porous materials that changes their physico-chemical properties with changing the amount of adulterants, heavy metals, ionic strengths, glucose, pH.