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Colloidal films of SiO2 in elastomeric polyacrylates by photopolymerization: A strain sensor application
Thin layer SiO2 colloidal films show angle-dependent coloration (iridescence) based on constructive interference, rather than absorption, without the existence of pigments. The transfer of thin layered colloidal film into a transparent elastomeric matrix maintaining its color may allow the fabrication of colorimetric strain sensors. In this study, trilayer SiO2 colloidal films were prepared by Langmuir-Blodgett deposition using a binary solvent system (chloroform/methanol) and this structure is successfully transferred into poly(ethylene glycol) phenyl ether acrylate elastomer via lateral capillary force. The resulting composite films exhibit iridescence depending on the particle size, therefore, film thickness as similar in mere colloidal films with a slight difference due to change in efficient refractive index (neff). Uniaxial extension of the composite film up to 50 % strain causes a remarkable linear shift in reflection signal from 568 to 496 nm. The change in thickness of the composite film accordingly intercolloidal distance normal to the application of mechanical stretching causes variation of the reflection of light.