Solution processing of highly performing photonic crystals has been a towering ambition for making them technologically relevant in applications requiring mass and large-area production. It would indeed represent a paradigm changer for the fabrication of sensors and for light management nanostructures meant for photonics and advanced photocatalytic systems. On the other hand, solution-processed structures often suffer from low dielectric contrast and poor optical quality or require complex deposition procedures due to the intrinsic properties of components treatable from solution. This work reports on a low-temperature sol–gel route between the alkoxides of Si and Ti and poly(acrylic acid), leading to stable polymer–inorganic hybrid materials with tunable refractive index and, in the case of titania hybrid, photoactive properties. Alternating thin films of the two hybrids allows planar photonic crystals with high optical quality and dielectric contrast as large as 0.64. Moreover, low-temperature treatments also allow coupling the titania hybrids with several temperature-sensitive materials including dielectric and semiconducting polymers to fabricate photonic structures. These findings open new perspectives in several fields; preliminary results demonstrate that the hybrid structures are suitable for sensing and the enhancement of the catalytic activity of photoactive media and light emission control.

Mild Sol-Gel Conditions and High Dielectric Contrast: A Facile Processing toward Large-Scale Hybrid Photonic Crystals for Sensing and Photocatalysis

Maddalena Patrini;
2022

Abstract

Solution processing of highly performing photonic crystals has been a towering ambition for making them technologically relevant in applications requiring mass and large-area production. It would indeed represent a paradigm changer for the fabrication of sensors and for light management nanostructures meant for photonics and advanced photocatalytic systems. On the other hand, solution-processed structures often suffer from low dielectric contrast and poor optical quality or require complex deposition procedures due to the intrinsic properties of components treatable from solution. This work reports on a low-temperature sol–gel route between the alkoxides of Si and Ti and poly(acrylic acid), leading to stable polymer–inorganic hybrid materials with tunable refractive index and, in the case of titania hybrid, photoactive properties. Alternating thin films of the two hybrids allows planar photonic crystals with high optical quality and dielectric contrast as large as 0.64. Moreover, low-temperature treatments also allow coupling the titania hybrids with several temperature-sensitive materials including dielectric and semiconducting polymers to fabricate photonic structures. These findings open new perspectives in several fields; preliminary results demonstrate that the hybrid structures are suitable for sensing and the enhancement of the catalytic activity of photoactive media and light emission control.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1454876
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