Responsive Thin-Film Interference Colors from Polaronic Conjugated Block Copolymers

Cheon Woo Moon, Ji Eun Park, Minkyeong Park, Youngji Kim, Karnati Narasimha, Jerome Kartham Hyun, So Jung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Colors responsive to the chemical environment can form the basis for simple and highly accessible diagnostic tools. Herein, the charge modulation of conjugated polymers is demonstrated as a new mechanism for chemically responsive structural colors based on thin-film interference. A liquid-liquid interfacial self-assembly is employed to create a conjugated block copolymer film that is flexible, transferable, and highly homogeneous in thickness over a large area. Gold (Au) complexes are introduced in the self-assembly process for in situ oxidation of conjugated polymers into a hole-polaronic state that renders the polymer film responsive to the chemical environment. When transferred onto a reflective substrate, the film shows thickness-dependent tunable reflective colors due to the optical interference. Furthermore, it experiences drastic changes in its dielectric behavior upon switching of the polaronic state, thereby enabling large modulations to the interferometric colors. Such responsive thin-film colors, in turn, can be used as a simple and intuitive multicolor readout for the recognition of reductive vapors including biological decomposition products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1555-1561
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number1
StatePublished - 13 Jan 2021


  • conjugated polymer
  • hole polaron
  • stimuli-responsive
  • structural color
  • thin-film interference


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