Stimuli-responsive opals: colloidal crystals and colloidal amorphous arrays for use in functional structurally colored materials
Two distinct types of colloidal particle aggregated states exist in opal, namely, the colloidal crystal and the colloidal amorphous array. Today, these aggregates can be artificially prepared and are now studied as non-fading structurally colored materials as a result of our better understanding of their optical properties. Additionally, by applying the aggregates as stimuli-responsive materials, we can fabricate stimuli-responsive structurally colored systems that change their hue and saturation in response to external stimuli. In this review, the conditions necessary for fabricating stimuli-responsive structurally colored systems using the two types of aggregates present in opal are explained.