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Self-regulating reversible photocatalytic-driven chromism of cavity enhanced optical field nanocomposite


Over the years, exploration of inorganic chromogenic materials commonly interfaced with expensive noble metals is limited while organic photochromic materials has proliferated. The key challenge lies in the optimization of inorganic materials constituents and structural design to achieve enhanced light–matter interaction chromism that commensurates the organic counterpart performance. Here, we demonstrate a tailored inorganic transition metal cavity that boosts the optically controlled reversible and repeatable chromism driven by photocatalytic reaction. The solution-processable TiO2/CuO nanocomposite is endowed with mesoporous cavity that is highly adept to perform self-regulating reversible photochromism under solar irradiation. The improved photoreactive chromism stems from the tailored critical structural parameters of highly accessible mesoporous shell, reduced charge carrier diffusion length thin shell, and cavity enhanced optical field for photon-matter interaction. Consequently, the nanocomposite is translated into dual-functional photoregulated effects i.e. photochromism mediated light transmittance modulation and rewritable printing/patterning. The nanocomposite offers high sensitivity resulting in short response time due to the efficient charge transfer and such chromism effect are stable in ambient environment. Furthermore, controlled switching of chromism effect may be obtained simply by heating at various low-temperatures. The concerted combination of inexpensive material/production, low toxicity and high transparency noble metal free-inorganic nanocomposite renders chromogenic properties that will trigger a renewed interest in smart light-stimulus integrated technology.

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Apr 2017, accepted on 09 May 2017 and first published on 10 May 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA02983G
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Self-regulating reversible photocatalytic-driven chromism of cavity enhanced optical field nanocomposite

    M. Gao, S. W. L. Ng, L. Chen, M. Hong and G. W. W. Ho, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TA02983G

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