Buckling polystyrene beads with light†
Colloidal transformation based on simple physicochemical processes has produced a wide variety of functional structures for different applications. But the lack of local selectivity of conventional transformation methods makes the fabrication of nanodevices with desired optical properties challenging. Here, we use a laser beam to transform spherical polystyrene (PS) beads into bull's eye-shaped nanopatterns or concentric nanorings, depending on the time of irradiation. The final morphologies are dependent on the size of the PS beads and the dielectric nature of the substrates. The simulated near field features show that it is the selective hollowing of PS beads that results in collapsing and buckling of the shells. This understanding provides a new route towards unconventional colloidal nanostructures and defect engineering in 2D photonic crystals that can be locally and selectively controlled by light.