Multicolored one-dimensional photonic crystal coatings with excellent mechanical robustness, strong substrate adhesion, and liquid and particle impalement resistance†
High-performance one-dimensional photonic crystal coatings that sustain vivid structural colors under a variety of harsh mechanical conditions are fabricated using atomic layer deposition (ALD). By facilely controlling the thickness of the periodic layer, a series of photonic coatings with vivid structural colors ranging from purple, green, yellow, orange to red are obtained. By utilizing surface chemical adsorption and reaction characteristics of ALD process, these photonic crystal coatings exhibit high hardness, brightness, good substrate adhesion and strong mechanical robustness under cyclic tape peels (929 N m−1 adhesion strength, 100 times) and rubbing (50 kPa load pressure, 100 times), respectively. More importantly, they can even withstand high-speed jet impact (at least 20 m s−1, 30 min), particle erosion (200 rpm, 20 min), as well as continuous light irradiation. Given such impressive characteristics, these photonic crystal coatings would find promising applications in our daily life such as in consumer electronics, textiles, the automobile industry, and pigments.