Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 38, 2013
Previous Article Next Article

Structural colour in colourimetric sensors and indicators

Author affiliations

Abstract

Colourimetric sensors and indicators are widely used because of their low cost and simplicity. A significant challenge associated with the design of this type of device is that the sensing mechanism must be simultaneously optimised for the sensitivity of the response and a visually perceptible colour change. Structural colour, derived from coherent scattering rather than molecular absorption, is a promising route to colourimetric sensor design because colour shifts are tied to changes in one of many physical properties of a material, rather than a specific chemical process. This Feature Article presents an overview of the development of low-cost sensors and indicators that exploit structural colour. Building upon recent advances in structurally adaptive materials design, structural colour sensors have been developed for a wide variety of previously inaccessible physical (e.g. temperature, strain, electric fields) and chemical stimuli (e.g. small organic molecules, charged species, biomacromolecules and metabolites). These devices, often exceeding the state of the art in performance, simplicity or both, have bright prospects for market impact in areas such as environmental monitoring, workplace hazard identification, threat detection, and point-of-care diagnostics. Finding the ideal balance between performance (e.g. sensitivity, specificity, reproducibility, etc.) and simplicity (e.g. colourimetric vs. spectroscopic readout) will be one of the most critical elements in the further development of structural colour sensors. This balance should be driven largely by the market demands and competing technologies.

Graphical abstract: Structural colour in colourimetric sensors and indicators

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 15 May 2013, accepted on 10 Jul 2013 and first published on 11 Jul 2013


Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3TC30919C
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013,1, 6075-6086
  •   Request permissions

    Structural colour in colourimetric sensors and indicators

    I. B. Burgess, M. Lončar and J. Aizenberg, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013, 1, 6075
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TC30919C

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements