Variable structural colouration of composite interphases†
Variable structural colouration results in brilliant colour changes in nature, due to the interaction of light with periodic photonic nanostructures. We report the observations of variable structural colouration from red, orange, yellow to green in a composite interphase region. By overlapping graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) with ordered and disordered features using a special deposition approach, unique “fish scale” like structures are achieved. Variable structural colouration is observed through the mechanical tuning of fine parallel multilayers. Moreover, the method with incorporated variable structural colouration and electrical sensing functionality brings a first valuable step towards danger rating and the early warning of microcracks prior to a material’s failure, using a few colours for addressing danger, alarm and safety in a “traffic light” system.