Structurally colored coating films with tunable iridescence fabricated via cathodic electrophoretic deposition of silica particles†
In recent years, colloidal arrays of submicrometer-sized monodisperse particles used as structurally colored coatings have drawn great attention due to their non-bleaching properties and low impact on human health and the environment. In this paper, structurally colored coating films were fabricated using monodisperse SiO2 particles via the cathodic electrophoretic deposition (EPD) technique. The addition of a strong polycation, poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) (PDDA), enables the cathodic EPD of SiO2 particles and carbon black (CB) additives. Optimizing the quantities of PDDA and CB results in the appearance of vivid structural color from the coating films. The arrangement of the particle array is controllable by varying the pH of the water added to the coating sols for EPD. Structurally colored coating films with and without iridescence, i.e., angular dependence, can be fabricated on demand by a simple operation of the EPD process. In addition, the coating film prepared by cathodic EPD displayed high abrasion resistance because PDDA acts not only as a charge control agent but also as a binder.