Micropatterning and defect engineering of colloidal photonic crystals via laser direct writing†
Micropatterning and defect engineering of colloidal photonic crystals (CPCs) play a significant role in the functionality of photonic crystals as they are crucial for optical chip integration, microcavity lasing, chemical sensing, etc. However, obstacles have arisen in recent years especially due to the lack of a general, cost-effective and versatile strategy to make these functional structures in one step. Traditional micro-/nanofabrication techniques may work for one structure but fail for another and the fabrication process is mostly complicated, which potentially incurs reproducibility issues. Here, point defects, waveguides and micropatterns with variable feature sizes (>∼500 nm) can be easily created in polystyrene (PS)/SiO2 CPC films via laser direct writing, which is based on selective photodegradation of PS beads. By applying different laser powers or irradiation times, different coloured micropatterns and images with high resolution can be generated, which has great implications for image displays and anti-counterfeiting.