3D printing technology is promising for building complex 3D photonic crystal structures with promising applications.
However, common 3D printing techniques are limited by the degree of freedom of 3D structures, tedious and lengthy equilibrium coloring process, and weak bulk structure color properties that hinder further applications.
Although the ability to rapidly prepare 3D photonic crystals using discontinuous 3D printing has been reported, its rough surface morphology and low fidelity are difficult to meet the requirements of optical devices.
Recently, Yanlin Song, a researcher and Lei Wu, an associate researcher at the Key Laboratory of Green Printing Institute, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, successfully prepared 3D photonic crystal structures with bright structural colors using hydrogen bonding-assisted colloidal particle inks based on continuous digital light processing (DLP) 3D printing technology.
The study enables rapid preparation of complex 3D structures with single or multiple structural colors and printing of light-transporting structures with smooth inner and outer surfaces, low optical losses and patterns, and tunable colors.
The method prints 3D photonic crystal structures with angle-dependent properties, excellent shape fidelity, smooth surface morphology and high precision, which is important for innovative structural color preparation methods and expanding the applications of 3D printing.
The related paper was published in Nature Communications. (Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences)