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Flexible and Iridescent Chiral Nematic Mesoporous Organosilica Films

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journal contribution
posted on 18.01.2012, 00:00 by Kevin E. Shopsowitz, Wadood Y. Hamad, Mark J. MacLachlan
Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) has been used to template ethylene-bridged mesoporous organosilica films with long-range chirality and photonic properties. The structural color of the organosilica films results from their chiral nematic ordering, can be varied across the entire visible spectrum, and responds to the presence of chemicals within the mesopores. To synthesize these materials, acid hydrolysis was used to remove the NCC template without disrupting the organosilica framework. The resulting mesoporous organosilica films are much more flexible than brittle mesoporous silica films templated by NCC. These materials are the first of a novel family of chiral mesoporous organosilicas with photonic properties.