Color and texture morphing with colloids on multilayered surfaces

Ziguang Chen, Shumin Li, Andrew Arkebauer, George Gogos, Li Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Dynamic morphing of marine species to match with environment changes in color and texture is an advanced means for surviving, self-defense, and reproduction. Here we use colloids that are placed inside a multilayered structure to demonstrate color and texture morphing. The multilayer is composed of a thermal insulating base layer, a light absorbing mid layer, and a liquid top layer. When external light of moderate intensity (∼0.2 W cm-2) strikes the structure, colloids inside the liquid layer will be assembled to locations with an optimal absorption. When this system is exposed to continuous laser pulses, more than 18 000 times of reversible responses are recorded, where the system requests 20 ms to start the response and another 160 ms to complete. The flexibility of our concept further allows the system to be built on a variety of light-absorbing substrates, including dyed paper, gold thin film, and amorphous silicon, with the top layer even a solid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10125-10131
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 20 2015


  • colloidal assembly
  • morphing
  • photothermal effect
  • surface tension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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