Investigating the trade-off between color saturation and angle-independence in photonic glasses

Ming Xiao, Anna B Stephenson, Andreas Neophytou, Victoria Hwang, Dwaipayan Chakrabarti, Vinothan N Manoharan

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Photonic glasses-isotropic structures with short-range correlations-can produce structural colors with little angle-dependence, making them an alternative to dyes in applications such as cosmetics, coatings, and displays. However, the low angle-dependence is often accompanied by low color saturation. To investigate how the short-range correlations affect the trade-off between saturation and angle-independence, we vary the structure factor and use a Monte Carlo model of multiple scattering to investigate the resulting optical properties. We use structure factors derived from analytical models and calculated from simulations of disordered sphere packings. We show that the trade-off is controlled by the first peak of the structure factor. It is possible to break the trade-off by tuning the width of this peak and controlling the sample thickness. Practically, this result shows that the protocol used to pack particles into a photonic glass is important to the optical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21212-21224
Number of pages13
JournalOptics Express
Issue number14
Early online date22 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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