Patent Number 7008567
The present invention is directed to a composite having tunable radiation diffracting properties which includes a flexible, water-free polymeric matrix and a crystalline colloidal array of particles having a lattice spacing, the array being embedded in the polymeric matrix and the lattice spacing changing responsive to stress applied to the polymeric matrix, thereby causing the radiation diffracting properties to change, wherein the polymeric matrix, the lattice spacing and the radiation diffracting properties all return to their original state essentially immediately upon removal of the stress. The present inventive composite is preferably made by a process, which involves forming a preliminary hydrogel polymerized crystalline colloidal array (PCCA), dehydrating the PCCA, and then forming a final, encapsulating polymeric matrix.
Clemson University (Clemson, SC)
252/586; 359/245; 359/265; 359/288; 359/290; 516/98