Ferrocene-Containing Inverse Opals by Melt-Shear Organization of Core/Shell Particles

Tamara Winter, Xiao Su, T. Alan Hatton, Markus Gallei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, the preparation of redox-responsive elastomeric inverse opal films featuring switchable structural colors is reported. The pristine core/shell particle architecture consists of a silica core having a metallopolymer shell, that is, poly(2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl ferrocene carboxylate) (PFcMA) copolymerized with n-butyl methacrylate (PFcMA-co-PnBuMA) synthesized via seeded and stepwise emulsion polymerization protocols. This tailor-made, inorganic core/hybrid organic shell architecture leads to monodisperse particles, which were then subjected to the so-called melt-shear organization technique. After a cross-linking reaction and the core particle removal, vivid structural colors are obtained due to the well-ordered voids within the metallopolymer-containing matrix. In addition, redox responsiveness is shown by the addition of chemical oxidation and reducing agents as well as by cyclic voltammetry studies, thus revealing both a change of surface wettability and a change of the structural reflection colors. Herein, the described one-pot strategies for the preparation of metallopolymer-containing core/shell hybrid particles and application of the melt-shear ordering technique paves the way to novel redox-responsive porous opal films, which are expected to be promising materials in the field of remote-switchable sensors or electrochemical adsorbents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1800428
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • colloidal crystals
  • metallopolymers
  • opals
  • porous materials
  • stimuli-responsive materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry


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