Brush block copolymers are a class of comb polymers that feature polymeric side chains densely grafted to a linear backbone. These polymers display interesting properties due to their dense functionality, low entanglement, and ability to rapidly self-assemble to highly ordered nanostructures. The ability to prepare brush polymers with precise structures has been enabled by advancements in controlled polymerization techniques. This Feature Article highlights the development of brush block copolymers as photonic crystals that can reflect visible to near-infrared wavelengths of light. Fabrication of these materials relies on polymer self-assembly processes to achieve nanoscale ordering, which allows for the rapid preparation of photonic crystals from common organic chemical feedstocks. The characteristic physical properties of brush block copolymers are discussed, along with methods for their preparation. Strategies to induce self-assembly at ambient temperatures and the use of blending techniques to tune photonic properties are emphasized.
Liberman-Martin, A. L.; Chu, C. K.; Grubbs, R. H. Application of Bottlebrush Block Copolymers as Photonic Crystals. Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2017, 38, 1700058. https://doi.org/10.1002/marc.201700058