Scalable, ultra-resistant structural colors based on network metamaterials

Henning Galinski, Gael Favraud, Hao Dong, J. S. Totero Gongora, Grégory Favaro, Max Döbeli, Ralph Spolenak, Andrea Fratalocchi, Federico Capasso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Structural colors have drawn wide attention for their potential as a future printing technology for various applications, ranging from biomimetic tissues to adaptive camouflage materials. However, an efficient approach to realize robust colors with a scalable fabrication technique is still lacking, hampering the realization of practical applications with this platform. Here, we develop a new approach based on large-scale network metamaterials that combine dealloyed subwavelength structures at the nanoscale with lossless, ultra-thin dielectric coatings. By using theory and experiments, we show how subwavelength dielectric coatings control a mechanism of resonant light coupling with epsilon-near-zero regions generated in the metallic network, generating the formation of saturated structural colors that cover a wide portion of the spectrum. Ellipsometry measurements support the efficient observation of these colors, even at angles of 70°. The network-like architecture of these nanomaterials allows for high mechanical resistance, which is quantified in a series of nano-scratch tests. With such remarkable properties, these metastructures represent a robust design technology for real-world, large-scale commercial applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e16233-e16233
Number of pages1
JournalLight: Science & Applications
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 27 2016


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