As materials chemist we are always striving to create new and exciting materials. In this Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. communication we report the preparation of cellulose nanocrystal elastomer composites that display reversible visible color when mechanical stress is applied (see video). This represents one of the first reports of a responsive photonic crystal elastomer prepared using a biorenewable resource. Using this system, we were able to use simple patterning procedures to spatially encode the elastomer; this ability to selectively modify parts of the material could open new avenues in sensor technology and security applications.
Charlotte Boott and Andy Tran
We thank Tyler Nadeau-Lewis and his brilliant team for creating and showing us this comic. The "Un-Shellfish Chemist" features Prof. Mark MacLachlan, who shares some of his research goals in pursuing sustainable materials.
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MacLachlan Group 2021.