A new concept of intensity-tunable structural coloration is proposed on the basis of a helical photonic crystal (HPC). The HPCs are constructed from a mixture of chiral reactive mesogens by spin-coating, followed by the photo-polymerization. A liquid crystal (LC) layer, being homogeneously aligned, is prepared on the HPCs to serve as a tunable waveplate. The electrical modulation of the phase retardation through the LC layer directly leads to the intensity-tunable Bragg reflection from the HPCs upon the incidence of the polarized light. The bandwidths of the structural colors are found to be well preserved regardless of the applied voltage. A prototype of a full color reflective-type display, incorporated with three primary color units, is demonstrated. Our concept of decoupling two mutually independent functions, the intensity modulation by the tunable waveplate and the color reflection by the HPCs provides a simple and powerful way of producing a full color reflective-type display which possesses high color purity, high optical efficiency, the cycling durability, and the design flexibility.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Nanjing Sea Star Blue Display Technology Center.