Structural Color Inks

Structural Color Inks


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There are many periodic nanostructures in nature that produce colors. Inspired by nature, researchers have developed artificial structural colors that provide adjustable, iridescent, colorfast and nontoxic colors. Unlike traditional pigment colors, structural colors have unique optical properties that offer great potential for a variety of applications. In addition, structural colors are less toxic and are more environmentally friendly and stable color rendering methods. The preparation of colloidal assemblies is one of the most cost-effective and facile methods for producing structural colors. Alfa Chemistry can combine advanced micro-nano processing technology to prepare structural color ink, which provides a practical means for designing structural color graphics.

Structural Color Inks

Research and Practice of Colloids in Structural Color Inks

The micro-nano structure of colloidal materials makes them ideal materials for preparing structural color inks. Colloidal particles can form regular arrays through techniques such as self-assembly. These arrays have highly controllable and stable structures and have broad prospects in practical applications. Various strategies for structural color patterning using colloidal assemblies have been proposed. For example, structural color inks can be prepared by dispersing monodisperse silica particles in an acrylate-based photocurable resin. The prepared structural color inks can be directly used to create custom structural color graphics for various purposes.

Structural Color InksFig.1 Eiffel Tower patterns drawn using urethane acrylate inks.[1]

By changing the composition of the colloidal arrays, the structural colors can be adjusted. For example, changing the concentration of light-absorbing materials in the colloid arrays, or adding light-absorbing nanoparticles such as gold, silver, and titanium into the gaps of the dielectric colloid arrays. Both of these methods are ways to improve the saturation of structural colors.

Structural Color InksFig.2   Influence of the concentration of polydopamine nanoparticles on structural color.[2]

The main research direction of Alfa Chemistry is to develop controllable and multifunctional structural color inks and provide new insights for their applications. By designing and optimizing the manufacturing process, we can choose a combination from a collection of structural color inks with different materials, structures, production methods, and optical properties according to the requirements of the target application, and also improve the structural stability according to the target application. We are committed to promoting the application and development of structural color inks in popular fields such as color printing, display, anti-counterfeiting and high-sensitivity sensing.

What Can We Do?

  • Alfa Chemistry can provide colloidal materials and micro-nano processing technologies for structural color ink applications.
  • Alfa Chemistry explores the law between microstructure morphology and structural color, and can provide customized structural color patterns with high optical performance and sufficient mechanical stability.
  • Alfa Chemistry can provide customized solutions for enhanced optical properties of structural color inks.


  1. Jong Bin Kim, et al. Direct writing of customized structural-color graphics with colloidal photonic inks. Science Advances. 2021.
  2. Lee G H, et al. Colloidal Photonic Inks for Mechanochromic Films and Patterns with Structural Colors of High Saturation. Chemistry of Materials. 2019, 31(19).

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