Here we report on a chromic slide-ring gel consisting of polyrotaxane by using a close-packed colloidal crystal as a template. In the slide-ring gel, the polymer chains with bulky end groups are not covalently cross-linked like chemical gels nor do they interact attractively like physical gels, but are topologically interlocked by figure-of-eight cross-links. The slide-ring gel has freely movable cross-links, which have a pulley effect on tensile deformation. This effect improves the mechanical properties of polymer gels. In this work, this physically and mechanically optimized polymer gel was used to make stimuli-responsive photonic band gap materials. Our gel exhibits solvatochromic behavior based on the change in structural color.
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