Supraparticles with a Mechanically Triggerable Color‐Change‐Effect to Equip Coatings with the Ability to Report Damage
Small scratches and abrasion cause damage to packaging coatings. Albeit often invisible to the human eye, such small defects in the coating may ultimately have a strong negative impact on the whole system. For instance, gases may penetrate the coating and consequently the package barrier, thus leading to the degradation of sensitive goods. Herein, the indicators of mechanical damage in the form of particles are reported, which can readily be integrated into coatings. Shear stress-induced damage is indicated by the particles via a color change. The particles are designed as core-shell supraparticles. The supraparticle core is based on rhodamine B dye-doped silica nanoparticles, whereas the shell is made of alumina nanoparticles. The alumina surface is functionalized with a monolayer of a perylene dye. The resulting core-shell supraparticle system thus contains two colors, one in the core and one in the shell part of the architecture. Mechanical damage of this structure exposes the core from the shell, resulting in a color change. With particles integrated into a coating lacquer, mechanical damage of a coating can be monitored via a color change and even be related to the degree of oxygen penetration in a damaged coating.