Robert Style1 Eric Dufresne1

1, ETH Zürich, Zürich, , Switzerland

We aim to develop composite materials that combine the attractive mechanical properties of gels with new functionality, with a focus on optical properties. Inspired by processes in living organisms, we create micro-structure in gels by driving phase separation of the solvent. The resulting structure is highly uniform, and the characteristic length scale can be controlled by tuning the network mechanical properties. The resulting composites are highly stretchable and can demonstrate strain-dependent optical properties.