Wide‐temperature polymer stabilized cubic blue phases (BPI and BPII) facilitated the emergence of practically feasible band‐edge BP lasers. However, the mysterious “blue fog” amorphous BPIII always remained elusive in terms of its applicability to photonic devices due to its random amorphous structure devoid of photonic bandgaps and due to the difficulty in effectively identifying and stabilizing it for practical applications. We present the first photonic device based on amorphous BPIII by demonstrating that a three‐dimensional BPIII polymer scaffold or template, when infiltrated with liquid crystal and laser dye, forms a system where random lasing action is generated due to multiple scattering events occurring in the nanoporous and disordered polymer replica of BPIII. This study represents a facile approach for the development of photonic devices which favorably exploit unique polymer network morphologies for laser emission. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2018
The first photonic device based on amorphous blue phase III (BPIII) liquid crystals is presented. Random lasing occurs in a laser dye infiltrated three‐dimensional BPIII polymer scaffold due to its nanoporous and disordered polymer network morphology. This device represents a platform to combine the advantages of laser emission and wide tunability offered by polymer‐based three‐dimensional nanostructures.