There is an immense need for developing a simple, rapid, and inexpensive detection assay for health-care applications or monitoring environments. To address this need, a photonic crystal (PC)-based sensor has been extensively studied due to its numerous advantages such as colorimetric measurement, high sensitivity, and low cost. However, the response time of a typical PC-based sensor is relatively slow due to the presence of the inevitable upper residual layer in colloidal structures. Hence, we propose an ultra-fast responsive PC-based volatile organic compound (VOC) sensor by using a "nanoscale easy tear (NET) process" inspired by commercially available "easy tear package". A colloidal crystal-polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composite can be successfully realized through nanoscale tear propagation along the interface between the outer surface of crystallized nanoparticles and bulk PDMS. The response time for VOC detection exhibits a significant decrease by allowing the direct contact with VOCs, because of perfect removal of the residual on the colloidal crystals. Moreover, vapor-phase VOCs can be monitored, which had been previously impossible. High-throughput production of the patterned colloidal crystal-polymer composite through the NET process can be applied to other multiplexed selective sensing applications or may be used for nanomolding templates. © 2018 The Author(s).