UK Team Invent Color Changing Material

"Artificial Chameleon Skin"
Source:  University of Cambridge

Big Advance in Nanotechnology to Mimic Nature
From scientists at the University of Cambridge in the UK a new innovative material that changes color when exposed to heat or light. The team calls it "artificial chameleon skin" and says it has wide application from active camouflage to large-scale dynamic displays.  The skin is powered by nanomachines.  The scientists say their work represents a big advance in using nanoscale technology to do biomimicry or mimic nature.

Dramatic Color Changes
The scientific inspiration came from color changing animals like chameleons and in particular their color changing skin cells, chromatophores.  The team essentially created artificial chromatophores by using tiny particles of gold, coating it with a polymer shell and then squeezing it into tiny drops of water in oil.  When exposed to heat or light, the nanoparticles stick together and dramatically change color, instantly.  The findings have just been published in Advanced Optical Materials.

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