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Aug 21, 2019

Colour-changing artificial ‘chameleon skin’ powered by nanomachines

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics

Researchers have developed artificial ‘chameleon skin’ that changes color when exposed to light and could be used in applications such as active camouflage and large-scale dynamic displays.

The material, developed by researchers from the University of Cambridge, is made of tiny particles of gold coated in a polymer shell, and then squeezed into microdroplets of water in oil. When exposed to heat or , the particles stick together, changing the color of the material. The results are reported in the journal Advanced Optical Materials.

In nature, animals such as chameleons and cuttlefish are able to change color thanks to chromatophores: skin cells with contractile fibers that move pigments around. The pigments are spread out to show their color, or squeezed together to make the cell clear.

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