Scientists at the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology in China have developed a Chameleon paint that can change color according to the weather or at the touch of a smartphone.
The paint uses controllable nano cells, or crystalline micro beads, that can be inflated or deflated to deflect natural light at different wavelengths to produce an array of different colours picked up by the human eye. Each cell contains a metal core, which will shrink the size of the cell, pulling its shell inward, when an electric current is passed through it or in reaction to temperature.
On cold, dreary days the lower room temperature will cause the cells to react with rapid, psychedelic shifts in hue. Alternatively, on warmer days they could produce cooler tones in response to the heat. During the experiment, the photonic diffraction produced shifts from magenta to green and dramatic blues. Besides reacting to the weather, the paint’s color can be controlled by manipulating the electric current passing through the paint – using a smartphone.
One of the major challenges faced by the team was to manufacture tiny nano cells, which are several hundredths the diameter of a human hair. However, after working with chemical companies they are now able to produce several litres of paint per day. Currently, the team is focused on bringing the technology into mass-production.
Excerpts from Business Insider Australia and image courtesy of Philips/Business Insider Australia