this futuristic plastic changes color like a shimmering opal as you stretch it - clear plastic film
What do butterflies have in common with precious gems?
They share vivid, dim colors that change depending on what you think of them --
They are transformed by complex microstructure.
Now, British scientists draw a page from the colorful books of nature, creating colors with nanotechnology --
Make the world of the future more brilliant plastic.
In a recent study published in the journal Nature Communications, the team described how they could pile up tiny nanoparticles into a strange material that flashes when it flashes. The rubber-
Just like the material changes from the original color during stretching and compression
There is no paint or dye that has never been achieved before.
Jeremy bowmberg, a University of Cambridge physicist who led the study, compared the structure to plastic bags stuck in chewing gum.
Very unattractive for something so beautiful, right?
First, the team "grows" transparent plastic nanospheres in VAT and then dries them.
Solid plastic balls stick together on the outside, so they gather together.
However, when pellets wrap around the rollers, they do something strange --
They suddenly turn into a shiny rubber material like Opal.
The substance may look cool on a large scale, but the nano scale is actually more interesting.
When tiny spheres and rollers push each other together, they are suddenly combined into perfect symmetry.
"They ordered beautiful buildings and finished them very quickly," bowmberg said . ".
Press a ball in the right way to lock them in the crystal structure, and it looks like the inside of the hive when viewed at close range.
It took 7 years to figure out how to create a color
'Changed the substance,' he said.
When they realized that they did not print nanoparticles on another substance to achieve the luminous effect, the team's major breakthrough came, instead they could wrap nanoparticles together with polymers, combine them into your own rubber fabric.
The result is similar to shaking a pile of marbles or ball bearings back and forth into the tray: they may fall into confusion, but will soon be perfect --looking layers.
"Within each layer, they form a beautiful grid," bowmberg said . ".
The butterfly's wings have similar effects, with tiny, colorful scales that reflect light.
Why spend seven years buying a beautiful piece of rubber?
This seems to be worth it: the structure of what the team calls "polymer opals" can be produced in any color, printed with the design that appears when stretching, or made translucent.
Since the size and thickness of the film can be manipulated, opals can be designed to change the color at a certain pressure level.
The material can be used to produce resistance, says bowmberg.
Counterfeit notes, caps that will be displayed if tampering occurs, or even bra straps that will become some color when stretched to perfect tension.
In the future, you can go through a building or car with a flash of sunshine --
Or blow up a red balloon that turns blue when it is properly inflated.
Bowmberg hopes to see the material put into commercial use within a year or two.
Maybe we will sit together and enjoy the colorful colors that come from it.
Anyway, with the help of nanotechnology, the future world will look more colorful. Erin Blakemore (@heroinebook)
A freelance journalist from Boulder, Colorado.
She is the author of the book shelf of the heroine (Harper).
Read more: thin and invisible "second skin" can treat eczema and hide wrinkles with artificial "octopus skin", and robots can bend and stretch while changing colors. Change leaves?
Scientists have just met the challenge.