Scientists seem to be extremely fascinated by the color-changing ability of chameleons. A few days back we heard about a group of scientists who after studying several species of chameleons concluded that these reptiles can change the color of their skin due to the presence of nanocrystals. Now, another report is suggesting that a group of scientists at the University of California has created an artificial skin that possesses the color changing ability Chameleons are known to possess.
The team of engineers have borrowed a trick from Mother Nature and developed an excessively thin material which changes color that too on demand. You can make the said material change its color just by applying a very small amount of force.
How this newly discovered material will help? Experts are saying that this artificial color-changing skin can be used for creating an new category of display technology. In addition, it can also be used for creating sensors for detecting defects in aircraft, bridges and buildings that were otherwise imperceptible. The most common application of the material, according to those experts, would, however, be creating color-shifting camouflages.
Connie J. Chang-Hasnain, a member of the team of engineers responsible for developing this unique material, said that the skin created by them is the first of its kind; to date no other person could create an artificial skin that changes its color just after being flexed.
The engineers will still need to make a lot of modifications to the material before making the technology available to all. Right now, they have only created a square layer of the material with each side measuring1cm for demonstrating the material/technology. So, it is believed that a number of modifications will have to be made for making larger pieces of the material. It’s needless to say that for commercial application of the technology, larger pieces of the color-changing silicon will be needed.
Chang-Hasnain, when asked about future plans he and his colleagues have, said that next they will be working to produce the material in large-scale. He assured that the team already has the facilities ready for beginning large scale manufacturing of the color-changing artificial skin.
The engineers responsible for this amazing breakthrough are hoping that the special material discovered by them is used in monitoring, security, and entertainment industry.