The material that changes color like a chameleon

Chameleons, those mutable animals. No, we are not talking about the politicians who emulate them. But these amazing reptiles that change based on mood or temperature. You can “adjust” the distance between the photoreflective nanocrystals on your skin. This way they create a range of colors that they change depending on their status. With them as a reference, thanks to science, the material that changes color was created.

The material, which changes color like a chameleon, is inspired by these beautiful animals.
The material, which changes color like a chameleon, is inspired by these beautiful animals.
Nanocrystals

A team of scientists did it. The material that changes color depends on pressure, elasticity or moisture. The results were published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. The structure and composition of the skin of these reptiles was analyzed to find a possible artificial analogy. And they found it. Scientists Fei Song and Yu-Zong Wang are from the State Laboratory for Polymer Materials Technology in Sichuan. They say the key is cellulose nanocrystals. It is a stronger material than steel that can put itself together. It can form a film with iridescent colors.

The material changes color when stretched.
The material changes color when stretched.
Possible utilities

They found that the film gradually changed from red to green depending on how much it was stretched. And it returned to the original color when the manipulation was stopped. According to the researchers, this is the first time that color changes have been made to cellulose nanocrystals. It was also found to be sensitive to color changes due to pressure and moisture.

What uses can an intelligent film have, the color of which changes depending on its state? Scientists suggest it could be used to develop force sensors. You could develop new methods of encrypting information and even a technique to detect counterfeiting. It all depends on what color it is stretched with.

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