Changing color no longer a dream as scientists find a way out

Have you wondered if those advertisements where a man or woman changes their clothes in a random motion, promoting online shopping sites come true? Well, you might just get lucky with this new invention.

Scientists of University of Central Florida led by an Indian-origin scientist, Debashis Chanda have researched and created world’s first full-color, flexible and reflective display that will enable one to change color and patterns anytime.

Inspired by animals like octopus, chameleons and squid who can change the color of their skins as often as they like, this artificial skin developed by Chanda and his team defies the known manmade displays such as LCD, LED and CRT, which needs a light source, many light filters and glass plates to produce the right color on each and every tips of their surface.

The invented method instead of needing a light source reflects the right colors of light to create a figure.

A thin liquid crystal layer is sandwiched over a metallic nanostructure shaped like a microscopic egg carton that absorbs some light wavelengths and reflects others. The reflected colors can be managed by the voltage pertained to the liquid crystal layer. The connection between liquid crystal molecules and Plasmon waves on the nanostructured metallic surface played main role in generating the polarization-independent, full-color reflective display.

Dr. Debashis Chanda

Dr. Debashis Chanda

This display is only a few microns thick yet has a larger color palette compared to known electronic items such as computers, televisions and mobile phones, which have displays millimeters thick than that of the full-color display. Not only this, the new display is supple enough to be folded, crumpled or even worn.

Chanda said, “Your camouflage, your clothing, your fashion items – all of that could change.Why would I need 50 shirts in my closet if I could change the color and pattern?” he added.

The scientists used a simple and cheap nano-imprinting method to produce the reflective full-color display. “This is a cheap way of making displays on a flexible substrate with full-color generation,” Chanda said.

The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.

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