International. Taking as a model the wings of insects such as dragonflies, which boast the existence of ordered biological nanostructures on their surface and provide them with a unique camouflage capacity, scientists developed photonic crystal (PC) films of high transparency and vivid structural colors.
The studio developed independent PC films composed of polydimethylsiloxane infiltration into the interstices of a highly ordered opal PC, using methyl methacrylate spheres as building blocks. With the appropriate refractive index contrast (Δn = 0.08) the composite film revealed high transparency and sharp structural colors. Consequently, the film was invisible in shady environments and displayed a bright structural color under sunlight.
In addition, as a proof of concept, a biomimetic film in the form of a dragonfly was manufactured using a modeled substrate, which when placed in a green tree under sunlight, abundant structural colors appeared at different angles of specular vision. However, it was camouflaged in the environment when the shadows of the green tree hid the light or when observed at non-specular angles with the light.
Potential applications for this development include biomimetic camouflage and intelligent stealth materials for bionic machines.
Source: Royal Society of Chemistry.
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