English | 简体中文 | 繁體中文 | 한국어 | 日本語
Tuesday, 26 January 2021, 01:00 HKT/SGT
Share:
    

Source: Science and Technology of Advanced Materials
Materials coloured like a peacock
Materials inspired by the colour changes in a peacock's feather could lead to anti-counterfeit and sensing applications.

Tsukuba, Japan, Jan 26, 2021 - (ACN Newswire) - Melanin-like compounds can be precisely designed and arranged to colour materials using a mechanism similar to that found in a peacock's feathers. Chemist Michinari Kohri of Chiba University in Japan reviewed the latest research on these 'melanin-mimetic materials' and their potential applications for the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.


Scientists are developing materials inspired by the structural colours in a peacock's feathers. (Credit: Takashi Tsujino)


Melanin and melanin-like compounds absorb some of the light that is scattered from the microstructures within materials. Scientists are finding ways to control this phenomenon to give a variety of iridescent and non-iridescent colours. (Credit: Michinari Kohri)


Melanin is a dark pigment that gives hair and skin its colour. It is also essential for the bright colours we see in some organisms. When light interacts with the structures of feathers, wings and shells of many organisms, like peacocks, butterflies and jewel beetles, it is scattered, appearing white. But when melanin is interspersed within these structures, some of the scattered light is absorbed, producing various colours. Scientists are looking for ways to mimic these so-called 'structural colour' changes of living organisms in synthetic materials.

"Vivid structural colours can be obtained by constructing microstructures containing a light-absorbing black material made of natural or artificial melanin," says Kohri. "Research in this area is progressing rapidly worldwide."

A leading contender is a compound called polydopamine. It is made of a material naturally found in the body, so it is biocompatible. It is also dark, so it absorbs light like melanin. Scientists found they could control polydopamine's iridescence - how much the colour changes as the angle of light hitting it shifts, similar to a peacock's feather. They achieved this by altering the particle size or by adding compounds that react to a magnetic field.

Scientists are also investigating particles formed of a polystyrene core and a polydopamine shell. Changing the diameter of the inner core, for example, leads to different colours. Making the polydopamine shell thicker causes the particles to be less closely packed, leading to non-iridescent structural colour, which remains the same regardless of the light angle.

Scientists have also toyed with controlling colour and angle-dependence by changing the shapes of polystyrene/polydopamine particles, making them hollow on the inside, and adding multiple coatings to the external shell.

Polydopamine particles are showing potential for a variety of applications. For example, they can be used as inks to dye fabrics or in cosmetics. They could help prove a product is real versus counterfeit by shifting colour with strong light, wetting, or temperature changes. Finally, scientists have found that adding these particles to rubber causes it to change colour when stretched or relaxed, which could be useful for sensing local stress and strain in bridges.

Further information
Michinari Kohri
Chiba University
Email: [email protected]

About Science and Technology of Advanced Materials Journal

Open access journal STAM publishes outstanding research articles across all aspects of materials science, including functional and structural materials, theoretical analyses, and properties of materials.

Chikashi Nishimura
STAM Publishing Director
[email protected]

Press release distributed by ResearchSEA for Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.

Topic: Research and development
Source: Science and Technology of Advanced Materials

Sectors: Chemicals, Nanotechnology, Cosmetics & Spec.Chem
https://www.acnnewswire.com
From the Asia Corporate News Network


Copyright © 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Asia Corporate News Network.

 

Science and Technology of Advanced Materials Releated News
Apr 16, 2021 19:00 HKT/SGT
Dye-based device sees the invisible
Mar 30, 2021 00:00 HKT/SGT
Putting a spin on Heusler alloys
Mar 10, 2021 20:00 HKT/SGT
Size matters: Bimodal imaging receives nanoparticle enhancement
Feb 12, 2021 01:00 HKT/SGT
Elastomers develop stronger bonds of attachment
Jan 13, 2021 16:00 HKT/SGT
Micropillar compression for finding heat-tolerant alloys
More news >>
Copyright © 2021 ACN Newswire - Asia Corporate News Network
Home | About us | Services | Partners | Events | Login | Contact us | Cookies Policy | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Terms of Use | RSS
US: +1 800 291 0906 | Beijing: +86 400 879 3881 | Hong Kong: +852 8192 4922 | Singapore: +65 6653 1210 | Tokyo: +81 3 6859 8575