- story by MaterialDistrict
This mechnochromic material has the capacity to change colour and transparency in response to mechanical stimuli. When the stress is released, the material turns back to its original transparency and colour. The material is suitable for a range of applications, such as smart windows, robotics, etc.
The material is two-layered, made from a rigid film or photonic particles embedded in the elastomer layer, attaching to a layer of soft, stretchable elastomer substrate. The top layer has cracks and folds as stretched, and the surface becomes rough and scatters the light that comes through, changing the material’s transparency.
The material was inspired by the jellyfish. The skin of the jellyfish is usually flat and transparent, but when it wrinkles, it causes a folding surface that creates an opaque appearance.
The research was conducted mainly by Prof. Huidan Zeng and Yejia Jiang from East China University of Science and Technology and Prof. Luyi Sun and Songshan Zeng from University of Connecticut.