Washington: Researchers have invented a material that is invisible to infrared cameras.
In the study, conducted by UC Irvine’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering, researchers created a biomimetic infrared camouflage coating inspired by Loliginidae - also known as pencil squids.
Led by Alon Gorodetsky, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science, the team produced reflectin - a structural protein essential in the squid’s ability to change color and reflect light - in common bacteria and used it to make thin, optically active films that mimic the skin of a squid.
With the appropriate chemical stimuli, the films’ coloration and reflectance can shift back and forth, giving them a dynamic configurability that allows the films to disappear and reappear when visualized with an infrared camera.
Gorodetsky said that this is just the first step in developing a material that will self-reconfigure in response to an external signal.
The study has been published online in Advanced Materials.