Active color controllable membrane

Tech ID: 23964 / UC Case 2014-129-0

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 10,114,238 10/30/2018 2014-129

Brief Description

Being able to actively change the color of objects is highly desirable for a variety of applications, including sensing, anti-counterfeit, camouflage, jewelry and visual art. Conventional optical coating consists of one or multiple layers of thin films, relying on accumulative optical interference of the layers. However, these traditional coating methods do not provide means to actively control color.


To address this challenge, UC Berkeley researchers invented a color-controllable membrane with color tuning capability either by active actuation or passive stimulation. Colors are controllable via photonic, mechanical or electro stimulation. The active color display is promising for making artificial chameleon skin for camouflage and the color coating of visual arts. The color change ability via passive stimulation can be applied toward labeling mechanical changes at visible wavelength resolution. Other structural color applications include beam-steering devices for a fixed wavelength.


  • Color controllable coating and display
  • Beam steering
  • Passive color labeling in micro entities
  • Macro scale mechanical property sensing
  • Passive color patterns for anti-counterfeiting, e.g. paper currency
  • Biomedical applications


  • Colors can be actively controlled compared to traditional optical coating methods
  • Ultra-broad band high reflectivity in 0th order
  • Colors can be changed for a particular viewing angle
  • Colors are split spatially in -1 diffraction order with minimal loss of optical power

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Other Information


- photonic, display, color display, color sensing, anti-counterfeit, imaging, materials

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