This technology is a new class of materials capable of thermal regulation and active camouflage. These cephalopod-inspired materials, configurable to different geometries, can be used in many sectors, ranging from consumer to industrial to military applications.
• Textiles: provide thermal comfort and/or camouflage properties if desired
• Infrastructure: utilize in windows and other parts of buildings
• Security & Defense: incorporate into camouflage platforms
• Electronics: electronic shielding or packaging material
·Tunable: Material modulates both broadband and narrowband
·Dielectric: Material is both an actuator and energy harvester
·Actuation: Accommodates both mechanical and electrical actuationstrategies
·Adaptive: Camouflaging capabilities are active rather than static
·Flexible: Material is soft and stretchable and can accommodate varying geometries
·Autonomous: Operable without manual control
Thermal modulation is necessary for both insulation and temperature regulation. Materials capable of thermal regulation are useful in clothing, buildings, and other settings. Meanwhile, active camouflage materials, which are capable of readily adapting to their environments, also utilize the concept of thermal regulation by modulating infrared radiation. However, most of these materials are limited in their adaptability and their tunable spectral range. This technology introduces a new class of materials capable of both thermal regulation and active camouflage.
This material is novel because it can modulate its infrared properties both over the entire infrared spectrum and within a specific infrared wavelength range. Furthermore, the material can be actuated either mechanically or electrically. Devices made from the material can also operate autonomously. Finally, the flexibility and stretchability of this material mean that it can adopt different geometries and configurations for various industrial applications.
The material has been developed and tested on the laboratory scale. The key properties of this material, such as spectral range, response time, and cyclability, have been characterized. Future plans include commercial scale-up.