World's First Full-Colour, Flexible Thin-Film Reflective Display

Debashis Chanda, from University of Central Florida (UCF), took inspiration from nature in creating what is being called the world's first full-colour, flexible thin-film reflective display.


(Nanostructure periods are chosen so colours match the original photograph at colour tuning saturation)

"All manmade displays like LCD and LED are rigid, brittle and bulky. But you look at an octopus. He can create colour on the skin itself covering a complex body contour and it is stretchable and flexible," said professor Chanda.

That was the motivation: Can we take some inspiration from biology and create a skin-like display?

Chanda was able to change the colour on an ultra-thin nano-structured surface by applying voltage. The new method does not need its own light source. Rather, it reflects the ambient light around it.

"Your camouflage, your clothing, your fashion items - all of that could change," he said.

This technology could enable devices that science fiction fans have been waiting for since the Fifties. Consider the flexible wall sheet display from EC Tubb's 1958 classic The Mechanical Monarch:

Against one wall a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling colour....

Via Polarization-independent actively tunable colour generation on imprinted plasmonic surfaces via NDTV.

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