Smart Nano-colloidal Metamaterials

Metamaterials have been getting recent press for their potential to create invisibility cloaks. Colloids are particle suspensions that have always been part of our lives (blood, milk, fog…) and operate at the nano level. Smart materials offer the ability to change their characteristics under control.

Incorporating metamaterials into colloids will allow them to be deployed into a wide range of applications. Since electromagnetic fields determine the state of suspension in colloids, smart control using those fields seems a natural combination. Nano structures can be implemented to supply communication and control networks into the colloids as well as different particle combinations.

The end result of this will be a group of fluids or gels or paints that can be applied almost anywhere to provide a range of special optical characteristics that can be modified and changed dynamically under control.

Chameleon camouflage that can sense a nearby background and copy it to blend in and achieve near invisibility will get financial support for military applications but will also be used in fashion and interior decorating. A small modification of the same application will provide the ability to turn any surface into a display medium. Walls and furniture become screens. Our everyday environments will turn into virtual reality scenes like a holodeck. Augmented reality information will be added not only by heads-up displays but also on the object itself.

Optical phenomena is just the beginning of metamaterials. They also have the potential to change attraction and repulsion factors that can be used to control self-assembly. A smart utility fog might produce morphing materials that can change shape.

SEE ALSO:
Colloidal Camoflauge
Smart Colloids
Photonic Colloidal Crystals
Flexible Metamaterials
Metamaterials
Utility Fog
AR Displays
Virtual Crime Scene

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