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FLEXIBLE ‘SKIN-LIKE’ COLOR DISPLAY DEVELOPED A fully flexible color display inspired by chameleon skin was developed by Debashis Chanda’s research team from the NanoScience Technology Center at UCF. Daniel Franklin was the lead researcher working on the project. This technology is the first of its kind that makes use of the full red-blue-green color spectrum. Future applications include providing instant camouflage for military clothing, color-changing functionality for regular clothing, and low-powered electronic screens. The team has been given a $300,000 grant by the National Science Foundation to develop the technology further.

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION The research has been highlighted internationally by the National Science Foundation as part of its International Year of Light. The work appeared as a featured article in Nature Communications journal June 2015 issue, along with features in the BBC News, ABC News, NBC News, Daily Mail, ScienceDaily,, Popular Science, EurekAlert, Orlando Sentinel, Times of India, Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle, The Hindu, and ZEE News. The technology has been licensed by E-Skin Displays Inc., CA.

oscillation of electrons on the metallic surface. From there, the light that the surface absorbs and reflects changes, in turn affecting the colors that the eye perceives. The voltage needed to power this display is low enough to be safe. A tiny battery will be able to power the process, similar to the battery of a cell phone.

INSPIRATION FROM NATURE The team drew inspiration from animals such as the octopus that can change color directly on their flexible skin, which covers their complex and organic shape. The motivation was to see if a skin-like display similar to the observation from nature could be developed that distanced itself from the rigid and bulky LCD, LED, and CRT displays. The technology developed delivers this flexible, stretchable and light-weight display with the thickness of human hair.

HOW IT WORKS Differing voltage levels are applied to change the color of the flexible surface display. The technology uses a nanostructured aluminum topped with liquid crystals. Voltage changes the angles of the liquid crystal molecules and consequently

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NanoMaterials Spring-Fall 2015  

NanoMaterials provides news and insight from nano and materials science research at the University of Central Florida. The magazine is publi...

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