Gold Is A Key Ingredient In New Type Of Thermal Camouflage - Study
(Kitco News) - Developing a thin and wearable thermal camouflage is a difficult task, but a group of researchers cracked the case by using gold of all things, according to a new research.
A team of scientists from across the globe has successfully developed a thermal camouflage that can change a subject's temperature to match the outside environment within seconds, rendering night-vision devices useless.
The beauty of the new design is that it is less than 50 micrometers thin, flexible, and can be integrated with any type of clothing.
To achieve this, researchers used graphene, ions, nylon and gold coating.
More specifically, the new technology has two flexible electrodes. The top one consists of layers of graphene and the bottom is made up of a gold-coated heat-resistant nylon. Between the two are positively and negatively charged ions.
When a low voltage is dispatched the ions travel into the graphene, allowing it to equalize the wearer’s temperature with that of the outside environment.
The research paper, which was published in the journal Nano Letters, showed how this technology thermally camouflaged a person’s hand.
“By combining active thermal surfaces with a feedback mechanism, we demonstrate realization of an adaptive thermal camouflage system which can reconfigure its thermal appearance and blend itself with the varying thermal background in a few seconds,” the paper said. “Furthermore, we show that these devices can disguise hot objects as cold and cold ones as hot.”
Other potential uses of this research could be the development of heat shields for satellites and other outer-space objects.
Universities involved in this study included American MIT, British University of Manchester, Turkey’s Bilkent University and Izmir Institute of Technology.