A new nanoscale device capable of manipulating light has been created by Australian researchers.
With the smart materials ability to filter specific colours it has the possibility of being used for smart of contact lenses which would be able to filter harmful optical radiation while not affecting vision.
It could even display information such as a heads up display.
Researcher Dr Withawat Withayachumnankul from the University of Adelaide said: Manipulation of light using these artificial crystals uses precise engineering. With advanced techniques to control the properties of surfaces, we can dynamically control their filter properties, which allow us to potentially create devices for high data-rate optical communication or smart contact lenses.
Tiny artificial crystals of titanium oxide dielectric resonators 100 to 200nm in size, were created to manipulate the light. The crystals were then embedded on a rubber-like material.
Madhu Bhaskaran associate Professor from RMIT University in Australia, said: By engineering the shape of these common materials, we can create a device that changes properties when stretched. This modifies the way the light interacts with and travels through the device, which holds promise of making smart contact lenses and stretchable colour changing surfaces.
According to the lead author Dr Phillip Gutruf, combining the rubber like material with titanium dioxide and achieving nanoscale features were the major challenge during the project. He said the technology meant light weight wearable optical components were possible as a result of this research.
by Martin Burns