Researchers have made quite a striking advancement and have managed to create a microwave-proof material that can not only block microwaves but can also block infrared and light. Additionally, this new “magical” material can also change to a transparent state, allowing IR and microwaves to pass through.
It’s an intriguing discovery that is highlighted very well in one of the most recent reports from The Debrief. According to those reports, the material was inspired by the properties of squid skin, which is able to shift from translucent to opaque and back. This new material is hoped to be used for “stealth materials” that will protect electronics and improve energy efficiency in buildings.
The magic material behaves differently depending on whether you are stretching or contracting it. This is what makes it fascinating. It’s not the first material that can do this. Previously we’ve seen materials that could block electromagnetic emissions, like microwaves, as well as materials that can just block infrared light.
However, seeing a singular material that can block both is exciting, because of the possible implications it has for the electrical and military world. The researchers say that they wanted to “integrated surface structures with a conductive network in a soft film that could quickly transition between shielding visible-to-microwave bands and allowing them through.”
A paper on the research details the discovery a bit more in-depth. Researchers used the technology to create a film consisting of two layers made from nanowires, and stretch elastomers. From here they stretched and contracted it to create tiny cracks and wrinkles on the surface of the material. It’s these cracks and wrinkles that allow the material to change what it blocks depending on how far out it is stretched or contracted.
When used with other tech that researchers have come up with like solar films without sunlight ,, this material appears to be pointing towards a bright future.
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