In a latest development, researchers developed the lightest paint, which is energy-saving that repels heat, comes in any color. The researchers developed the paint, which they named as “Plasmonic paint”, inspired by butterfly wings.
Not made from pigment, the color is created structurally through the arrangement of nanoparticles. The researchers claimed that it would only take just 1.4 kilograms of plasmonic paint to cover a Boeing 747. It generally takes at least 454 kilograms of conventional commercial paint to do the same. They said that this showed that the plasmonic paint could significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases required for flight.
Plasmonic paint is now only in labs now. Though long way ahead remains, the researchers have made the paint in various colors using techniques that can easily be scaled up, and that is what they will be working on next.
The researchers claim that the paint keeps structures cooler. As the paint structure reflects the entire infrared spectrum, so less heat is absorbed. They said that surfaces underneath the new paint stay 13 to 16 degrees Celsius (25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than they would if they were covered with regular commercial paint.
Nano scientist DebashisChanda, who led the team, said that the temperature difference plasmonic paint promises would lead to significant energy savings. Using less electricity for cooling would also cut down carbon dioxide emissions, lessening global warming, the scientist said.
Plasmonic paint uses the nanoparticles of two colorless materials – aluminum and aluminum oxide. By arranging them in different ways on top of an oxide-coated aluminum mirror, it is possible to control how light is scattered, reflected, or absorbed.
He mentioned that the structural colour is what makes the paint so lightweight – at a thickness of just 150 nanometers, the paint reaches full coloration, making it the lightest paint on record.
In this research, the team created the structural paint using an electron beam evaporator, which heats a substance at a highly controlled rate. This controlled evaporation allows small clusters of aluminum nanoparticles to self-assemble – the aluminum atoms are more attracted to each other than the oxide substrate they are grown on, so they naturally clump up.
By tweaking the pressure and temperature of the electron beam evaporator, the team can create structures that reflect different colors.”Crucially, this pressure- and temperature-controlled process ensures high reproducibility over broad areas in a single step, lowering the cost of production and enabling large-scale fabrication,” the team writes in their paper.