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Inspired by butterflies… Developing the world’s first energy and cost-saving nano coating | Sciences

Plasmonic coating is very light in weight, due to the large coating surface area to thickness ratio, in addition to achieving full colorization with a thickness of only 150 nanometers, making it the lightest coating in the world.

Debashis Chanda, a researcher at the University of Central Florida and a professor at the University of California’s Center for Nanoscience Technology, was inspired by butterflies to create the first environmentally friendly paint with multiple colors.

This paint is supposed to become an alternative to dyes based on industrial dyes, and Chanda believes that this innovation will contribute to efforts to save energy and help reduce global warming.

The results of his research were published in the journal “Science Advances” on the eighth of last March, and the journal considered it Featured article.

Color difference according to the structural arrangement of the material

Chanda said press release Posted on the official website of the University of Central Florida that “the range of colors and shapes in the natural world is amazing, ranging from colorful flowers, birds and butterflies, all the way to underwater creatures, such as fish and cephalopods.”

He added, “The geometric arrangement of the particles of a colorless substance produces a wide spectrum of colors, while we always need new particles for each color resulting from industrial dyes.”

According to the siteScience ABC(Science ABC) Butterflies get their color from two main sources: pigmentation and iridescence. Pigmentation is responsible for the normal color, because butterfly wings also contain color pigments, particularly melanin, which gives them the dark colors of yellow, brown and black.

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As for iridescence, it is a phenomenon in which the color of an object changes according to the angle from which it is viewed, and this occurs when light passes through a transparent surface that has many different layers, and is reflected on these many surfaces to give different colors of varying intensity that change according to the angle that you look at.

A butterfly’s wings are made up of many fine translucent scales that contribute to the iridescence, and the combination of all these reflections gives the butterfly’s wings their iridescent colour.

Iridescence is a phenomenon in which an object changes color depending on the angle from which it is viewed (University of Central Florida)

The research team has created a coating that uses the nanostructural arrangement of colorless materials, namely aluminum and aluminum oxide, instead of dyes to create colors, and is called “plasmonic coating”.

Pigment colorants control the absorption of light depending on the electronic property of the dye material, which requires the presence of a new molecule for each color, while the structural colorants control the way light is reflected, scattered or absorbed depending on the geometric arrangement of the nanostructures.

These brown colors are environmentally friendly, because they use only metals and oxides, unlike colors from current dyes that use synthetic molecules. The researchers combined their brown color chips with a binder to form long-lasting paints of all colours.

Chanda explained that the color in the developed paint lasts for a long time, saying, “The natural color fades in conventional paint, because the pigment loses its ability to absorb photons, but in plasmonic paint, the structural color will last for many centuries.”

Contributes to the cooling of the painted body

The plasmonic coating absorbs less heat because it reflects the entire infrared spectrum, resulting in the underlying surface being 13 to 16 degrees Celsius cooler than it would be if it were covered with a conventional commercial coating.

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“More than 10 percent of all electricity in the United States is used for air conditioning,” Chanda said.

He added, “The difference in temperatures that can be obtained by using plasmonic coatings will lead to significant energy savings, and so using less electricity for cooling would also reduce carbon dioxide emissions and reduce global warming.”

The plasmonic coating is lightweight and contributes to the cooling of the painted body (Getty Images)

very lite

According a report Published on Science Alert Plasmonic coating is very light in weight, due to the large coating surface area to thickness ratio, in addition to achieving full coloration with a thickness of only 150 nanometers, making it the lightest coating in the world.

Due to its light weight, 1.4 kilograms of it can cover a Boeing 747, which usually requires more than 454 kilograms of conventional paint.

Chanda explained that the next steps of the project aim to explore the energy-saving aspects of the developed paint, with the aim of improving its economic viability and the possibility of commercializing it, knowing that its production is still limited to the academic laboratory, which is expensive compared to the relatively lower cost of traditional paint manufactured in large facilities, as it Hundreds of gallons can be produced from it.

Chanda believes that it is necessary to “develop something different from the traditional paint that has a light weight and is non-toxic and plays a role in cooling the body with which it is painted.”