An innovative smart material able to change color and opacity when stretched could have applications ranging from windows to encoding devices.
Created by a team from the University of Connecticut, the materials belong to a group called mechanocromics—polymers that will change their response to light when physically altered. With these abilities in mind, the team created four different mechanchromic devices.
A transparency change mechanochromism (TCM) developed by team will change opacity when stretched, which could be used to create smart widows with varying opacity. Another type will glow brightly when stretched, while the third type will change color when subjected to force. The final type exhibits encryption mechanochromism (EM), which can be used to reveal or hide a pattern or words when stressed.