The Next Generation Of Flat-Screen Technology Could Be Inspired By Squid Ink

Cephalopods change colour by mechanically activating chromatophores via muscle contraction. Image: Klaus Stiefel, Qiming Wang and Gregory Gossweiler

Researchers have created new visual display technology based on the ability of squid and other cephalopods to change colour by fine-tuning muscle tension.

The man-made version uses electricity to control tensions in a polymer surface embedded with dyes which change colour in response to tension changes.

The authors say that this technology may be a future alternative to traditional flat screens.

Xuanhe Zhao of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and colleagues show that the patterns, such as letters and shapes, can be displayed and erased numerous times.

The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Cephalopods change colour by mechanically activating chromatophores via muscle contraction. A similar concept is used to fabricating artificial cephalopod skins, where electric field control over elastomers allows activation of mechanophores and provides on-demand and variable fluorescent patterns. Credit: Klaus Stiefel, Qiming Wang and Gregory Gossweiler

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