Photonic Gels Act as Colorful Chemical Sensors
Materials scientists at Rice Univ. and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created very thin color-changing films that may serve as part of inexpensive sensors for food spoilage or security, multiband optical elements in laser-driven systems and even as part of high-contrast displays.
The new work, led by Rice materials scientist Ned Thomas, combines polymers into a unique, self-assembled metamaterial that, when exposed to ions in a solution or in the environment, changes color depending on the ions’ ability to infiltrate the hydrophilic (water-loving) layers.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/10/photonic-gels-act-colorful-chemical-sensors