We use paints, inks and dyes to create beautiful colours, but the colour is often achieved by using harmful or even toxic chemicals.
Ever noticed how vibrant colours are when they appear in nature though? Consider butterfly wings for example, some of them seem to shimmer or almost glow. How do they do that without paint and toxic pigments?
A group called Cypris Materials in the US has been working on a colour system that you can "tune" to different colours, inspired by the structure on butterfly wings.
Butterfly wings have "microscales" and "nanoscales", covered in ridges of varying heights, which interact with light in different ways. It's the way these structures refract light - rather than pigment - that produces the colour.
Mimicking nature to produce "structural" colour, Cypris Materials have come up with a system that completely sidesteps the use of harmful toxins to produce colour. They're aiming to apply it's use to everyday applications such as printing, cosmetics, electronics, packaging and automotive.
Looking at nature offers a wild array of opportunities in innovation.
ps. A quick reminder that I'm looking for 3 organisations - we're trialling a new workshop format to uncover unique opportunities (like this!), specifically for your company and industry. Please fill in the very short form here.
These free workshops will be held during the week commencing May 9th.
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