Gorodesky Group creates adaptive infared-reflecting system inpired by cephalapods.
Thermal vision cameras detect differences in temperature by sensing infrared wavelengths. If a coating could be developed that showed dynamic tuning of the effective temperature, it might be possible to hide objects from infrared sensing. Xu et al. started with a basic Bragg reflector made up of multiple layers of alternating materials with varying refractive index. The authors designed structures that were wavy to begin with so that they could be flattened out by electrical activation. This changed the infrared reflectivity and, thus, the effective temperature of the object observed in its infrared profile.