MIT Created Color-Changing Ink That Can Be Reprogrammed With Light to Show Different Images
Taking inspiration from creatures like chameleons who are masters of color-changing camouflage, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a new spray-on ink that can infinitely change colors, designs, and patterns when blasted with different wavelengths of light.
The system, which the researchers have called PhotoChromeleon, uses a series of photochromic dyes (which work similarly to glasses that automatically darken in the presence of sunlight) that can be applied to almost any object using standard painting methods like brushes or sprays. The ink was created by mixing cyan, magenta, and yellow photochromic dyes together to create a single solution that works like paint, but one that’s invisible until exposed to a very specific light show.
Each of the colored dyes reacts to different wavelengths of light, so by using three different light sources, the researchers were able to selectively activate and deactivate the three different ink colors to produce specific shades, complex patterns,