What color can be considered to be perfectly white? A starched shirt? Medical gown? Or maybe a sheet of paper from the nearest printer? All this, of course, true, but a group of scientists from Cambridge University have managed to create a substance 20 times whiter than any known.
Surprisingly, the resulting product is not the brainchild of chemical industry. Or rather, is, but not completely. To create a “completely white” scientists have copied the structure and properties of scales of South-East Asian Cyphochilus beetle. The color of this insect are not caused by pigments, and the size and properties of superfine chitin scales that form the shell. The fact that the white color is formed by mixing all the other colors of the spectrum. The greatest white so, if all colors are reflected with equal force. Experts studying the Cyphochilus beetles, found that the coating of the shell is very thin and the white color is formed due to the complex spatial structure of the layer. Chitin filaments are woven in a delicate web whose diameter is a few thousandths of a millimeter. That is, its color, the beetles do not get a mix of colors of the visible spectrum, but because of the “braided” network of chitin. Due to this, the light is reflected very effectively and is an almost “perfect white”. The real nature nanotechnology!
To repeat technology experts copied the structure of the scales of beetles using cellulose thin threads which were woven into the structure, “borrowed” from the beetles. In the future development can be used to create incredibly bright paints and coatings of new generation, which can be used in cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries.
It is also worth to remember about “the black stuff” Vantablack. He is so black that covered their subjects differ as two-dimensional. Regardless of spatial forms.