The use of the so-called dichroic glass has been known to mankind since at least the fourth century AD – being almost an ordinary glass in its properties, it nevertheless has a very interesting feature, which consists in the ability to change its color, depending on the angle of incidence of light. That is why, inspired by such properties of glass, a team of material engineering specialists from the University of Wageningen presented their new mixed material based on dichroic glass using a small amount of gold nanoparticles – and all this was done using a standard 3D printer.
As a result of the addition of a small impurity of gold nanoparticles to the dichroic glass – which amounted to about 0.07% in the final result – as well as alcohol polyvinyl, which is one of the most flexible and common polymers, the specialists managed to print the new material on a 3D printer, which began to express very interesting properties. When they brought light to one corner of the nanoparticles, the printed object looked like dark brown, and then, placing the light source behind the nanoparticles – so that it passed through them as if – the object changed its color to bright purple.
Such unusual and certainly beautiful properties of a polymeric material based on dichroic glass simply cannot but be useful in a practical sense in many fields of activity, from light and heavy industries to the field of needlework. Be that as it may, but experts still want to refine their formula somewhat in order to give the final material an even greater degree of flexibility, elasticity and color expression.
Apparently, in the future, a team of specialists will find an interesting alternative to the current use of gold nanoparticles, thereby making the material even more affordable. In addition, it is assumed that specialists will also be able to additionally work to increase the accuracy and quantity of the obtained 3D material with a parallel decrease in the volume of raw materials used.