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Published on January 31st, 2013 | by James Ayre

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Color-Changing Photonic Fibers Created, Inspired By The Bastard Hogberry

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January 31st, 2013 by
 
A new type of flexible color-changing photonic fiber has been created by researchers at Harvard University and the University of Exeter. When it’s stretched, the fiber changes color, with the color varying from a deep red to a bright blue. The researchers think that the new fiber could be used for the creation of ‘smart’ fabrics that visibly change color when exposed to heat or pressure. Such fabrics could have a wide variety of potential uses.

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“Our fiber-rolling technique allows the use of a wide range of materials, especially elastic ones, with the color-tuning range exceeding by an order of magnitude anything that has been reported for thermally drawn fibers,” says coauthor Joanna Aizenberg, Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science at Harvard SEAS, and Kolle’s adviser.

The fibers were inspired by the fruit of a common South American plant, the bastard hogberry. The unique structural elements in the berry’s surface layers create the bright iridescent blue color that the plant is known for.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



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