People have been making paints for thousands of years, but now nanotechnology deliveres a novel approach for creating full-color images by printing nanopatterns out of aluminium. Researchers from the U.S. and China have theoretically analyzed various materials and came to the conclusion that aluminium can be used for creating nearly arbitrary colors. The color we see in any object is the result of absorption by the material of that object. Usually white light incident on a surface gets partially reflected, partially absorbed, and transmitted. This is why in opaque materials the spectrum of absorption defines the color of that object. Selective absorption of colors is typically obtained by various pigments. Here, instead of designing appropriate materials chemically, researchers proposed to control the absorption spectra of surfaces by patterned aluminium metasurfaces. They proposed that chemically identical structures of varying sizes can produce colors across a substantial part of the color chart.
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