Chanda was able to change the colour on an ultra-thin nano-structured surface by applying voltage. The new method does not need its own light source. Rather, it reflects the ambient light around it. "Your camouflage, your clothing, your fashion items - all of that could change," he said. Traditional displays like those on a mobile phone require a light source, filters and a glass plates. But animals like chameleons, octopuses and squids are born with thin, flexible, colour-changing displays that do not need a light source - their skin.
Chanda's display is only about few microns thick, compared to a 100-micron-thick human hair. Such an ultra-thin display can be applied to flexible materials like plastics and synthetic fabrics. The research has major implications for existing electronics like televisions, computers and mobile devices that have displays considered thin by today's standards but monstrously bulky in comparison. The potentially bigger impact could be whole new categories of displays that have never been thought of.
"This is a cheap way of making displays on a flexible substrate with full-colour generation." The research is detailed in the journal Nature Communications.