Graphene Based Adaptive Thermal Camouflage
Authors: Omer Salihoglu, Hasan Burkay Uzlu, Ozan Yakar, Shahnaz Aas, Osman Balci, Nurbek Kakevov, Sinan Balci, Sefik Suzer, Coskun Kocabas
Journal: Nano Letters
Publication Date: 27 June, 2018
Department of: Materials
Adaptive Thermal Camouflage
Infrared-viewing technologies detect the heat emitted by hot objects like a human body or vehicle. Stealth technologies use special coatings to make them less visible to infrared cameras by supressing the thermal radiation. But maintaining the cloaking as the object or its surroundings heats up or cools down has been an outstanding challenge which requires an ability to control the emitted thermal radiation dynamically. To overcome this, researchers at The University of Manchester and their international collaborators have used graphene, a material composed of a single layer of carbon atoms, to realize an adaptive thermal camouflage system which can reconfigure its thermal appearance and blend itself with the varying thermal background in a few seconds. This approach relies on electro-modulation of the optical properties of multilayer graphene via reversible intercalation of nonvolatile ionic liquids. This method provides efficient modulation of thermal radiation over the entire IR spectrum (from 2 to 25 µm). The demonstrated devices are light, thin, and ultra-flexible, so they can conformably coat their environment. It is anticipated that these results could provide new technologies, not only for thermal camouflage but also for adaptive IR optics, and adaptive heat shields for satellites.
- The human body radiates about 100 watts of infrared light at ambient temperature. Infrared cameras can easily detect the radiation from human body.
- Graphene provides a unique platform to control light from visible to microwave frequencies.
- These devices can allow hot bodies to appear cool and cold items to appear warm.