News From the Field
Applied Physics As Art
October 14, 2012
Harvard University researchers have demonstrated a new way to customize the color of metal surfaces by exploiting a completely overlooked optical phenomenon. For centuries it was thought that thin-film interference effects, such as those that cause oily pavements to reflect a rainbow of swirling colors, could not occur in opaque materials. However, even very "lossy" thin films, if atomically thin, can be tailored to reflect a particular range of dramatic and vivid colors.
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