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Journal Article

Narrow-Band Omnidirectional Structural Color

Automotive pigments consist of absorptive materials which absorb most of the wavelengths of light in the visible range (400-800 nm) except one particular range which gets reflected and seen as color. This coloring mechanism based on light absorption due to their molecular structure generally reflects a broader range of wavelength with a moderate reflectivity (50-60%). However in nature we find many magnificent colors in insects, butterflies, birds and fishes. These colors in nature are not based on the abortive pigments, but on the nanoscopic regular structures that interfere light reflected from those periodic sites. Since animals contain no solid metals, to produce metallic-like reflections they also rely on interference of light.[1] Most common and well-known form of animal reflector is the multilayer type where alternating high and low refractive index layers are formed. Such nanostructure assembly can reflect light up to 100%.
Technical Paper

Application of Structural Color Technology for Automotive Paint

Currently, to achieve the desired design in automotive paint, absorption pigments, such as organic pigments, are used in combination with brilliant pigments (ex. aluminum or mica etc.). However, many beautiful colors exist in the world, especially in the natural world. Until now, automotive paints have not been able to replicate those colors. In this project, by first analyzing the coloring principles of the natural world, we have focused on the development of a previously non-existent coloring technology (structural color). By combining this with nanostructure control technology, we have established a radically new coloring process enabling the design of hues, chromaticity and reflection intensity. This technology has tangible results, as new pigments are available for paint formulations.