Squid for Stealth



Pencil squid has long been treated as a delicacy. Scientists have now discovered a novel use for the creature. The mollusk, considered to be master of disguise, can change its colour and skin texture to hide from predators. A protein called reflectin helps the squid develop this camouflage coating.

It can also reflect the light to make the squid nearly invisible. Scientists implanted reflectin into thin shits of graphene (a material made of carbon atoms) to create a material that would hide the wearer from night-vision cameras and other infrared detection. Its novelty lies in its functionality within the near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, roughly 700 to 1,200 nanometres.

This is the standard imaging range of most infrared visualisation equipment. The coating can help develop infrared stealth camouflage, energy-efficient reflective surfaces and biologically inspired optics. 


Down To Earth, October 2013