Novel technology for faster photochromic face shields

Futurechromes S. L., a technological company in Barcelona, has developed a new technology for photochromic face shields based on the nanoencapsulation of light-sensitive dyes.

A motorcycle helmet as symbolic image.

According to the company, the technology allows to achieve faster and more tuneable photochromic products than what is already in the market.

The technology, based on liquid-core nanocapsules was originally developed by researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and the Superior Council of Scientific Investigations (CSIC) in 2013. These nanocapsules were embedded into polymeric matrices to provide photoprotective coating with very fast colour-change response.

In photochromic coatings, the dye changes its colour when exposed to sunlight, thus regulating the amount of light and heat that go through the coated material, autonomously and without needing circuitry and applied voltages.

Much faster colour change

However, in the nanocapsules-based technology the dye molecules are dissolved in the liquid core of the capsules. This provides a much softer environment for the dye than if it would be directly embedded in the coating matrix. This allows the molecules to rotate and interconvert between the colourless and the coloured state, freely and without the hindrance usually created by the coating polymer material. As consequence nanocapsules-based films have a much faster colour change than the typical photochromic products.

Image source: Pixabay.

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