A team of researchers from the Wageningen University and Research (WUR) has 3D-printed a cup that changes colors according to different light conditions. This color-changing cup is created by Vittorio Saggiomo and colleagues at WUR in Netherlands from gold nanoparticles and a 3D-printable clear plastic called polyvinyl-alcohol.
The research team wanted to re-imagine the 4th-century Lycurgus color-changing cup using modern technology. In their effort, researchers embedded dichroic (color-changing) gold nanoparticles in the 3D printable plastic. The minute amount of gold nanoparticles used for obtaining the dichroic effect does not influence the mechanical properties of the polymer nor its printability. It can be easily 3D-printed using a standard 3D printer.
These enlarged dichroic gold nanoparticles when combined with citrate, interact differently in certain light conditions, allowing the cup to change color and opacity. The new Lycurgus cup with a coating of the dichroic material changes color from clear purple to opaque to brown, depending on the light conditions.
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Surely an innovative concept, everyone would love to have on the coffee table.