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Ultrathin Films Color Rough, Flexible Surfaces

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Researchers can now “paint” rough, flexible surfaces through the phenomenon of thin-film interference. A team at Harvard University demonstrated that ultrathin optical coatings can display strong optical interference effects on notebook paper. Such coatings comprise nanometer-thin, highly absorbing germanium films on top of reflecting gold substrates. Thin-film optical interference was found to persist when films were “deposited on substrates that have a large degree of roughness and inhomogeneity on micro- and nanoscales,” the researchers wrote. They added...Read full article

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