Thermal Imaging – How to use it and how to hide from it
Researchers have discovered a material with quantum properties that can mask the thermal radiation of objects, making them invisible to infrared cameras.
In recent years, scientists have developed several graphene and black silicon materials that manipulate electromagnetic radiation to hide the thermal signature. However, the new quantum material does this in a completely unique way, which contradicts intuition, but not the laws of physics..
A group of materials scientists from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Purdue University studied the properties of samarium nickel oxide, which, as temperature rises, transforms from an insulator into an unusual conductor. In the course of experiments, scientists found that thanks to this property, the material is able to separate temperature and thermal radiation..
When in the laboratory they heated a film of samarium nickel oxide on sapphire substrates, then, despite the actual increase in temperature, its infrared radiation remained practically unchanged. within a certain temperature range. Moreover, between 105 °C and 135 °C it barely warmed up at all.
This unusual behavior is due to the fact that when heated, its resistance changes from an insulating to a conducting state in a non-standard way, therefore, when temperature changes in the range of 30 degrees, its thermal radiation remains stable.
This feature makes it possible to use samarium nickel oxide as camouflage, hiding objects from infrared cameras, and also to create more advanced filters and optical limiters to protect sensors.
Recall that engineers recently made a new material from aluminum and carbon nanotubes that absorbs 99.96% of light and 10 times the blackest of all that was created before.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Purdue University