AkzoNobel, the Netherlands-based coatings giant, announced April 1 that it has developed a “revolutionary” paint that “cracks one of the biggest-ever scientific challenges—invisibility.”
In work carried out with the nanotechnology expert Professor Olaf Proli (see interview), the company says it has developed a high-tech textile coating—Invisulux®--that is reported to render people wearing the painted garments invisible. The company says successful trials have been carried out by interested security and defense organizations.
Working closely with AkzoNobel scientists, Proli is said to have developed a special molecule that manipulates the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, allowing light to pass through.
“We have finally converted science fiction into science fact," said Proli, of Norway. “We've been able to unravel the mysteries of the ultraviolet portion of the solar spectrum to develop a coating which is transparent to visible light."
Specific details of the technology “are being kept under wraps, but the implications for security use are obvious, while other interested parties include entertainment organizations and movie studios,” the company said in an announcement about the coating.
“The science is mind-blowing, but this is a real technological breakthrough," said Dr. Neal Pear, head of AkzoNobel’s Nanotech Coatings. "As the world's biggest coatings company, we strive to push back boundaries and pioneer new technologies, and Invisulux is here to stay. it certainly isn't a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't product.”
Investigations into further applications and commercialization of the coating are ongoing, the company says, adding that it has already developed camouflage coatings and paint that can influence the visibility of aircraft and ships to radar.
Editor’s Note: AkzoNobel officials did not respond to requests for additional information, reportedly because of the April Fools' Day national holiday in the Netherlands.