Color-changing film

An example of the new ultra-thin, color-shifting film.

Engineers at the University of California Berkeley have created a thin film, inspired by the skin of chameleons, that changes colors when pulled or stretched. 

According to, the "skin," a film of silicon a thousand times thinner than a human hair, could be applied as camouflage or used to show stress on structures, by changing colors when a surface bends or flexes. 

Scientists in Switzerland revealed earlier this week that chameleons change colors, not by altering the pigment in their skin, but by adjusting the way their cells absorb and reflect light, according to The color-changing skin, developed by Connie Chang-Hasnain and her team of researchers, works in a similar way. 

“The coolest thing is that you can hold the sample film and stretch it to see the colorful effect," Chang-Hasnain told

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