What color can be considered perfectly white? Starched shirt? Medical gown? Or maybe a sheet of paper from the nearest printer? All this is undoubtedly true, but a group of scientists from Cambridge University managed to create a substance 20 times as white as any known.
Surprisingly, the resulting product is not the brainchild of the chemical industry. Rather, it is, but not until the end. To create "absolutely white" scientists copied the composition and properties of scales of the southeast Asian beetle Cyphochilus. The color of this insect is determined not by pigments, but by the size and properties of the finest chitinous scales forming its shell. The fact is that white color is formed by mixing all other colors of the spectrum. In this case, the greatest whiteness is obtained if all colors are reflected with equal force. Specialists, studying beetles Cyphochilus, found out that the coating of their shell is very thin, and the white color is formed due to the complex spatial structure of the layer. The threads of chitin are woven into a thin network, the diameter of which is a thousandths of a millimeter. That is, the beetles receive their own color not because of the mixing of colors of the visible spectrum, but because of the "braided" chitin net. Thanks to this, the light is reflected very effectively and is almost "perfect white". The most real natural nanotechnology!
For the repetition of technology experts copied the structure of flakes of beetles, using cellulose, the fine threads of which were woven into a structure "peeped" by beetles. In the future, the development can be used to create incredibly bright colors and coatings of a new generation that can be used in the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries.
It is also worth remembering the "most black material" of Vantablack. It is so black that the objects covered by it differ as two-dimensional. Regardless of the spatial shape.