ANU invention may help to protect astronauts from radiation in space—4 July 2017

Building on more than 15 years of research by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) and the Australian National Fabrication Facility, ANU scientists have designed a new nano material that can reflect or transmit light on demand with temperature control. This opens the door to technology that protects astronauts in space from harmful radiation.

Lead researcher Dr Mohsen Rahmani, an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award Fellow at the Nonlinear Physics Centre within the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering, explained, "Our invention has a lot of potential applications, such as protecting astronauts or satellites with an ultra-thin film that can be adjusted to reflect various dangerous ultraviolet or infrared radiation in different environments."

Co-researcher Associate Professor Andrey Miroshnichenko said the invention could be tailored for other light spectrums including visible light, which opened up a whole array of innovations, including architectural and energy saving applications. 

Media issued by the Australian National University.

Image: Associate Professor Andrey Miroshnichenko (L) and Dr Mohsen Rahmani demonstrate how the nano material can reflect or transmit light on demand with temperature control.
Image courtesy: Stuart Hay, Australian National University.

Original Published Date: 
Tuesday, July 4, 2017