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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A dynamic thermoregulatory material inspired by squid skin.

  • Author(s): Leung, Erica M
  • Colorado Escobar, Melvin
  • Stiubianu, George T
  • Jim, Steven R
  • Vyatskikh, Alexandra L
  • Feng, Zhijing
  • Garner, Nicholas
  • Patel, Priyam
  • Naughton, Kyle L
  • Follador, Maurizio
  • Karshalev, Emil
  • Trexler, Matthew D
  • Gorodetsky, Alon A
  • et al.

Effective thermal management is critical for the operation of many modern technologies, such as electronic circuits, smart clothing, and building environment control systems. By leveraging the static infrared-reflecting design of the space blanket and drawing inspiration from the dynamic color-changing ability of squid skin, we have developed a composite material with tunable thermoregulatory properties. Our material demonstrates an on/off switching ratio of ~25 for the transmittance, regulates a heat flux of ~36 W/m2 with an estimated mechanical power input of ~3 W/m2, and features a dynamic environmental setpoint temperature window of ~8 °C. Moreover, the composite can manage one fourth of the metabolic heat flux expected for a sedentary individual and can also modulate localized changes in a wearer's body temperature by nearly 10-fold. Due to such functionality and associated figures of merit, our material may substantially reduce building energy consumption upon widespread deployment and adoption.

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