In order to help draw attention to important traffic information when it is dark, with possible benefits for both drivers and pedestrians, a new material causes traffic signs to change color at night.
The material, whose details are reflected in a study published in Science Advances, it consists of a thin film that reflects the light in such a way that traffic signals could be made that glow brightly and change color at night.
The investigation was directed by the doctor Limin Wu, from Fudan University, in China, whose group developed the material.
The film consists of polymer microspheres placed on the adhesive side of a transparent tape. The physical structure of the material allows white light to shine in the film at night, although some observers will see a single stable color reflected, while others will see changing colors. It all depends on the angle of observation and if the light source is moving.
As he explains Qiaoqiang Gan, associate professor of electrical engineering at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences of the UB and co-author of the new study:
If a person is listening to loud music or not paying attention while walking or driving, a color changing sign can help to better alert them to the traffic situation.