Video: Researchers Develop Shiny Chocolate Using Nanotechnology

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 - 11:51
shiny chocolate

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed shiny chocolate without any coloring agents or other additives.

The project, announced in December, involves what the scientists call “structural color”. The team indicated that it creates colors in a way similar to what a chameleon does—that is, using the structure of its skin to scatter a particular wavelength of light, IEEE Spectrum reports.

Alissa M. Fitzgerald, founder of MEMS product development firm AMFitzgerald, explains that Iridescence in nature (like that inside oyster shells and on the wings of butterflies) involves nanoscale patterns in the form of lines, plates, or holes. To make iridescent chocolate, she surmises, the researchers likely created a nanotech chocolate mold, using e-beam lithography to etch lines of about 100 nm wide on a glass or silicon wafer.

The ETH researchers hope to get their technique for coloring chocolate out of the lab and into the mass market. Meanwhile, during the pandemic shutdown, some tech professionals have been playing with rainbow chocolates of their own, like software engineer and startup founder Samy Kamkar, recently profiled in the New York Times.

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