MRS Communications

Research Letters

An ancient method-inspired route for fast fabrication of ‘PbS bird feathers’

Xiaowei Liua1, Yongwen Tana1, Fangyu Zhanga1, Peilu Ouyanga2, Jiajun Gua3 c1 and Di Zhanga3 c1

a1 State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, PR China

a2 Shanghai Nan Yang Model High School, Shanghai 200030, PR China

a3 State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, PR China

Abstract

Many studies have been carried out to thoroughly understand the colorization mechanisms of bird feathers. However, most of the methods used so far are time-consuming (in days) and involve rather complicated steps (5 to 12). Here, we report a rapid way of producing ‘PbS bird feathers’; this method is inspired by a hair-dyeing method used in ancient Egypt 4000 years ago. The complete synthesis route comprises only two steps and can be completed within 2 h, with the original morphologies of bird feathers well preserved. This method has potential to be extended to the fast fabrication of other functional sulfides which are too complicated to fabricate otherwise.

(Received November 14 2012)

(Accepted January 10 2013)

Correspondence

c1 Address all correspondence to Jiajun Gu and Di Zhang at gujiajun@sjtu.edu.cn and zhangdi@sjtu.edu.cn

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