back to article Breakthrough paint blocks top-end spectrum

Japanese researchers have created a cheap paint that will block RF transmissions up to 182GHz - ready for the day someone starts transmitting confidential data at such a high frequency. The research was conducted at University of Tokyo and appears in a paper published by the American Chemical Society. The paper argues that …

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  1. Hollerith

    And?

    "Getting the materials into the paint involved "a series of aluminum-substituted ε-iron oxide, ε-AlxFe2−xO3, nanomagnets (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.40) with a particle size between 25 and 50 nm"

    Yes, but does it come in magnolia?

  2. sig
    Paris Hilton

    Fabulous, Darling

    Tin foil hats are sooo last century.

  3. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    I see your nanomagnet thingies.

    And raise you Bacofoil + Anaglypta + Wallpaper paste.

    Mine's the one with the blown-vinyl finish and the suspiciously shiny lining.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bargain!

    Sounds a bargain at £10/kg. Anti foul paint for boat bottoms is £70 for 2.5L. Coppercote £600 for 5L.

  5. Farmer Hackit
    Stop

    Pah! Old news.

    My house has been painted with RF blocking paint for years. My Wireless LAN is a joke.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "Radio Waves"

    don't go as high as 182GHz, do they? By my (admittedly quick) calcs that puts this paint as an X-Ray / Gamma Ray blocking paint. Even if I'm out by a factor of 100 that's still just about down to the UV bit of the EM spectrum. Even the lowly 2.4GHz is down as a microwave rather than a proper "Radio" wave.

    Gamma ray blocking paint could be really useful for the military and in industry where they handle nookelar materials- alpha and beta aren't a problem to stop, but Gamma has- up until now- been a pain to stop.

  7. David Cherry
    Coat

    @Farmer Hackit

    Yup Lead based paints FTW

  8. Dr. Mouse

    @Farmer Hackit

    "My house has been painted with RF blocking paint for years. My Wireless LAN is a joke."

    It actually says in the artical that such things are available... just not to cover the top end of the spectrum.

    Although to be fair, such high frequencies would have a lot of trouble getting through normal brick walls, or even plasterboard for the 150GHz-ish range. It doesnt seem like this stuff would really be necessary, unless used in blocking much higher power transmissions.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows?

    Since these frequencies won't be able to penetrate most walls the only use I can see for this paint is to coat your windows. I can see a problem there.

  10. John
    Boffin

    Encryption?

    I can't imagine the millitary using a wireless technology to exchange data, where both parties have to be a meter or so away and any physical barrier at all can cause problems.

    Cables or physical transferal of data would be much safer, and probibly quicker too.

    And even if they did - for example it became super-trendy to have your monitor and your PC talking to each other on 100Ghz - the bandwidth avalible would be huge, and massive amounts of encryption would be easy to impliment, even if it was rather pointless.

    Now, a wireless technology that allows me to stream high quality media from my iPhone to my wireless headphones / headscreen might be useful - but it won't be paint that prevents it from working. It would be DRM and crippled protocols. Cheers Jobs.

    Science. Because you can never have too much.

  11. Mage Silver badge

    RF spectrum

    200GHz gear is commercially available. 182GHz is definitely Radio, though expensive.

    @ AC "Radio Waves"

    Very far InfraRed is about 1000GHz to 2000GHz (2THz)

    Regular InfraRed like a cooker Ring is about 100THz or higher.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_spectrum is a reasonably accurate introduction.

  12. Dave Jones Silver badge
    Boffin

    @"Radio Waves"

    If 10GHz is 3cm wavelength, then 200 GHz is 0.15 cm, or 1500 microns, or 1,500,000 nanometers.

    Visible light is 800 nm (red) to about 350 nm (edge of UV). IR is from 800 nm to about 5000 nm or 5 microns. So 182 GHz is nowhere near any kind of "light".

  13. Dave

    Re: Radio Waves

    Radio waves go a lot higher than 187GHz, even Terahertz is still radio. 182GHz is about 1.6mm wavelength, light is around to 500nm, about 3,200 times higher in frequency. Microwaves are still radio waves.

    As for the paint composition, I wonder how flammable it is if it is exposed to hot flame. Think thermite.

  14. Ru
    Flame

    Has asecondary benefit for the paranoid...

    Being apparently made out of thermite, there's a good chance it'll burn up nicely.

  15. Stewart Haywood
    Boffin

    @"Radio Waves"

    Oh dear. X-rays are between about 10^17 to 10^18 Hz.. So you were out by around 10000000 rather than 100. UV is around 10^16 Hz with visible light at about 10^15 Hz.

    At present around 180 GHz is used for imaging. The paint would be useful for rendering surfaces non-reflective.

  16. Matthew Little
    Flame

    Thermite?

    Isn't that the recipe for thermite... from Wikipedia "Thermite is a pyrotechnic composition of a metal powder [aluminum] and a metal oxide, which produces an aluminothermic reaction known as a thermite reaction. It is not explosive, but can create short bursts of extremely high temperatures focused on a very small area for a short period of time."

    Who in their right mind would paint that on their walls?

  17. James

    Lower limit?

    Actually the AC raises a good point: this article is bragging about blocking "up to" 180 GHz, but of course almost every paint ever made blocks stuff up in the hundreds of THz, otherwise it would be transparent! Presumably, there's a gap in the coverage from the 100-odd GHz quoted up to around 100 THz, then another block for (most) visible light, but does it go all the way down to DC? Does it block TV, radio and mobile phone signals, or are those all below the lower limit?

  18. Alan Brown Silver badge
    Coat

    Movie Theatres?

    I wish.....

    Mine's the one with the jammer in the pocket.

  19. Nick L
    Coat

    Teraherz security scanners ?

    Mine're the trousers with the thermite lined codpiece ....

  20. Yorkshirepudding
    Alien

    bah

    no subsitute for a tinfoil hat, stops the cia hearing my thoughts

  21. Jason "Foxdie" Gaunt
    Coat

    Pulse anyone?

    Anyone see the horrific references to the horror film Pulse? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454919/

  22. jon

    RE:Thermite?

    Thermite is not Volatile, unlike nitroglycerin... It needs a spark to start it!

    If you watch Brainiac, you will know 'exploding paint' - perfectly safe when wet, but when it has dried, still fairly safe, unless you are right next to it!! - about as dangerous as the 'bang' in a xmas cracker!!

    Unless you have a very bad heart condition...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: Thermite

    I was going to say that most BT exchanges I go into need a re-paint but with the fire risk of this product, I'll put you with the "Pale-Straw" & blue & grey, on the kit.

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