Lexus Structural Blue

Organization: Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA)
Co-Developer(s): Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan; Viavi Solutions, USA; Toyota Central R&D Laboratories, Japan
Year: 2018

Brilliant structural colors observed in birds, butterflies and fish, have mesmerized us over centuries. The brightness of these colors is attributed to light interference through nanostructures present in their body. After nearly a decade of R&D, Toyota has introduced Lexus Structural Blue, an innovation that follows nature’s blueprint to realize ‘structural color,’ a new type of ultimate color solution that is made from colorless, inorganic materials. There have been numerous demonstrations of artificial structural colors in the form of periodic multilayer stacks and spheres. In recent years, commercial products such as Paliochrome, xirallic, and ChromaFlair— known as effect pigments— partially utilized thin-film interference optics. However, these pigments remained limited in application space or have to be mixed with other pigments to generate an ‘effect color’ rather than completely replacing the organic pigments. Lexus Structural Blue has the potential to move beyond conventional organic pigments and into the age of structural pigments which will allow access to naturally brilliant and durable colors, without limitation in hue.

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