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Breakthrough paint blocks top-end spectrum

Blocking frequencies not even being used yet

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 existing technologies are unable to cope with the next generation of high-speed wireless connections, prompting the researchers to create their high-frequency alternative.

Existing RF-blocking paint only absorbs frequencies up to around 48GHz, New Scientist reports, but the upper end of the spectrum is starting to look attractive for short-range-high-capacity connections, and some kit is already operating around at 60GHz where the lack of regulation makes exploitation of international markets easier.

Of course, transmissions at such high frequency are very short range indeed, and have real problems penetrating the flimsiest of barriers, so the paint is unlikely to appeal to anyone but the most paranoid - still, that's a lucrative enough market.

Not that the new paint is expensive, thanks to its use of aluminium and iron. A sample production run priced production around £10 a kilogram. 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", obviously. ®

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