Photo/IllutrationThe paint, right, which emits heat when exposed to near infrared light, at the Osaka Institute of Technology in Osaka’s Asahi Ward (Tomoyuki Suzuki)

OSAKA--An Osaka Institute of Technology research team developed a paint that produces heat from solar light, enabling remote places to be heated with surgical precision without using electricity or gas.

The team, headed by Shuji Fujii, a professor at the university, and Tomoyasu Hirai, an associate professor there, who both who specialize in polymer material, expect it can be applied for cooking on spacecraft, using the paint to absorb light that exists in space.

Materials that vacuum up light and convert it into heat already exist, but there weren't any that could be put into large-scale use.

The team paid particular attention to high molecular Poly 3 Hexylthiophene (P3HT), which conducts electricity. As it can be applied to coarse materials, it has been widely used for thin-film solar cells and transistors.

In the experiment, P3HT was created using chlorine ion as an impure substance.

When applying the paint to glass and exposing it to near infrared light (at 800 nanometers), which is also included in solar light, the temperature rose only at places where solar light was shed.

Only several seconds after shedding light, the temperature rose more than 500 degrees on the surface the paint was applied to.

The team also found they could control the paint's temperature. For example, when applying it in a thin layer, its temperature remained constant at 5 degrees.