ChromaFlair Color Shifting Pigment from Viavi is a multi‑layer pigment containing flakes that give paints and other coatings the ability to change color when viewed from different angles.


  • Long‑lasting color
  • Durable
  • Water resistant


  • Automobiles
  • Consumer goods

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 9: Industry Innovation & Infrastructure

  • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities

The Challenge

Color-shifting hues are difficult to manufacture and may use several different types of dyes and pigments to achieve the desired effect. In addition, the color can fade over time, requiring reapplication.

Innovation Details

ChromaFlair® Color Shifting is a unique material consisting of an ultra-thin, multi-layer interference film that forms micron size flakes. Unlike ordinary and many special-effect pigments, ChromaFlair pigment is opaque, thin, flat, and highly specular (mirror-like). ChromaFlair pigment is manufactured by the deposition of ultra-thin layered structures similar to those sometimes found in nature, such as soap bubbles, butterfly wings, or sea shells. Precisely controlling the thickness of the multi-layers in the pigment’s flake structure produces different colors that are highly saturated and bright.

Biomimicry Story

Color in butterfly wings comes from two sources: pigment and structural color. Pigments are chemicals that absorb certain wavelengths of light and reflect others- the wavelengths that are reflected are the colors that you see. The most common are orange, brown, and yellow, which come from melanin, the same pigment that is found in our skin. When light hits an orange butterfly wing, for example, the pigment absorbs all the colors except orange, which is reflected back.