The Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grill (also known as Emancipation Grills or fizzlers), are shimmering, semi-transparent particle fields that appear in the Aperture Science testing facilities. Emancipation Grills disintegrate unauthorized Aperture Science equipment and block any portal that passes through, while allowing the player and the Handheld Portal Device to pass without issue.
The primary function of the Emancipation Grill is to vaporize unauthorized Aperture Science equipment that passes through it while allowing test subjects and the Handheld Portal Device to pass through. When something is vaporized, the object turns black, hovers in mid-air, and disintegrates, emitting small flames and sparks. In Portal 2, this is accompanied with a loud sound when the object comes in contact with the Grill. When a Sentry Turret passes through the grill, it emits a long "owowowowowowowow" sound as it disintegrates. Similarly, a radio passing through a grill will play a jumbled and distorted sound along with plenty of audio feedback. The Emancipation Grill will glow brightly in Portal 2 as objects approach it to warn the player that it will vaporize the object once they come into contact. Portals also cannot pass through the Grill.
The Emancipation Grill also causes the Handheld Portal Device to shake, signaling that it has "rebooted", and that any portals that have been placed have now been removed. This functions to give the player a clean slate upon starting a new test. It also prevents players from navigating the Aperture Science testing facilities quickly by using portals.
An unforeseen consequence of repeated use of the Emancipation Grill has shown to emancipate teeth, tooth enamel, crowns, fillings, and ear canals.
In Portal 2, Emancipation Grills appear more solid in nature compared to Portal. They are light blue in coloring and have a shimmering water-like appearance. In the developer commentary, it was noted that they look this way to appear more "safe" to players, while still showing that there is a barrier to inanimate objects. An additional sound has now been added as an object disintegrates.
Material Emancipation Grill
Early Emancipation Grill from Portal.
Early Emancipation Grill from the Portal trailer.
Emancipation Grill in Portal
A larger Emancipation Grill, used in a test chamber in Portal 2