Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New elastic material changes color in UV light

Date:
April 16, 2011
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have created a range of soft, elastic gels that change color when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light -- and change back when the UV light is removed or the material is heated up.

The image to the left shows one of the photochromic gels before exposure to UV light. The image on the right shows the elastic material after exposure to UV light.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Carolina State University

Researchers from North Carolina State University have created a range of soft, elastic gels that change color when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light -- and change back when the UV light is removed or the material is heated up.

The gels are impregnated with a type of photochromic compound called spiropyran. Spiropyrans change color when exposed to UV light, and the color they change into depends on the chemical environment surrounding the material.

The researchers made the gels out of an elastic silicone substance, which can be chemically modified to contain various other chemical compounds -- changing the chemical environment inside the material. Changing this interior chemistry allows researchers to fine-tune how the color of the material changes when exposed to UV light.

"For example, if you want the material to turn yellow when exposed to UV light, you would attach carboxylic acid," explains Dr. Jan Genzer, Celanese Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research. "If you want magenta, you'd attach hydroxyl. Mix them together, and you get a shade of orange."

Photochromic compounds are not new, but this is the first time they've been incorporated into an elastic material, without impairing the material's elasticity.

The researchers were also able to create patterns by using a shaped mold to change the chemical make-up of specific regions in the material. For example, applying hydroxyl around a star-shaped mold (like a tiny cookie cutter) on the material would result in a yellow star-shaped pattern appearing on a dark magenta elastic when it is exposed to UV light.

"There are surely applications for this material -- it's flexible, changes color in UV light, reverts to its original color in visible light, and can be patterned," Genzer says. "At this stage we have not identified the best application yet."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hyun-Kwan Yang, A. Evren Ozcam, Kirill Efimenko and Jan Genzer. Photochromic materials with tunable color and mechanical flexibility. Soft Matter, April 2011

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "New elastic material changes color in UV light." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110414104217.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2011, April 16). New elastic material changes color in UV light. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110414104217.htm
North Carolina State University. "New elastic material changes color in UV light." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110414104217.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) Argentina doesn't only have Lionel Messi the footballer, it has now also acquired "Mesi" the drone system which monitors undeclared mansions, swimming pools and soy fields to curb tax evasion in the country. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 29, 2014) CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, celebrates 60 years of bringing nations together through science. As Joanna Partridge reports from inside the famous science centre it's also planning to turn the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator back on after an upgrade. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

Newsy (Sep. 28, 2014) Researchers from the University of Rochester have created a type of invisibility cloak with simple focal lenses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins