Science News
from research organizations

Painting fingernails with silver and gold

Date:
March 29, 2017
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Since ancient times, people have used lustrous silver, platinum and gold to make jewelry and other adornments. Researchers have now developed a new way to add the metals to nail polish with minimal additives, resulting in durable, tinted -- and potentially antibacterial -- nail coloring.
Share:
FULL STORY

Using metal nanoparticles in clear nail polish makes it durable and colorful without extra additives.
Credit: American Chemical Society

Since ancient times, people have used lustrous silver, platinum and gold to make jewelry and other adornments. Researchers have now developed a new way to add the metals to nail polish with minimal additives, resulting in durable, tinted -- and potentially antibacterial -- nail coloring. They report their method in ACS' journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.

Nail polish comes in a bewildering array of colors. Current coloring techniques commonly incorporate pigment powders and additives. Scientists have recently started exploring the use of nanoparticles in polishes and have found that they can improve their durability and, in the case of silver nanoparticles, can treat fungal toenail infections. Marcus Lau, Friedrich Waag and Stephan Barcikowski wanted to see if they could come up with a simple way to integrate metal nanoparticles in nail polish.

The researchers started with store-bought bottles of clear, colorless nail polish and added small pieces of silver, gold, platinum or an alloy to them. To break the metals into nanoparticles, they shone a laser on them in short bursts over 15 minutes. Analysis showed that the method resulted in a variety of colored, transparent polishes with a metallic sheen. The researchers also used laser ablation to produce a master batch of metal nanoparticles in ethyl acetate, a polish thinner, which could then be added to individual bottles of polish. This could help boost the amount of production for commercialization. The researchers say the technique could also be used to create coatings for medical devices.


Story Source:

Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Marcus Lau, Friedrich Waag, Stephan Barcikowski. Direct Integration of Laser-Generated Nanoparticles into Transparent Nail Polish: The Plasmonic “Goldfinger”. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2017; 56 (12): 3291 DOI: 10.1021/acs.iecr.7b00039

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Painting fingernails with silver and gold." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170329145720.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2017, March 29). Painting fingernails with silver and gold. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 27, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170329145720.htm
American Chemical Society. "Painting fingernails with silver and gold." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170329145720.htm (accessed May 27, 2017).

RELATED STORIES