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Accidental discovery produces durable new blue pigment for multiple applications
Date:11/16/2009

esearchers said, was that at about 1,200 degrees centigrade almost 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit this otherwise innocuous manganese oxide turned into a vivid blue compound that could be used to make a pigment able to resist heat and acid, be environmentally benign and cheap to produce from a readily available mineral.

The newest and possibly the best blue pigment in world history was born, due to manganese ions being structured in an unusual "trigonal bipyramidal coordination" in the presence of extreme heat.

"Ever since the early Egyptians developed some of the first blue pigments, the pigment industry has been struggling to address problems with safety, toxicity and durability," Subramanian said.

The pigment may eventually find uses in everything from inkjet printers to automobiles, fine art or house paint, researchers say.

The scientists said in their journal article that the new compound yields "a surprisingly intense and bright blue color," and they have outlined its structure and characteristics in detail. Collaborating on the work were researchers in the Materials Department at the University of California/Santa Barbara.

"A lot of the most interesting discoveries are not really planned, we've seen that throughout history," Subramanian said. "There is luck involved, but I also teach my students that you have to stay alert to recognize something when it happens, even if it isn't what you were looking for."

"Luck favors the alert mind."


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Contact: Mas Subramanian
mas.subramanian@oregonstate.edu
541-737-8235
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

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