Navigation Links
Chemists turn gold to purple -- on purpose
Date:1/26/2011

Professor Richard Watt and his chemistry students suspected that a common protein could potentially react with sunlight and harvest its energy similar to what chlorophyll does during photosynthesis.

The story of how they proved it sounds as colorful as the legend of the leprechaun who hid his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

They started with citric acid from oranges and mixed it with the protein. Next they dissolved gold powder into the solution. Then they put vials of the yellow-colored mixture in direct sunlight and crossed their fingers in the hope that it would turn purple.

Here's the reason why: If it turned purple, that would signal that the gold atoms had received electrons and used the donated energy to bunch together as small, purple-colored nanoparticles. And that would mean that the protein used the sunlight to excite the citric acid and trigger a transfer of energy.

While direct sunlight did the trick in about 20 minutes, a high-powered tungsten mercury lamp worked much faster.

"We set the system up, turned on the light, and the solution turned purple," Watt said. "We knew that we'd proved the concept."

The beauty of this experiment lies not in its colors unless, of course, you're thinking of it as a potential "green" energy source that keeps the environment clean.

The BYU researchers published their experiments in the Journal of Nanoparticle Research. The final step of this project will involve connecting the protein to an electrode to channel the energy into a battery or fuel cell. The BYU chemists will partner with Jae-Woo Kim of the National Institute of Aerospace for this next stage of the work.

Professor Watt's pedigree includes a post-doc at Princeton, a father who developed a fuel cell that runs on sugar and weed-killer and a more distant ancestor credited with inventing the first practical steam engine. That ancestor is also the Scottish engineer for whom the unit of power "watt" is named.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joe Hadfield
joe_hadfield@byu.edu
801-422-9206
Brigham Young University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Chemists document workings of key staph enzyme -- and how to block it
2. US launches International Year of Chemistry Feb. 1 with panel of world-renowned chemists
3. Chemists concoct new agents to easily study critical cell proteins
4. Team of chemists produces biodiesel at their university, using used cooking oil as a basis
5. Brown University chemists simplify biodiesel conversion
6. Scripps researchers, UCSD chemists to create center devoted to chemistrys influence on climate
7. Caltech chemists develop simple technique to visualize atomic-scale structures
8. DNA puts Stanford chemists on scent of better artificial nose
9. MIT chemists design new way to fluorescently label proteins
10. Colorado State University biochemists study how chromosomes unravel to let genes do their jobs
11. Chemists influence stem-cell development with geometry
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Chemists turn gold to purple -- on purpose
(Date:6/30/2017)... ARLINGTON, Va. , June 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... a leading developer and supplier of face and ... the ATA Featured Product provider program. ... created an innovative way to monitor a driver,s ... benefit greatly from being able to detect fatigue ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... TEANECK, N.J. , May 16, 2017  Veratad ... leading provider of online age and identity verification solutions, ... the K(NO)W Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May ... Ronald Regan Building and International Trade Center. ... across the globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017 The global ... landscape is marked by the presence of several large ... held by five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC ... accounted for nearly 61% of the global military biometric ... in the global military biometrics market boast global presence, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... and OXFORD, England , Aug. ... -based consortium for biotech executive search and leadership development, and ... Healthcare sectors, have created an exclusive alliance that enables clients ... "For our clients here in ... provides unparalleled access to a diverse population of leadership talent ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 ... ... company pioneering graphene biosensors that accelerate pharmaceutical and biotherapeutics development, announces the launch ... the number of steps needed to gain kinetic binding data for a wide ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Kenall, a leader in ... to stay tightly sealed and perform efficiently for years. The downlights are ideal ... just aren't enough, such as: hospitals; behavioral health facilities; cleanrooms; containment areas; food ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... Now mobile responsive, the new website makes it easy to navigate through the ... Users can now find detailed product information, educational industry content and visit the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: