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:4/28/2016)... India , April 28, 2016 ... Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, ... services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... services, but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The integration ... security to access and transact across channels. Using ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... New Jersey and READING, ... Indegene ( http://www.indegene.com ), a leading ... to life science, pharmaceutical and healthcare organisations and ... of innovative scientific support throughout the product lifecycle, ... with the launch of IntraScience.      ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... -- Despite the volatility that continues to envelop ... pre-market research on ActiveWallSt.com directs the investor community,s focus on ... RDUS ), Cerus Corp. (NASDAQ: CERS ), Arrowhead ... Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FPRX ). Register with us ... http://www.activewallst.com/ On Wednesday, shares in ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... announced several positive developments that position the Company for the future. Kinder ... transaction, Craig F. Kinghorn has been appointed Chairman of the Board, Curtis D. ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... Lajollacooks4u has become a rising hotspot for specialized team building events in ... Fortune 500 companies, such as Illumina, Hewlett-Packard, Qualcomm and Elsevier, have traveled from ... Each event kicks off with an olive oil and salt-tasting competition. From there, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: