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Pigment discovery expanding into new colors
Date:7/27/2011

CORVALLIS, Ore. Chemists at Oregon State University have discovered that the same crystal structure they identified two years ago to create what may be the world's best blue pigment can also be used with different elements to create other colors, with significant potential in the paint and pigment industries.

First on the list, appropriately, is a brilliant orange pigment appropriate for the OSU Beavers whose team colors are black and orange, and a university in a "Powered by Orange" advancement campaign.

But the broader potential for these pigments, researchers say, is the ability to tweak essentially the same chemical structure in slightly different ways to create a whole range of new colors in pigments that may be safer to produce, more durable and more environmentally benign than many of those that now exist.

Among the possibilities, they say, are colors that should be of interest to OSU's athletic rival 40 miles down the road at the University of Oregon yellow and green.

"The basic crystal structure we're using for these pigments was known before, but no one had ever considered using it for any commercial purpose, including pigments," said Mas Subramanian, the Milton Harris Professor of Materials Science in the OSU Department of Chemistry.

"All of these colors should share the same characteristics of being extremely stable, durable, and resistant to heat and acid," he said. "And they are based on the same crystal structure, so minor adjustments to the technology will produce very different colors and very high quality pigments."

OSU has already applied for a patent on this technology, samples are now being tested by private industry, and the latest findings were published recently in Inorganic Chemistry, a journal of the American Chemical Society. The research has been supported by the National Science Foundation.

This invention evolved from what was essentially an accidental discove
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Contact: Mas Subramanian
mas.subramanian@oregonstate.edu
541-737-8235
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

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