Technology BreakThrough: New Photochromic Compound Changes Color in a Flash

April 25, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Scientists are excited about the development of a new photochromic material that changes color instantly at the blink of an eye, when exposed to light and reverts back within tens of milliseconds when the light is turned off. This new material has promising implications to build the next generation of powerful computers, using it for advanced optical data storage.

Standard photochromic compounds are now found in sunglasses that darken or change color when exposed to sunlight. However these compounds are notoriously slow to change and are unstable, rendering them useless for advanced functions.

The new photochromic molecules were developed by Japanese scientists led by head researcher, Jiro Abe. The researched found that the new material changed color and reverted back, thousands of times faster than current materials. The new material was also shown to be highly stable.

When tested, the new compounds could instantly change from colorless to blue when a solid and even, in liquid form after exposure to ultraviolet light. When the light source was removed, the material quickly changed back to a colorless state.

Besides computer applications, the created photochromic compounds can be used to make better sunglasses, to create holograms and as molecular switches in administering drugs for safer and more precise delivery.

The entire study is available in the new edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.



One Response to “Technology BreakThrough: New Photochromic Compound Changes Color in a Flash”

  1. henry on April 26th, 2009 12:24 am

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