Scientists make incredibly bright fluorescent objects


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“Gyroids” are made from new solid fluorescent materials.
The image: Immortal flood

Fluorescence is usually associated with gases or liquids, but a team of chemists has designed a new formula that gives solid materials that give a fluorescent fluorescent glow.

new The research Chem, published today in the scientific journal, described a newly developed material, dubbed SMLES, that can be transformed into a solid, crystalline state with an unusually bright fluorescent glow when viewed under ultraviolet light . The new formulation can be used in a wide spectrum of applications, from solid state lasers through solar energy harvesting and bio-phase And 3D display technologies — basically, any kind of technology That requires bright fluorescence.

Fluorescence describes a class of chemicals capable of emitting visible light after absorbing invisible, short-wavelengths Like radiation Ultraviolet light. This is usually achieved with gases or liquids, which According to Amar Flood, a chemist at Indiana University and co-senior author of the study, when integrating with technology is not an ideal situation for manufacturing. In fact, gases and liquids have a tendency to leak among other deficiencies.

A stack of fluorescent gyroids.

A stack of fluorescent gyroids.
The image: Immortal flood

Solids, on the other hand, “allow you to pack more fluorescent dye molecules into a smaller space, so the footprint is smaller,” Flood explained in an email. “For example, a small ice cube is melted into a teaspoon of liquid water and the same volume expands to the size of a beach ball when made into a gas.”

He said that the priority of concrete materials is also about authenticity.

“In concrete we know where things are as they pour,” Flood explained. “Therefore, it becomes more attractive to begin to design properties in solids because we can control the internal structures.”

The development of solid fluorescent materials represents some sacred grill for chemists, known as “mitigation”. This occurs when fluorescent dyes, after entering a solid state, glow together, creating a muted glow. This proximity causes interference, and the dyes stop behaving as stand-alone materials. Sadly, “when putting colors into solids, they pair together and prevent fluoridating – they also change colors in unexpected ways,” Flood said.

To solve this problem, Flood, with the help of co-author Bo Lauren of the University of Copenhagen, took the dyes and mixed them with a colorless solution, which contained a star-shaped molecule, known as cyanostar. . This works to prevent unwanted interactions between fluorescent dyes as the formula changes to a solid state, allowing the dyes to retain their fluorescent properties. Solid mixtures, a state known as SMELES, or small-molecule ionic separation lattices, are essentially a lattice-like structure, within which the colors can remain intact and isolated.

Using SMILES materials, chemists created 3D-printed objects, called gyroids, that glow under ultraviolet light.

SMEL materials under white light (left) and ultraviolet light (right). SMEL materials under white light (left) and ultraviolet light (right).
The image: Immortal flood

Bright fluorescent materials have previously been created, which Flood described as “one-offs” and even “flukes” due to a trial-and-error way to develop these materials.

“We allow the process to be foolproof by offering design rules,” he said, adding that the key breakthrough was to “explore hierarchical self-assembly ideas, or, how to create concrete forms regularly.” ” The key to this was cyanoster, which has no color. As a result, “they produce a mesh of checkboards, but play no other role than isolation,” hence Solid, dyes “do not interfere with each other to turn off fluorescence and change color”, Flood explained.

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Drawing incredibly bright fluorescent objects for an article titled Scientists

In the tests, the new materials were 30 times faster than the benchmark materials known as cadmium selenide Quantum dots, used for medical diagnosis.

Looking ahead, Flood and his colleagues plan to explore the tolerance and mechanical properties of this new material, which will determine it Suitability in a wide range of possible applications.

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