Oregon State University (OSU) scientists have discovered a new shade of blue colour called ‘YInMn blue,’ after the elements required to make it. The colour was discovered by accident, apparently, by OSU chemist Mas Subramanian. The colour was created after mixing black manganese oxide with other chemicals & then heated to 2K degrees F.
“The new pigment is formed by a unique crystal structure that allows the manganese ions to absorb red & green wavelengths of light, while only reflecting blue. The vibrant blue is so durable, & its compounds are so stable – even in oil & water – that the colour does not fade,” said Subramanian.
— Plex Gallery (@plexgallery) June 28, 2016
YInMn Blue, is a composition that includes Yttrium, Indium and Manganese. Why this is called New color? We know that white light contain all the colors of the rainbow. Presumably, this means that every conceivable color has been discovered? Well, not quite. While this may mean that we know of a full spectrum of possible colors, many of these have not been created or observed in real life.
The colour is going to be used in commercial products like coatings, plastic and paint – it may also be used in roofing materials. The ‘cool blue’ compound has infrared reflectivity at about 40 per cent, which is much higher than other blue pigments. Paints in this colour could help keep buildings cool by reflecting the infrared light, and the colour is so durable – even against oil and water – it won’t fade.
“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,” Subramanian said.
“Ever since the early Egyptians developed some of the first blue pigments, the pigment industry has been struggling to address problems with safety, toxicity and durability.”
So this new colour is more than just a beautiful blue.