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A new blue pigment

By swapping around a few indium atoms with manganese, Dr. Mas Subramanian's laboratory found a simple route to a family of environmentally benign, chemically / thermally stable blue pigments (J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja9080666). The team was looking actually looking for a multiferroic material (e.g. both ferromagnetic and ferroelectric), so they were doping YInO3 with Mn to make YIn1- xMnxO3. They were suprised see a bright blue powder instead of a dull grey or black material. “I had never seen anything like this in all my years working with metal oxides,” he notes. Dr. Subramanian and his collaborator, Nicola A. Spaldin (University of California, Santa Barbara) discovered that the color comes from the trigonal bipyramidal coordination of Mn3+. Understanding the mechanism of 'blueness' allowed the team to create other blue chromophores by doping Mn3+ into trigonal bipyramidal sites in other metal oxides, such as LuGaMgO4. This Mn-doped substance suggests a route to compounds that could replace existing blue pigments with ones that are cheaper, more stable, and environmentally benign.

- Source NY Times

- Source C&EN

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