Oregon State University scientists discovered it by accident.
The world’s most favourite colour is blue. Now, the many admirers of the hue can rejoice: There’s one more shade of it to love.
The name is YInMn blue, and in two short words, it’s ridiculously stunning. YInMn, which is short for the chemicals it’s made from (Yttrium, Indium and Manganese, for you chemistry lovers), was discovered by Oregon State University scientists in 2009.
Now, it is officially licensed for commercial use, and already being used by some artists and in various marketplace for a variety of plastics and coatings. We’ll race you to it.
Why exactly is this blue so wonderful? The new pigment has a unique crystal structure that only absorbs red and green wavelengths of light. Translation: It only reflects blue, which is why it’s so unbelievably, well, blue, according to Oregon State University (OSU).
The resulting vibrant hue is so durable that it doesn’t fade, even in oil and water.
Another important fact about this pigment: It’s non-toxic, unlike current existing blue pigments (cough, cobalt blue and Prussian blue, cough), according to : News.
“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,” said OSU chemist Mas Saubramanian, who discovered the pigment, in a statement.
Shepherd Color Company has licensed the patent and is already selling samples of YInMn blue. The pigment will undergo more testing before it is made widely available, according to Artnet News. We are literally tapping our fingers in anticipation.
The pigment was created practically by accident when Saubramanian and his team were conducting electronics experiments. When they mixed black manganese oxide with other chemicals and heated the mixture to nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, one of the samples turned a brilliant blue, according to OSU.
“It was serendipity, actually; a happy accidental discovery,” said Subramanian.
Apparently, the best creations happen out of the blue. (Wink.)