Mark Kuzyk is at it again. The physicist continues to explore a range of novel, light-sensitive compounds and has found one that degrades over time…but if kept in the dark for a short period of time, spontaneously heals itself. This amazing property could be exploited in industrial processes such as optical data storage and photolithography, which could use the recyclable material instead of having to replace the expensive stuff for every turn over.
Kuzyk and colleagues at Washington State University have found a molecule that loses its ability to fluoresce when bathed with laser light but regains this talent if it gets plenty of rest in the dark. Recovery starts during a half hour power nap and is complete after a good eight hours R&R, say the resarchers.
“It’s almost as if you have a piece of paper that’s yellowed over time, and you put it in a dark room for a day, and it comes back brand-new,” enthuses Kuzyk. Previously, I discussed Kuzyk’s work on Sciencebase and Intute Spotlight.
Kuzyk and students Ye Zhu and Juefei Zhou discovered the “self-healing” property of the dye AF455, which excels at two-photon absorption, an important property in optical data storage and in producing microelectronics for photolithography. The team will report details in the April 15 issue of the journal Optics Letters.
I received a follow-up email to this from Kuzyk: I’ve reproduced the Mark Kuzyk email here.