Nature-Derived Duo Creates White Light

Jim Crocker
17th March, 2024

Nature-Derived Duo Creates White Light

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers in Chandigarh developed white light from fruit and vegetable extracts
  • Java plum and carrot extracts transfer energy to beetroot to emit white light
  • The white light systems work in both liquid and solid (agar-agar gel) mediums
Advancements in the field of light-emitting materials have opened up new possibilities for applications ranging from medical diagnostics to energy-efficient lighting. One area of particular interest is the development of white light-emitting systems using sustainable and biocompatible materials. Researchers from Chandigarh University have made a significant contribution to this field by creating two novel white light-emitting systems derived from natural extracts[1]. The study focuses on harnessing the properties of pigments found in common fruits and vegetables to produce white light. The pigments involved are anthocyanin from java plum, β-carotene from carrot, and betanin from beetroot. In the systems developed, java plum and carrot serve as the energy donors, while beetroot acts as the energy acceptor. The interaction between these components through a process known as resonance energy transfer (RET) is key to the white light emission observed. RET is a mechanism where energy is transferred from a donor molecule to an acceptor molecule without the emission of a photon. The efficiency of this energy transfer depends on the distance between the donor and the acceptor as well as their relative orientation. In the systems created by the Chandigarh University team, the distances between donors and acceptors were found to be 0.5 nm for the java plum-beetroot system (JaB) and 0.4 nm for the carrot-beetroot system (CaB), indicating a favorable proximity for efficient energy transfer. The researchers quantified the rate of energy transfer, finding values of 2.78 × 10^9 s^-1 for the JaB system and 1.02 × 10^8 s^-1 for the CaB system. These rates are indicative of a rapid and efficient transfer of energy, which is essential for the practical application of these systems. The white light emission from these systems was characterized by the Commission Internationale d'Eclairage (CIE) coordinates, a standard for defining color in terms of a two-dimensional space. The CIE coordinates for the JaB and CaB systems in solution were {0.32, 0.34} and {0.33, 0.33}, respectively, which are within the range of white light. Interestingly, this white light emission was also achieved in a solid medium using agar-agar gel, with slightly different but still white-emitting CIE values. The study's findings are supported by Density Functional Theory (DFT) studies, which are computational methods used to investigate the electronic structure of molecules. These studies help in understanding the mechanistic aspects of the RET process and the interaction between the pigments at the molecular level. This research ties into previous studies that explored the use of natural pigments and metal-organic complexes for various applications, such as pH sensors for medical diagnostics[2] and photoluminescent materials for lighting[3]. For instance, the anthocyanins mentioned in the Chandigarh University study have also been examined for their potential in pH-sensitive contact lenses[2]. Similarly, the principles of energy transfer have been utilized in the development of white light-emitting diodes (WLEDs) using rare earth metals[4]. The significance of the Chandigarh University study lies in its demonstration of a sustainable and potentially low-cost method for producing white light. By using natural extracts, the researchers have shown that it is possible to create biocompatible and environmentally friendly light-emitting systems. This approach could have implications for a range of applications, including eco-friendly lighting solutions and the creation of new types of sensors that are both efficient and safe for use in contact with biological systems. In conclusion, the work by researchers at Chandigarh University represents a step forward in the quest for sustainable and biocompatible white light sources. By leveraging the natural pigments found in java plum, carrot, and beetroot, they have developed systems that not only emit white light efficiently but also hold promise for a variety of practical applications.

BiotechBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) Natural Pigments-Based Two-Component White Light Emitting Systems.

Published 16th March, 2024

Related Studies

2) Anthocyanin-Functionalized Contact Lens Sensors for Ocular pH Monitoring.

3) Single-Phase White-Light-Emitting and Photoluminescent Color-Tuning Coordination Assemblies.

4) White Light Emission and Enhanced Color Stability in a Single-Component Host.

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