Gold And Bronze Paints Without Metal

November 2, 2021

Shiny metal paints are used to enhance the beauty of many products, such as home décor, cars, and artwork. But most of these pigments owe their shine to the flakes of aluminum, copper, zinc or other metals, which have drawbacks. Now, researchers reporting on  ACS Omega  have developed only organic dyes that can form metal-free bronze and gold paints.

In paints, metal flakes tend to settle to the bottom of the can, requiring regular agitation during use and storage.

Multiple layers of metallic paint are often required to provide good coverage, adding weight to the object being painted, and when used in inkjet printers, metallic pigments can clog the ink nozzles.

For these and other reasons, researchers are trying to develop non-metallic organic paints with a shine similar to metal. But until now, few candidates have shown all the desired qualities of solvent solubility, good film-forming properties, and excellent stability over time.

Creation of metal-free bronze and gold paints

Katsuyoshi Hoshino and his colleagues at Chiba University in Japan recently introduced a perchlorate-doped 3-methoxythiophene oligomer that marked all of these boxes, but had to be dissolved in solvents that are considered unsafe for painters.

To develop an industrially acceptable metallic effect dye, the researchers wanted to make and test chloride-doped oligomers of 3-methoxythiophene.

The team made two different versions of the chlorine-doped oligomers that, unlike their perchlorate-doped counterpart, dissolved in water. They covered the glass plates with solutions of the new dyes and allowed them to dry.

The two chlorine-doped oligomers produced bright gold or bronze films, respectively, but each had a dark, non-bright spot, resembling a coffee ring spot, near the center.

Although more research is needed to determine how to prevent this stain from forming, both films had higher reflectance than the perchlorate-doped oligomer. Paints are soluble in water but can be made resistant to water by dehydration, which makes their industrial application feasible.

The new dyes could be used in commercial ink jet printers, and they could also one day be applied in organic electronic systems, the researchers say.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
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