The New Blueadmin
Back in 2009, chemists at Oregon State University were heating manganese oxide, along with other chemicals, to examine some of its electronic properties. Once the combination reached 1200 degrees celcius (2000 degrees farenheit) the group “inadvertently birthed a new pigment”: YInMn blue, according to IFLScience.com.
While blue is a pretty common color that the majority of people are familiar with, this pigment is far more stable when exposed to heat or acidic conditions and it doesn’t release cyanide and is non-carcinogenic, unlike other shades of blue like Cobalt or Prussian blue. This pigment is also highly reflective, which means it could be used in paints to help keep buildings cool by reflecting infrared light.
Ths findings of the original study were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
“Basically, this was an accidental discovery,” Mas Subramanian, a Milton Harris professor of materials science in OSU’s Chemistry department said in a statement. “We were exploring manganese oxides for some interesting electronic properties they have, something that can be both ferroelectric and ferromagnetic at the same time. Our work had nothing to do with looking for a pigment.”
The pigment has become popular among artists due to its vivid color and resistant properties and Shephard Color Company has secured a patent to sell samples of YInMn blue.