How Turmeric Will Light Up The Future
What could be more unnatural and yet indispensable in the modern world than a light bulb? Made from metal, glass, and a variety of petrochemicals, who would even consider looking for a "green" alternative? And if so, what would that be?
Now, a groundbreaking new study published in Scientific Reports
seems to have found exactly such a green solution. Amazingly, Indian researchers discovered that a mixture of two commonly consumed edible plants, red pomegranate and turmeric
, when exposed to light wavelengths just below the visible threshold (380 nm), produced almost pure white light emission (WLE).
This finding represents a simple, cheap and environmentally safe alternative to current LED technology, which presently rely on toxic materials, including heavy metals such as arsenic, copper, nickel, and lead, in their production.
In the new study titled "White Light Emission from Vegetable Extracts
," Indian researchers described how they were able to conveniently tune the color temperature of the WLE by adjusting the concentrations of the "the primary emitting pigments," namely, anthocyanins from red pomegranate seed juice and curcumin extract from turmeric.
One of the crucial mechanisms behind their ability to produce an almost pure white light emission was identified as "Foster resonance energy transfer" (FREF). FREF is a mechanism that describes energy transfer between two light-sensitive molecules (known as chromophores). The researchers identified A FRET-like, light-induced energy transfer cascade: polyphenolics > curcumin > anthocyanins, resulting in WLE.
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