UV light makes this magenta dye solution fluoresce a bright reddish orange. Bidyut Das, a PhD candidate at Cotton University, synthesized the fluorescent compound from indigo, a naturally occurring dye, because indigo and its derivatives have interesting optoelectronic and photovoltaic properties. Das used acetic anhydride to acetylate the indigo at both of its nitrogens to form the indigo derivative that makes this solution fluoresce. Indigoid dyes can act as sensitizers—mediums for photon absorption—in solar cells. Das is searching for organic sensitizers that work efficiently and can enhance solar cell performance.
Do science. Take pictures. Win money. Enter our photo contest here.