As Lynn Stevens rotated this watch glass, her crude product cycled through a wide swath of colors. But don’t be fooled: this dye is more than just a pretty face. Stevens makes and uses dyes like this one (structure below) as part of her PhD research in Zachariah A. Page’s lab at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work is related to making 3-D printed polymer materials with light. She uses photosensitizing dyes to absorb near-infrared light and trigger polymerization reactions, which make one type of 3-D printing faster, more biologically compatible and energy efficient.
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