Professor Masashi Shibata of Tokyo University of Technology and others have succeeded in developing a photochromic material using only natural products.Photochromic materials are functional materials that can change color when exposed to light.It is expected to be applied to products that require safety, such as cosmetics and toys.

 Photochromic materials are substances that change color when exposed to visible light or ultraviolet light.Another major feature is that the color change can be undone and can be changed repeatedly.For example, paper coated with photochromic material is used as rewritable paper that can be written and erased with a light pen.However, since substances that are far from natural substances are used, the fields that can be used are limited from the viewpoint of safety to the human body and environmental load.

 Therefore, the research team has been considering the development of photochromic materials that utilize plant pigments so that they can be used in products that require high safety, such as cosmetics and toys.There are about 500 kinds of pigments called anthocyanins contained in various plants, and some of them have the property of changing the molecular structure by irradiation with light.Therefore, we efficiently extracted a type of anthocyanin contained in Kouryan, which is known as millet.Furthermore, as a result of making a solution in combination with a substance called polyol used in foods and cosmetics, we succeeded in making a photochromic solution that is colorless when not exposed to light and emits a bright red color when exposed to ultraviolet rays.It is also possible to make it into a gel or powder.

 The photochromic material developed this time is expected to be used in more products than before due to its high safety.For example, if it is used in cosmetics, it will be possible to change the hue indoors and outdoors.Also, it seems that food packaging and stationery and toys for children are being considered.

Tokyo Institute of Technology

"Practical education" To cultivate the ability to adapt to the evolution of technology for the future society

Tokyo University of Technology develops practical education, acquires practical specialized knowledge and technology, and its basics and principles, and cultivates international culture and rich humanity to change society. We are cultivating the adaptability to respond flexibly to and play an active role.Set international liberal arts standards in line with the age of globalization […]

University Journal Online Editorial Department

This is the online editorial department of the university journal.
Articles are written by editorial staff who have a high level of knowledge and interest in universities and education.
For inquiries and opinions regarding the content of articles, etc. hereThank you.