OMSI Science Pub: Colorful Materials World

Monday, June 1 at 7:00pm  |  $5 suggested donation at door  |

OMSI Science Pub Presents:
Colorful Materials World: Designing New Color Pigments for Art and Industry
with Mas Subramanian, PhD, Milton Harris Chair in Materials Science, Department of Chemistry, Oregon State University

An intense stable blue pigment is hard to find. For centuries, artists relied on the rich hues of a precious mineral, lapis lazuli mined in Afghanistan, to produce the bluest of skies and sacred garments. In the early 1700s, chemists discovered how to make Prussian blue, a less expensive alternative, which is blackish, prone to discolor and decomposes to hydrogen cyanide under acidic conditions. The discovery of cobalt blue (cobalt aluminate) in 1802 seemed to solve these problems of hue and stability but cobalt is now considered as toxic (carcinogen). Efforts to develop intense blue inorganic pigments that are environmentally benign and durable have been a challenge for two centuries.

After an accidental discovery (a Eureka! moment) in an Oregon State University chemistry lab, a team of OSU scientists led by Professor Mas Subramanian is writing a new chapter in color pigment chemistry. In 2009, they discovered a brilliant, stable and heat-reflecting blue pigment. Since then, they have developed greens, oranges and purples and are searching for a red that avoids the use of toxic metals such as mercury and cadmium.

At the June 1, Portland Science Pub, Professor Subramanian will describe the new blue pigment discovery and the search for new colors underway in his lab and the partnerships he and OSU has developed with industry, paint companies and artists. His presentation will also highlight the chemical and physical origins of color in geology, biology and botany.

Professor Subramanian received his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1982. He worked as a scientist at the R&D of DuPont Company until 2006 when he came to Oregon State University as the Milton Harris Chair Professor of Materials Science in the Chemistry Department. Professor Subramanian has authored 300+ publications in the area of materials chemistry and holds 54 US patents. He also has received several awards and honors including the Charles Pedersen Medal by DuPont Company for Excellence in Scientific and Technical Achievement (2004) and the F.A. Gilfillan Memorial Award by Oregon State University for Distinguished Scholarship in Science (2013).

Science Pub Portland – Hollywood Theatre is a monthly event open to all ages. No RSVP or scientific background required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks, and knowledge!



Tuesday, June 2