New materials turn infrared light into visible light

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Scientists at Columbia University, in collaboration with researchers from Harvard, have succeeded in developing a chemical process to absorb infrared light and re-emit a visible energy body, allowing benign radiation to penetrate the living tissue and other materials without harm from High intensity exposure.
The team's research appeared in the Jan. 16 issue of Nature.
"The results are interesting because we have been able to carry out a series of complex chemical transformations that usually require high energy and visible light using an infrared light source," said Tomislav Rovis, a chemistry professor at Columbia University and co-author of the study.
One can imagine many potential applications where there are barriers in the way of controlling the material.
For example, this study promises to enhance the reach and effectiveness of photodynamic therapy, which has yet to be fully realized to control cancer. "
The team, which includes Luis M. Campos, an assistant professor of chemistry at Columbia University, and Daniel M. Congreve of the Harvard Institute's Rowland Institute, Of experiments using small amounts of a new compound that, when stimulated by light, could be a mediator in the process of electrons moving between molecules that otherwise would interact more slowly or never react.
Their so-called "triple fusion transformation" approach involves a series of processes that essentially combine infrared photons into one visible photon.
Most techniques capture visible light only, meaning that the rest of the solar spectrum is wasted.
A triple fusion transformer that collects low-power infrared light and converts it into light can then be absorbed by electronic optical devices, such as solar cells.
Visible light is easily reflected on many surfaces, while infrared has longer wavelengths that penetrate dense materials.
"By this technique, we were able to accurately adjust the infrared light to the necessary and longer wavelengths that allowed us to pass through a wide range of barriers such as paper, plastic molds, blood and tissue," Campos said.
So that researchers flicked light through two slices of bacon wrapped around a flask.
Scientists have long tried to solve the problem of how to obtain visible light penetrating the skin and blood without damaging the internal organs, or healthy tissue.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is used to treat some cancers. It makes a special drug called photosensitizer, which is triggered by light to produce a highly reactive oxygen form that can kill or inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Current photodynamic therapy is limited to the treatment of topical or superficial cancers.
"This new technology can bring PDT to areas of the body that were previously unreachable," Roveis said.
Instead of poisoning the entire body with a drug that causes the death of both malignant cells and healthy cells, a non-toxic, infrared-related drug can selectively target the site of the tumor and release radiation toward the cancer cells. "
This technique may have a far-reaching effect.
Infrared therapy may be helpful in treating a number of diseases and health conditions, including traumatic brain injury, damaged nerves, damaged spinal cords, hearing loss, and cancer.
Other potential applications include remote management of chemical storage for solar energy production and data storage, drug development, sensors, food safety methods, bone simulators, and microelectronic processing.
Researchers are currently testing photon conversion techniques in additional biological systems. "This opens up unprecedented opportunities for changing the way light interacts with living organisms.
At the moment, we are using conversion techniques in tissue engineering and delivering drugs to their target. "
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