President's Report Masthead
December 31, 2014
Nanotech process makes heat-resistant dyes

Jonathan Cohen
Wayne Jones, professor of chemistry, received a $50,000 SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund grant for his work with optical dyes.

Nanotech process makes heat-resistant dyes

You may have heard about the hazards posed by pranksters who shine laser pointers at airplanes during takeoff or landing. One way to keep those beams of concentrated light from blinding pilots is to incorporate a special dye in the cockpit windows, one that blocks the wavelengths of laser light while letting other wavelengths through.

Optical dyes can be used to control color and light in applications ranging from laser welding to production of sunglasses and plasma TVs. The dyes used for this purpose are often expensive; others are cheap but apt to decompose when exposed to heat.

A better set of options — optical dyes that are both economical and stable — is about to hit the market, thanks to researchers at Binghamton University.

Wayne Jones, professor of chemistry and chair of Binghamton’s chemistry department, received a $50,000 investment from SUNY’s Technology Accelerator Fund (TAF) for a new process to bind organic dyes to metal oxides. The investment will help Jones and his lab further develop the process and scale up for commercial production.

Jones made the discovery in collaboration with Bill Bernier, a research professor in the chemistry department, and graduate student Kenneth Skorenko.

Read more about their work in DISCOVER-e.