The damaging potential of UV-light is well know. UV light is the culprit behind sunburns, faded colors and material deterioration. A group of researchers in China may have discovered a glass-based compound that absorbs UV light before it can do damage. The UV-absorbing glass could be useful in space exploration, and preservation.
UV-absorbing compound could be used in glass, polymers
The glass compound is made from glass ceramics combined with cerium-IV oxide. Cerium-IV oxide naturally absorbs UV light. By combining it with transparent glass, the scientists were able to make UV-absorbing shields that can protect biological tissues as well as sensitive electronics that would otherwise be damaged by exposure to UV radiation.
The material can be produced in bulk form or as a film, making it suitable as a thin, long-lasting shield. In space, a radiation-absorbing coating could increase the functional lifetime of sensitive electronic equipment. Closer to home, the coating could help reduce tissue damage from UV light, and could also help preserve cultural artifacts or historically significant relics. The compound can also be combined with polymers to give them UV-blocking capabilities.
The scientists have not determined how long the UV-absorbing coating could last, but they intend to continue working on developing additional materials with UV-reducing properties.
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Photo Credit: Csaba Szabo, via FreeImages.com