Based on a new study available in Scientific Reports, an environmentally safe alternative for a light bulb has been found. A mixture of turmeric and red pomegranate can produce white light emission (WLE). The mixture of edible plants has to be exposed to light wavelengths just beneath the visible threshold (380 nm) in order to produce such light.
Existing LED technology which depends on toxic materials such as arsenic, copper, nickel, and lead can be replaced by this new alternative.
Indian researchers explained how they managed to adjust the color temperature of the WLE by adjusting the concentrations of the anthocyanins from red pomegranate seed juice and curcumin extract from turmeric.
The mechanism behind the production of virtually pure white light emission is named Foster resonance energy transfer. This mechanism transfers energy between two light-sensitive molecules. These molecules are known as chromophores.
Additionally, this edible gelatin-based mixture of the plant extracts was able to produce almost pure white under the exposure to UV light.
The researchers concluded that white light emission was generated from natural dyes in environmentally safe and simple procedures.
Other similar approaches could lead to a more widespread range of low-cost and efficient WLE biomaterials, which will replace more costly alternatives that are currently being pursued. Their findings have innovative implications for future technology since scientists have been searching for new technology to replace existing LED technology.
We were familiar with the use of turmeric and pomegranate in disease prevention and treatment. Now, other technological applications of these substances are possible and it is likely that other applications will emerge at some point in the future.