YInMn blue: Extraordinary and accidental

Oregon State University has created a brand new (and unpronounceable!) colour completely by accident.

YInMn blue was a happy accident in 2009, and came about during an experiment with manganese oxide to create new materials that would be used in electronics, and this new hue is set for big things as the pigment will be available for artists and manufacturers to use later this year.

But what makes YInMn blue so special? Named after the elements that have been used to create it (Yttrium, Indium and Manganese), it’s one of the most vibrant blues ever created, while its unique crystal structure makes the pigment stable, durable and fade resistant when mixed with water or oil.

Despite us knowing that white light contains every colour in the rainbow, there are still some colours that are yet to be created in a useable form, this new pigment being one of them. In addition to this, the pigment industry has always struggled to address problems with safety, toxicity and durability, and this vivid new pigment is made entirely from non-toxic ingredients.

Image from Harvard Gazette

The pigment structure is of interest to energy companies as they continue to search for ways to improve energy efficiency. YInMn blue is very good at reflecting infrared light, and when used in roofing materials it could work to keep the property cool. In addition, art restorers are taking an interest as the pigment is similar to Ultramarine, but a lot more durable.

At their recent developer and press showcase event, technology giant AMD announced that they have used this revolutionary new pigment to colour their new Radeon Pro WX Graphic Card. We’re sure that AMD’s announcement won’t be the last for this striking new pigment.

(Image @Mas_OregonState on Twitter)

(Image @Mas_OregonState on Twitter)

Image used to in the headline courtesy of Oregon State University.

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The Chromologist


The Chromologist is a colour whisperer. He understands and knows them better than they know themselves, translating their pleas to be used beautifully for humankind. It's unknown from whence he came. Some say the fraction of space between a prism and a spectrum, others say he toiled in the fabled colour mines of Svalbard for years untold, deep underground, speaking only to the reds and blues, cerises and aquas, bronze and golds...

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