Bright Idea: Glow-in-the-Dark Dye Could Power Cars

In Inventions
BODIPY dye glows brightly under a black light. Credit: Douglas Levere

BODIPY dye glows brightly under a black light.
Credit: Douglas Levere

If the world one day sees a boom in electric cars and renewable energy, people will need more efficient batteries than are currently available. Now, researchers say a glow-in-the-dark dye used to track chemicals in cells could offer a solution.

The chemical is boron-dipyrromethene, otherwise known as BODIPY, and it consists of a set of carbon rings linked to a boron atom and two fluorine atoms. BODIPY glows under “black” light. Chemistry researchers use it as a marker to see reactions or identify where biological systems take up other substances, such as cadmium.

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