New light-sensitive polymers may permit 'etching' images into vegetation

Mar 19, 2007

Scientists in Ohio are reporting development of the first “biophotoresists,” new compounds that may be a counterpart to the light sensitive materials used in key industrial processes — such as photolithography and photoengraving — to etch patterns for electronic circuitry and other purposes on silicon chips and other surfaces.

The new compounds could expand such patterning capabilities to biological materials such as vegetation on the ground or coatings of algae, the researchers said.

In the study, scheduled for the current issue of ACS’ Biomacromolecules, a monthly journal, Douglas C. Neckers and Andrei V. Fedorov describe syntheses of new forms of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. The new compounds are photosensitive, able to change from liquids into polymers when exposed to light. Laboratory tests showed that the compounds had herbicidal action against strains of algae, E. coli and other organisms.

Those two characteristics suggest that the compounds “have a valuable potential for the development of new bioactive coatings with herbicidal properties,” the report states. The researchers added: “Given that photopolymers have wide use in coatings, paints and varnishes, these results raise the possibility of surface coatings with herbicidal activity. In the abstract, one can also envision surfaces imaged with herbicides allowing plant growth or not depending on the image.”

Source: ACS

Explore further: New chip promising for tumor-targeting research

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New chip promising for tumor-targeting research

11 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Researchers have developed a chip capable of simulating a tumor's "microenvironment" and plan to use the new system to test the effectiveness of nanoparticles and drugs that target cancer.

New star-shaped molecule breakthrough

17 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Scientists at The University of Manchester have generated a new star-shaped molecule made up of interlocking rings, which is the most complex of its kind ever created.

A refined approach to proteins at low resolution

Sep 19, 2014

Membrane proteins and large protein complexes are notoriously difficult to study with X-ray crystallography, not least because they are often very difficult, if not impossible, to crystallize, but also because ...

User comments : 0