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New route to glitters

Researchers at Cambridge University have found new means to produce metre-long structurally coloured films that can be processed into effect pigments and glitters which are dispersible, even in water-based formulations.

The article, ‘Large-scale fabrication of structurally coloured cellulose nanocrystal films and effect pigments’, was published in Nature Materials in November 2021.

It details how the cellulose nanocrystal self-assembly process, in which renewable plant-based colloidal particles can form photonic films, had hitherto been studied only on a small scale. The research team used roll-to-roll deposition to produce large-area photonic films, which required the formulation of the cellulose nanocrystal suspension and the deposition and drying conditions to be optimised

These suspensions are “are an industrially relevant cellulose-based alternative to current products”, it is claimed. Current products are generally either micro-polluting, or based on carcinogenic, unsustainable or unethically sourced compounds, like titania or mica.

The work was originally inspired by the brilliant, metallic blue colour in the fruit of the marble berry plant (Pollia condensate). The glitters themselves were produced from wood-pulp and cotton but could potentially come from any plant material with extractable cellulose, including food waste.

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Upcoming Events

Testing of Personal Care Formulations

Burlington House, London
Thursday 17th March 2022

in-cosmetics Global 2022 - Paris

1 Pl. de la Porte de Versailles, Paris
5 - 7 April 2022

NYSCC Suppliers' Day 2022

Javits Center, New York
3 - 4 May 2022

in-cosmetics Korea 2022

Hall C, Coex, Seoul, South Korea
13 - 15 July 2022

PCHi China 2022

Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center
18 - 20 July 2022

32nd IFSCC Congress

Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster
19-22 September 2022

Access the latest issue of Personal Care Magazine on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Personal Care Magazine app from your device's App store

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