Posted: June 22, 2007

The nanocarbon material with the highest capacity to remove active oxygen

(Nanowerk News) Researchers from the Self-assembled Nano-electronics Group of the Nanotechnology Research Division of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) measured the ability of each nanocarbon material to remove singlet oxygen, a kind of active oxygen species. In cooperation with AIST’s Research Center for Advanced Carbon Materials they discovered that higher fullerene and endohedral metallofullerene can deactivate singlet oxygen with great efficiency.
Because singlet oxygen is highly active it is closely related to the deterioration of various substances exposed to light. It greatly affects a number of aspects of our lives, for example by damaging DNA in the living body and contributing to skin deterioration. This is why substances with the ability to remove singlet oxygen are vital from the viewpoints of both photodeterioration control and preventive medicine.
Although nanocarbon materials are expected to have various applications, they have never been studied as materials for the removal of singlet oxygen. In this research, we performed detailed measurements and verified the ability of nanocarbon materials to remove singlet oxygen. We found that higher fullerene C82 and endohedral metallofullerene have the same excellent removal ability as carotenoid pigment (beta carotene in this research), the substance with the highest removal capacity in nature. Fullerene is excellent because it can be mass-produced and processed at high temperature, and it can be thinned with the help of vacuum deposition.
AIST has been asking companies with related technologies to participate in this research in order to establish applications for this material as a photooxidation inhibitor and in preventive medicine.
Source: AIST