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Explaining the Broadband Absorbance of Melanins
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Melanins are the dark biopigment that colours the hair, skin and eyes of many species, including humans. They have many fascinating physical properties including condensed phase electrical conductivity and photoconductivity, the ability to efficiently non-radiatively relax photoexcitations, and most significantly, unique broad band monotonic absorption in the UV and visible ranges. Attempts to explain these properties are hampered by a lack of knowledge of the physical structure of melanin, particularly at the secondary (nanometer) level. I will discuss our progress in investigating the tructure-property-function relationships of melanin using spectroscopic and quantum chemical methods, and our interpretation of these results in the context of the chemical disorder structural model of melanins.
This talk is part of the BSS Formal Seminars series.
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