An irreversible thermochromic material based on manganese violet (MnNH4
) is synthesized. The crystal phase, chemical composition, and morphology of the synthesized material are analyzed using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. The absorption spectra of the synthesized material are obtained using a UV-Vis spectrometer, and the thermochromism exhibited by the powdered samples at high temperatures is also investigated. The as-synthesized manganese violet pigment consists of pure α-MnNH4
phase. In addition, the synthesized pigment largely consists of hexagonal crystals with a diameter of hundreds of nanometers. On heating, the pigment simultaneously loses H2
O and NH3
in two successive steps at approximately 330–434.4 °C and 434.4–527 °C, which correspond to the formation of an intermediate phase and of Mn2
, respectively. An overall mass loss of 14.22% is observed, which is consistent with the expected 13.79%. An irreversible color change from violet to white is observed after exposure of the synthesized manganese violet pigment at 400 °C for 30 min. This is attributed to the oxidation of ammonia to hydroxylamine, which then decomposes to nitrogen and water, or alternatively to the direct oxidation of ammonia to nitrogen. Furthermore, we demonstrate the potential application of synthesized manganese violet in the production of irreversible thermochromic paint by mixing with potassium silicate solution as a binder and deionized water as a solvent at a specific ratio. The thermochromic paint is then applied in fabrication of irreversible thermochromic sensors by coating it onto a steel plate surface. Finally, we show that manganese violet-based irreversible thermochromic sensors are able to detect temperatures around 400 °C by changing color from violet to white/milky.
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