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This thin-layer chromatography (TLC) plate, illuminated by an ultraviolet lamp emitting light at 365 nm, displays bands reminiscent of the aurora borealis, a phenomenon caused when solar wind disturbs the magnetosphere. Indrajit Srivastava, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, uses TLC to analytically separate materials. The number of bands indicates how many components are present in the reaction mixture. Here Srivastava is analyzing a reaction mixture containing a pyrene-pyrazole-based dye. Without the UV lamp, only two bands would be visible. The lab that Srivastava works in synthesizes novel dyes for imaging applications.
Submitted by Indrajit Srivastava
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