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Chemistry in pictures

by Manny Morone
November 28, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 47

Selections from, where C&EN showcases the beauty of chemistry

Curly crystals
A man in PPE holds a blue glowing flask in a dark room.
Credit: Brian Love
Brian E. Love has kept this flask for more than 20 years. Love, an associate professor at East Carolina University, develops new organic reactions in his lab. One of his projects in the 1990s centered around modifying camphor, a compound that can be used as a starting point for synthesizing small molecules used in many fragrances and skin care products. In this beloved flask, Love made an imine by reacting camphor and 2-aminobiphenyl, but he couldn’t bring himself to break up these eye-catching branched crystals. He ran the reaction again so that he could preserve the crystals and has held onto them ever since.Submitted by Brian E. Love, East Carolina University
A flask with a maze of crystals formed on the inside.
Credit: Stefan Schramm
Stefan Schramm works in a truly illuminating field of chemistry. To create this photo, the postdoc dissolved just 5 mg of a 2-coumaranone derivative in a flask with a strong base. The 2-coumaranone reacted with oxygen in the air, creating an excited intermediate molecule, which then released energy in the form of bright blue light as it relaxed to its ground state. Schramm, who works with Panče Naumov at New York University, Abu Dhabi, carries out research focused on making these 2-coumaranones, a group of molecules that haven’t been studied much but could be useful for the detection of diseases such as HIV and various cancers.Submitted by Stefan Schramm, New York University, Abu Dhabi

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