Issue Date: February 15, 2018

Chemistry in Pictures: Illuminating the way forward

Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: Chempics, fluorescence, xanthene, lignin
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Credit: Submitted by Nikos Nikitas, PhD student, University of Athens
A round-bottom flask with a green-fluorescent solid inside sits on a sciencey-looking paper under UV light.
 
Credit: Submitted by Nikos Nikitas, PhD student, University of Athens

While working on a master’s degree, Nikos Nikitas got hooked on fluorescence and decided to pursue synthesis and photochemistry. This photo shows a synthetic lignin derivative derived from xanthenes. Lignins are a type of polymer found naturally in plants. Nikitas prepared it as part of a master’s project that aims to evaluate such compounds for their interaction with human cancer cells.

He says the work gave him “a real-time example of fluorescence, made me think more about the interaction between organic molecules and irradiation. These thoughts made me choose a PhD in photochemistry and make organic reactions greener with the use of light.”

Submitted by Nikos Nikitas, PhD student, University of Athens

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