An accidental crystallization and good lighting can make even a relatively common molecule pop. β-Lapachone is just orange under normal conditions, but the way the solvent evaporated from this sample (~5 cm in diameter) gave it this sparkling gold appearance when lit from below. The molecule “has some national appeal to Brazilian chemists,” says João Victor Silva Néto, a chemistry student at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro who made this sample. Its precursor, lapachol, is easy to extract from the Brazilian ipê tree. Both compounds are under investigation in Brazil for applications including the photochemistry work that Néto is involved in and drugs for treating Chagas Disease.
Submitted by João Victor Silva Néto, @thesn98 on Twitter
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