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Inorganic Chemistry

Chemistry In Pictures

Chemistry in Pictures: Solid-state sand art

by Manny Morone
December 16, 2019

A line of vials with colorful powders inside them. layered on top of each other so that they look like waves in an ocean and hills on a landscape.
Credit: JoAnna Milam-Guerrero

Shirking the need for solvents, most of PhD student JoAnna Milam-Guerrero’s reactions happen in the solid state. She and the rest of Brent Melot’s group at the University of Southern California study material properties of inorganic solids (for example, Ni3Si2O5(OH)4 is teal and Y3Fe5O12 is yellow and red). Over the course of about 800 reactions, they amassed this waste material, all of which is stable even when mixed. Ultimately, the lab hopes to use the compounds they’re making for new functional materials and catalysts. “Each vial holds about 100 reactions, making this picture 1.5 PhD students’ dissertations,” Milam-Guerrero says.

Submitted by JoAnna Milam-Guerrero

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