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The contents of this Erlenmeyer flask, forgotten in the back of a fume hood for a month, crystallized into a floral pattern. The crystallized molecule, 2-allylisoindoline-1,3-dione, came from the ethyl acetate portion of an aqueous extraction that was part of a three-step synthesis. Paul Furuta, director of material development at Capacitor Sciences, performed the experiment and says the flask may contain a significant amount of the solvent dimethylformamide. “This might have contributed to the slow crystallization and interesting pattern.” The final product of the synthesis is an advanced dielectric—an electrical insulator—for use in energy-storage capacitors.
Submitted by Paul Furuta
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