Chemistry in Pictures: Crystals in bloom

May 3, 2018


Dean Campbell, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Bradley University, found these wildflower-like crystals of copper(II) acetylacetonate in his lab. His team was trying to develop new catalysts by making a solution of copper acetylacetonate in tetrahydrofuran (THF) and then soaking slabs of polydimethylsiloxane, a material that absorbs THF, in jars of the solution. After these experiments, Campbell and his team found that the THF had slowly evaporated out of the closed jars left in the back of a fume hood. As a result, the THF evaporated and these crystals formed on the jars’ walls.

Submitted by Kathryn Campbell

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