Graduate students Drake Beery and Grace McLeod in Kenneth Hanson’s lab at Florida State University achieved this marvelous marigold hue in the process of synthesizing a monomer for polymerization. Their ultimate goal was to generate a stilbene-containing polyimide polymer. “Polymers containing photoisomerizable units, like stilbene, are of interest for use as photomechanical films,” Hanson says. Materials of this type—ones that convert photon energy to mechanical work, for example by bending, stretching, or folding in response to light—could find use in robotics, aerospace engineering, and drug delivery. Hanson’s group aims to use molecular photophysics to improve light absorption and to maximize the photon-to-work efficiency.
Credit: The Hanson Research Group
Do science. Take pictures. Win money. Enter our photo contest here.