Gianluigi Albano stared into this swirling pink design after evaporating the solvent in his flask. Albano, a postdoc in the lab of Gianluca Maria Farinola at the University of Bari Aldo Moro, wants to see how chiral diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) dyes, such as the colorful compound seen in this photo, interact with light. Because DPP dyes are known to absorb visible light strongly—a quality that creates their intense colors—related chiral compounds might show useful properties when made into thin films and exposed to circularly polarized light.
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