Beauty is in the eye of the beholder—or in this case, the lens of a cell phone camera looking down into a flask at crystals of a peacock-colored organic molecule. The owner of the camera, Matthew Kessinger, is a postdoctoral fellow in Gerald Meyer’s lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He synthesized the molecule, a derivative of a boron-containing dye called BODIPY, as part of his research. It contains a functional group that is protonated or deprotonated depending on the electric field applied to it. The change in protonation triggers a color change that could make the molecule useful as an indicator or fluorescent probe.
Submitted by Matthew Kessinger
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