Nature uses porphyrins for all kinds of things. The aromatic, disc-shaped molecules form the functional core of systems that transport oxygen, catalyze biochemical transformations, and harvest light, among other things. Sukrit Tantrawong, a professor at Thammasat University, studies porphyrins as components of dye-sensitized solar cells, where the molecules’ famously rich colors are used to expand the range of light that an inorganic semiconductor can transform into useable electrons. He captured this image while analyzing a thin film of a porphyrin derivative using an optical polarizing microscope.
Submitted by Sukrit Tantrawong
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