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These short-lived blue globs formed when water was added to a cyclopentadienyl cobalt complex. While it may look beautiful, Jesús Sanjosé-Orduna says this color is a bad sign for anyone who works with these complexes because it means that the reaction is contaminated. With the addition of moisture, “unstable species are being formed, which are going to decay in the next minutes into a nasty and useless black slurry,” he says. Sanjosé-Orduna is a PhD candidate at the Institut Català d’Investigació Química. Since beginning his PhD, he’s struggled with ambient humidity interacting with the sensitive cobalt complexes. His research focuses on using the complexes to catalyze C–H activation reactions.
Submitted by Jesús Sanjosé-Orduna
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