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Graduate student Rachael Pickens of Ohio University produced these crystals, shown under a microscope at 10× magnification, by diffusing vapors of diethyl ether into a solution containing a ruthenium polypyridyl complex. Such complexes efficiently absorb light and get excited, allowing them to transfer energy or an electron to other molecules to drive new reactions. These complexes are used in imaging, solar cells, sensors, and photodynamic therapy. Pickens’s lab is working on the latter. Her group hopes to develop less-invasive cancer treatments by designing new complexes that drive reactions targeting cancer cell DNA or proteins only when stimulated by light.
Submitted by Rachael Pickens
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