With a little imagination, you can see a complete jungle in this picture, with large ferns and grass on the ground. Although plants are made of organic material, what you see here is something different.

When you think of crystals, you might think of inorganic chemistry, but organic chemistry has its own crystal structures. This was captured by postdoctoral researcher Matthew Kessinger in Gerald Meyer’s lab at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). The molecule in question is a derivative of BODIPY, a well-known organic dye. The molecule changes colour when subjected to an electric field that either protonates or deprotonates one of its side groups. This would allow its use as an indicator or fluorescent probe. This image originally appeared in the Chemistry in Pictures gallery on the Chemistry & Engineering News website.

Do you have any nice pictures from your research? Send them to redactie@kncv.nl and they may appear in our magazine!



Beeld: Matthew Kessinger