– Blue Moon –
Department – Chemistry and Biochemistry (Graduate Students) –
Research Field – Photochesmitry –
How image was captured – DSLR –
Research Impact & Significance – Chemistry typically employs the use of heat to initiate reactions, but this often causes unwanted side products to form. By utilizing light as an energy source chemists can selectively excite the bonds needed to cause a reaction to occur. Excited State Proton Transfer (ESPT) is a type of photochemical reaction that can increase the acidity of a molecule by up to ten trillion times. ESPT has potential for use in the production of sensitive pharmaceuticals which require the use of low temperatures to prevent toxic side products from forming. Pictured here is a round bottom flask coated in crystals of a molecule used for ESPT. The crystals glow blue when exposed to ultraviolet light giving the appearance of a crater pocked moon.