In solution, this dye was green, but when Tridib Sarma evaporated off the solvent, the compound coated his round-bottom flask and revealed a copperlike luster, giving us a view of him and his laboratory. This polypyrrole dye has a highly conjugated network of overlapping π orbitals, which allows the molecules to strongly interact with light, giving rise to this strong color. Sarma, a postdoc at Shanghai University, analyzes the interactions between light and compounds like this one for potential use in organic electronics, artificial photosynthesis, and photodynamic cancer therapy—in which dyes and light are used to kill cancer cells.
Submitted by Tridib Sarma
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