I'm terribly unlucky with growing crystals, as I think I mentioned before. That is to say...I can grow them, I just can't do it on demand. When I took off for the summer, I left a few vials full of solvent and other goodies sitting around under the bench, and when I came back, the structures were solved.[1]

Along with the "accidental" method of crystal growth, there is also the "leave-it-in-an-NMR-tube-and-forget-about-it" method. I'd never seen it work until I peeked under my bench this week and saw this spiky little guy.

Of course, most of what's in there looks like crud, and I know the sample wasn't the cleanest stuff in the world, but hey! It's still crystalline. Not terribly useful, though, as it's an undesirable byproduct.[2] Oops.

I could show you more red-orange crystals, but I'd rather end with something bright blue that's been sitting on the shelf above my bench for over a year or so. I didn't make it, and the guy who did has pretty awful handwriting (AARGH!) so I'm not entirely sure what it is. Methinks there's copper in there, though.

Enjoy the pictures. There are more coming.[3]

[1] SCORE!!!
[2] If I work for you and I'm wrong, feel free to throw it to the x-rays. But that's the only crystal-looking thing I have of that compound, and the intended product is probably more useful.
[3] ...because I'm back to making colorful things, and because a fluff post is always easier to write than a real post with content. You know better than to expect actual content in a CBC post, right?


Excimer said...

hey wait, I put in real content, goddamnit! Not real GOOD content, but real content, nonetheless.

Ψ*Ψ said...

Yeah, but you're busy lately, so they're stuck with MY posts. Which are pretty much content-free. :)

Felix said...

the nice thing about these posts is that they are not only easier to write but also easier to read. I hate thinking while I am reading a blog :)

Mitch said...

But you meant to make crystals, so would it really be serendipitous? :P


Curious Wavefunction said...

spot on mitch boy

Excimer said...

mitch and ashutosh and other sticklers of the english language:


The faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident. Also, the fact or an instance of such a discovery. (from Mr. OED)

The accidental method of crystal-making is most certainly serendipitous, at least the first time it happened. But hey, what's a little linguistic license if it means you get to correct someone again, eh mitch? :-P

Ψ*Ψ said...

Um, like, that's why there's a question mark?
in all seriousness, i needed a title.

Mitch` said...

If you don't like my apples, don't shake my tree.

Hap said...

No one in your lab does azulene chemistry? Azulenes are cool.

David Eaton said...

Get a structure. It might be cool.

Anybody in the lab do single crystal conductivity measurements? That's always fun. Silver epoxying hair thin gold wires on a teeny crystal...good times...my eyes cross just thinking about it.

milkshake said...

Mitch, please is there possibly a saying that goes like:

"If you don't like my nipples, don't shake my [...]" ?

And if there is one please can I use it? (I give you the full credit for it)w

Ψ*Ψ said...

If I thought they were x-ray worthy, I would consider it, but I really doubt anything would come out of them.
Don't think anyone's doing single crystal conductivity measurements. Everyone in the lab now is doing synthetic work, although one of the grad students seems to like being in the clean tent a lot.

joel said...

I remember hearing in biochemistry class that the first crystal of tRNA was discovered after an extended vacation.

Liquidcarbon said...

It looks like Tenderbutton's ear wax. :)