July 23, 2018 at 5:10 pm

Pickens’ ‘Ruthenium Rubies’ Featured at Chemical & Engineering News

Rachael Pickens' photo of Ruthenium rubies, shown here as red crystals

Rachael Pickens’ photo of “Ruthenium rubies”

Chemistry & Biochemistry graduate student Rachael Pickens, a third-year Ph.D. student, recently submitted a picture of some crystals that she grew in Dr. Jessica White’s lab to Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) for their “Chemistry in Pictures” feature.

C&EN is a magazine published by the American Chemical Society. Her picture was selected to appear on the website along with a short blurb about it:

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.


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