Henry Rzepa's Blog Chemistry with a twist

March 8, 2011

Monastral: the colour of blue

The story of Monastral is not about a character in the Magic flute, but is a classic of chemical serendipity, collaboration between industry and university, theoretical influence, and of much else. Fortunately, much of that story is actually recorded on film (itself a unique archive dating from 1933 and being one of the  very first colour films in existence!). Patrick Linstead, a young chemist then (he eventually rose to become rector of Imperial College) tells the story himself here. It is well worth watching, if only for its innocent social commentary on the English class system (and an attitude to laboratory safety that should not be copied nowadays). Here I will comment only on its colour and its aromaticity.

Copper phthalocyanine

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March 5, 2011

Lapis lazuli: the colour of ultramarine.

My colleague Bill Griffith has again come up with another colour challenge: that of the ancient semi-precious stone Lapis Lazuli, mined in the mountains of Afghanistan for more than 6000 years and used by painters in some medieval paintings of the Virgin, the Wilton diptych etc.

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April 16, 2010

Carbobenzene: benzene with a difference

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , — Henry Rzepa @ 10:44 am

Some molecules, when you first see them, just intrigue. So it was with carbobenzene, the synthesis of a derivative of which was recently achieved by Remi Chauvin and co-workers (DOI: 10.1002/chem.200601193). Two additional carbon atoms have been inserted into each of the six C-C bonds in benzene.

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