Tag Archives: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

The Soot Line: Between fire and ice

The question of precisely what happens as stars and planets condense from vast clouds of gas is still very much an unanswered one. We have some good ideas of how things work, but really it’s difficult to be certain. Newly … Continue reading

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Quite hexagonal

I’m of the personal opinion that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecules, often known as PAHs, are one of the finest proofs that the Universe is beautiful. Carbon, at the molecular level, organises itself into geometrically perfect hexagons. It doesn’t even need … Continue reading

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Pretty crystals

This rather pretty and slightly fractalicious image is a micrograph of some naphthalene crystals, taken in polarised light. Naphthalene is an aromatic hydrocarbon, with two rings fused together (not polycyclic, just bicyclic). Interestingly, the crystal in the image looks a … Continue reading

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Why did the molecule cross the road?

Every now and again, I discover something so utterly cool that I just can’t not write about it. This is 9,10-dithioanthracene. It’s a substituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. And it can walk. I promise I’m not making this up. Well, in … Continue reading

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Rubbing the right elbows

Well it’s not often you get told about a symposium that’s 100% relevant to your research interests! I’m posting this almost entirely to remind myself to look into it. Seriously, I’d love to go along. Even if it means grovelling … Continue reading

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Molecular portrait

Using techniques pioneered by IBM Research Zurich, this is the first ever AFM image of a single molecule. The most detailed single image of a pentacene molecule you’ll ever see, in fact. Seriously, I’m amazed. I had no idea atomic … Continue reading

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Silabenzene

Silabenzene is one of those chemical curiosities. With little use except to theoretical organic chemists, it’s a benzene molecule with one carbon atom replaced by a silicon “pendant” atom. A heterocyclic aromatic. For a long time it was believed to … Continue reading

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Extragalactic molecules!

When I saw this paper’s title I was intrigued. When I realised what this paper was actually about, I was genuinely enthralled! A couple of months ago, I was wondering whether it would be possible to take a gamma ray … Continue reading

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A Simple Kind of Life

As many an astrochemist will tell you without hesitation, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are important molecules to study, because they’re directly relevant to the origins of life. We tend to repeat this like a mantra, and perhaps we don’t always fully … Continue reading

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Protonation’s what you need

Ah, the humble proton. Simple, stable, and able to drastically affect the chemistry of other molecules — and nowhere more so than in the Interstellar Medium (ISM). H2 molecules, for instance are readily protonated in dense interstellar clouds, forming H3+, … Continue reading

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