This project began in the Organic Chemistry Lab course, where students prepared malachite green and crystal violet dyes. The exercise was an illustration of a type of reaction known as a Grignard reaction on either of two different but closely related esters and resulted in the teal and purple dyes. This particular lab often inspires the more curious students to see if any different colors of dyes can be made through the same process. In the Advanced Organic Chemistry course, there was the opportunity to further explore the relationship between observed color and the molecular structure of the dyes. Using our knowledge of concepts such as aromaticity, conjugation, planarity, and molecular orbital interactions it was proposed that by selecting the proper starting materials, a red dye should be able to be made by the same process. On preparation of these new dyes, instead of red, a brilliant orange specimen was prepared.
Brian Hatvick, ’04 Mesa, AZ
Majors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry
Sponsor: Charles Liberko