Cutting Edge Technology: Gold Nanoparticles for Research

Chemistry, Medicine
[caption id="attachment_24005" align="alignright" width="480"] Using a nanoparticle-based sensing strategy for determining protein levels in blood. Image by Vincent Rotello, University of Massachusetts[/caption] There is spellbinding beauty in “yellow, yellow” gold. But gold is not always yellow. If individual gold atoms are clumped together in small quantities – agglomerated – they assume various colors depending upon the physical properties of the agglomerates. If all the particles are of about the same size and shape, the color and other physical properties, when duplicated, are exactly reproduced. Interestingly, aggregates can be grown with a specific geometry. They can even be grown into the particularly useful form – nanorods. The assortment of colors that can be produced ranges from red to purple to blue. But there is a problem. If gold nanoparticles grown with…
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The Fascinating Acetylacetone Molecule and Its Acetylacetonate Salts

Chemistry, Technology
[caption id="attachment_20255" align="alignright" width="400"] Cobalt III Acetylacetonate[/caption] Acetylacetone is the simplest of the β-diketones and supports the phenomenon we call keto-enol tautomerism (see the illustration). Notice that the third carbon atom in the 5-carbon keto chain loans one of its hydrogen atoms in forming the enol tautomer. The freedom to move of this hydrogen atom suggests acetylacetone is a weak acid.1 In effect, the saturated di-ketone becomes an unsaturated di-alcohol. Only instead of two hydrogen atoms, one to each oxygen atom, there is just the one hydrogen atom that must be shared. Preparation Commercially, acetylacetone or H(acac) can be prepared from isopropenyl acetate by heating it in the presence of an appropriate metal catalyst. Dissociation and Reaction Since it is an acid, it can ionize or "disassociate", giving a positive…
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