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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

Kristine Maxwell

Kristine Maxwell is a rising senior at Truman State University. She is currently majoring. in Chemistry and intends to specialize in environmental chemistry after she obtains her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. A little insight into her personal life: she grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and hopes to have enough money so that she can travel the world comfortably. She has fou siblings and her favorite color is sky blue. This summer 2022, Kristine is working with Brandi James in Dr. Anna Gudmundsdottir's lab to study the photodynamic motions of organic azide crystals, specifically of 1-azido-2-nitrobenzene (1A-2NB) crystals. Dynamic azide crystals are materials that respond to external stimuli, release N2 gas, and have the ability to convert light to mechanical motion such as bending, flipping, cracking, etc. When these crystals are paired with low-energy visible light, we can influence cost-effective and sustainable reactions since we are minimizing solvent waste. However, before we can use these azide crystals in applications such as robotics, sensors, etc., we need to understand their crystal packing and forces between the lattices, which dictate how the crystal will react to external stimuli. Throughout the summer, she will continue to learn several complex laboratory techniques involving such as synthesis, characterization of compounds (TLC, IR, NMR spectroscopy), photolysis methods (including sample preparation), crystallization methods, and waste safety whilst handling these materials. Overall, because azides are potentially explosive, we take a lot of safety measures into our procedures and follow them meticulously.

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