I’m an upcoming Junior Chemistry student studying here at the University of Cincinnati. This summer I am working with Leanna Patton in the Gudmundsdottir Lab, working on the synthesis and characterization of photodynamic azide crystals.
The Gudmundsdottir lab focuses on photodynamic reactions as a part of the push for sustainability in Chemistry. The photodynamic crystals that we work on are Azide crystals; upon reacting with light, the crystals release nitrogen gas from the azide group. The resulting buildup of nitrogen gas from reacting with light allows the crystal to perform a variety of actions. They can jump, bend or shatter into pieces in a variety of ways. The purpose of the research is to form the rules for how and why different azide crystals do different things when reacting with light, so that we can predict their behavior and find even more practical uses for them.