Colorimetric Chemistry

Color chemistry has a long and illustrious history. I, myself can trace my academic ancestry back to William H. Perkin, the inventor of mauvine. Organic Chemistry student can share in this legacy by performing the Azo Dye experiment. The experiment I current use is an extension of the popular methyl orange experiment that I remember performing as an undergraduate (Pavia, Lampman, and Kris). Instead of a single dye, my students prepare 9 different dyes and compare their Visible spectra and the way they dye a multifiber (diacetate, bleached cotton, nylon 6.6, Dacron 54, orlon 75, and worsted wool ) strip. The multifiber strip acts as a rudimentary colorimetric array to bring out substantial differences in azo dyes that all have very similar chemical composition and visible spectra. Colorimetric arrays are azointeresting way to collect data that are complementary to the physical characteristics and spectroscopic analysis that we routinely use to characterize compounds. I have been fascinated by the work of Kenneth Suslick at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. He has been designing colorimetric arrays that can sense subtle differences in complex mixtures much the way our sense of taste and/or smell can detect individual components of a mixture. It would be interesting to develop and undergraduate colorimetric array experiment. Variations of colorimetric arrays can be found in microarrays, DNA sequencing, and various imaging techniques.

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One Comment

  1. kalidass
    Posted March 9, 2009 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Dear sir,
    I am a researcher, looking for an estimation both
    qualitative and quantitative protocols for azo dyes
    remazol black, can i get the procedure the wavelenth
    and efficient protocol to do the same
    with regards
    Dr kalidass


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