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By Tan Do, Chemistry; Tien Do, Chemistry
Advisor: Christopher Gulgas
Presentation ID: PM_C09
Abstract: Solvatochromism is defined as the ability of a chemical substance to change its color as a response to changing the solvent polarity. The purpose of this investigation was to identify compounds "off the shelf" that exhibit the solvatochromic effect for the development of an undergraduate organic chemistry experiment. The absorbance behaviors of multiple indicator molecules were studied as well as other organic molecules for potential use in the experiment. The primary objective was to identify and characterize a solvatochromic effect in multiple organic molecules and develop a procedure for students to discover this effect in a three-hour experiment. Ultimately, bromothymol blue and 4-nitrophenol were selected as molecules that exhibited interesting behavior in different solvents, including red-shifted absorbance. The process of identifying suitable compounds and the general design of the undergraduate experiment will be discussed.