Nickel(II)-sulfate hepta/hexahydrate crystals what were grown in the lab during the winter break. They are not perfect, but they look pretty.

It’s interesting that while anhydrous nickel(II)-sulfate is a yellow solid, the hexahydrate (6 molecules of H2O for each NiSO4) is blue and the heptahydrate (7 molecules of H2O for each NiSO4) is greenish-blue. As seen on the picture these are probably heptahydrates, but they will dehydrate by standing on air to give the hexahydrate.

Nickel sulfate occurs as the rare mineral retgersite, which is a hexahydrate.
Lecture List for University Chemistry Courses

Chemistry Courses Included:

  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Quantum Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Chemistry Lab Technique
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Metallurgy

This is an amazing resource for anyone currently studying these courses, studying these courses in the future, or anyone interested in the subject. Enjoy and please reblog so more people are aware!

A large crystal of potassium ferrocyanide. 

Potassium ferrocyanide is the inorganic compound with formula K4[Fe(CN)6] * 3H2O. At us it is called yellow blood salt, what comes from it’s historical production. Long ago it was manufactured from organically derived nitrogenous carbon sources, iron filings, and potassium carbonate. Common nitrogen and carbon sources were torrified horn, leather scrap, offal, or dried blood.

A famous reaction with this compound involves treatment with ferric salts to give Prussian blue [Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3].


Cool Chemistry: How Many Nitrogens Are There?!

Explosives chemistry (often referred to as the more innocuous-sounding “energetic materials”) is a highly active area of research. One of the leaders in the field of energetic materials is Dr. Thomas M. Klapötke (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, LMU). Klapötke’s specialty is synthesizing molecules containing large numbers of nitrogens: one of of his most notorious synthetic targets is shown above, with no hydrogens, only 2 carbons, and a jaw-dropping 14 nitrogens! This molecule was, somehow miraculously, characterized by X-ray crystallography, IR and Raman spectroscopy, and 13C and 14N NMR spectroscopy (not shown); detonation sensitivity tests were also performed, as well as a computational study to calculate the charge distribution in the molecule.

So what gives high-nitrogen compounds their explosive habits? The fundamental reason is that formation of nitrogen gas, N2, is highly favorable. The N-N triple bond of dinitrogen is one of the strongest bonds known in chemistry with a bond dissociation energy of 226 kcal/mol, making N2 an extremely stable molecule. (As a comparison, the dissociation energy of a typical C-C single bond is roughly 85 kcal/mol.) Any nitrogen that is produced also readily escapes from the system since it is a gas, increasing the entropy of the overall system.

The higher the mass fraction of nitrogen in a molecule, the more unstable it tends to be, especially when those nitrogens are bonded together. In the case of C2N14, the molecule is on the brink of not existing at all–the bulk compound will detonate at impacts less than 0.25 J or friction forces smaller than 1 N, which both deliver miniscule amounts of energy. In fact, detonation even occurred while taking an IR spectrum! (How they were able to get a crystal structure without destroying their X-ray diffractometer is beyond me.)

Although C2N14 is far too explosive to have any practical use in everyday life, further energetic materials research could potentially use the knowledge gained from these highly unstable compounds to create explosives more powerful than the current ones available that can be easily handled and controlled.

Reference: Klapötke, T. M.; Martin, F. A.; Stierstorfer, J. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 4227-4229.


Inorganic Flora by Macoto Murayama

Macoto Murayama born1984 in Kanagawa, Japan cultivates inorganic flora. The transparency of this work refers not only to the lucid petals of a flower but to the ambitious, romantic and utopian struggle of science to see and present the world as transparent (completely seen, entirely grasped) object. 

First, he chooses the plant and finds the real flower, for example the exquisite Lathyrus odoratus L. Second, he dissects the flower cutting the petal and ovary with scalpel and observes it with magnifying glass. Third, he makes sketches and photographs the parts of dissected flower. Forth, he models its form and structure using 3ds Max (3DCG software). Fifth, he renders separate parts and creates a composition using Adobe Photoshop. Sixth, he imposes admeasurements, parts names, scale, scientific name etc. Seventh, he prints out Lathirus odoratus L. at large scale printer and frames it… Here it is…  

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Years ago, a large amount of H(CuBr2) was made by adding copper(I)-bromide to a concentrated hydrobromic acid solution in acetic acid. This reagent is used in Sandmeyer reaction, for replacing a diazo group to bromine on an aromatic ring.

The interesting thing in these crystals, that they are highly hygroscopic, deliquescent, so I had to photograph them in a closed glass tank. And the crystals are like a rubber, they could be easily squeezed, they wont break, just bend. 



The bright colors of chemistry fascinate people of all ages. Hriday Bhattacharjee, a Ph.D. student in the lab of Jens Mueller at the University of Saskatchewan, assembled this showcase from compounds he prepared as well as from some synthesized by the undergraduate students he teaches. Organometallic and inorganic chemistry—the study of molecules like these that involve metal atoms—is especially colorful.

The table below the picture indicates the chemicals seen in the photo.

Submitted by Hriday Bhattacharjee

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