Molecules with rare and valuable light-absorbing abilities finally give up their structural secrets

Molecules with rare and valuable light-absorbing abilities finally give up their structural secrets – Potential applications for organic molecules that can interact with light in unusual ways range from next-generation solar cells to light-activated anticancer drugs. One of the oldest families of these brightly colored molecules is the phthalocyanines that were discovered in 1907 and subsequently prized by industry as dyes. A research team from Japan and Russia recently discovered a new branch of this family. The unusual light-capturing properties of these so-called ‘expanded phthalocyanines’ look set to springboard the phthalocyanines into a range of high-tech applications. Reference: 'Rectangular-Shaped Expanded Phthalocyanines with Two Central Metal Atoms', J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134 (7), pp 3411–3418 (10.1021/ja209589x)

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