Saturday, 26 February 2011

A few of my favourite things...

Chemjobber, the guys at CBC, Azmanam, LabMonkey4Hire, ScienceGeist and others I'm sure I've missed have been posting about their favourite things in the lab so I thought I would wade in with some of my own personal favourite moments inside and outside the lab:

  • ·         The smell of DCM and Et2O (all of you who like the smell of ethyl acetate are, quite frankly, wrong).
  • ·         Fluffy crystals (even if I am just removing TEA.HCl or pyridine.HCl from a reaction, a crystal is a crystal)
  • ·         Putting a horrible looking oil on the hi-vac and it forming a nice solid foam which is much easier to work with.
  • ·         Spot-to-spot conversion on a TLC plate (an all too irregular occurrence)
  • ·         Working in the lab on a Saturday afternoon with just one other person who shares your taste in music.
  • ·         Recrystallizing black goo to give colourless crystals.
  • ·         Taking an NMR of that horrible, wet, brown oil you’ve just produced and realising it is in fact completely pure.
  • ·         Having enough sample in an NMR tube to run a perfect 13C spectrum in 16 scans.
  • ·         Having a conversation about organocatalysis with a fellow chemist in really loud voices in a cab rank at 4am after having consumed way too much liquor.
  • ·         Getting perfect separation on the column you’re running in a total of 20 fractions in about 20 minutes (Excimer @ CBC likes this too, apparently).
  • ·         Having a conversation with people about a reaction mechanism and not saying anything completely ridiculous (this doesn’t happen very often).
  • ·         That rare moment when an undergrad in the teaching lab listens to exactly what you say and gets a better yield than anyone else. This is made better when they say thanks at the end of the session and I don’t feel like my whole day has been a complete waste of time.

1 comment:

  1. i love this list esp. " Having enough sample in an NMR tube to run a perfect 13C spectrum in 16 scans." I would like to add, running 16 scans for a proton NMR on a 500 Mhz in less than 40 seconds...