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Dear UCSB Scientists,
I am interested in doing a science fair project on fluorescence. I would enjoy having a chemist to help me create a fluorescent chemical for my experiment. Would anyone be able to guide or advise me please?
Thank you very much,
Question Date: 2011-10-14
Answer 1:

Please get in touch with Claudia at Scienceline sciline@mrl.ucsb.edu or claudia@mrl.ucsb.edu to receive help from our scientists on your experiment.Thanks

Answer 2:

There are ways to get fluorescent molecules with out having to make them. If you would like to email me directly and tell me more about your plans for your experiment I can help you find safe and inexpensive molecules.

Answer 3:

I'm not sure about the nature of the experiment, nor about "creating" a fluorescent dye, but there are many commercially-available fluorescent dyes. The one you'll need may depend on your application, but my first suggestion would be to check outfluorescein , which is relatively cheap, very fluorescent, and easy to purchase.

Answer 4:

There are a number of fluorescent chemicals that would probably work for your project. My suggestion would be to do a search for projects that are similar to yours and find out what others have used. Fluorescein is a very common fluorescent dye that is used, although there are many others. One thing to consider is what solvent (liquid) you are going to be working with, and make sure your molecule is soluble (will dissolve) in that solvent. If your project involves looking at other types of molecules, you can have a chemist add a fluorescent group to another molecule, acting as a tag. If you give more information about the goals and specifics of your project, I would be happy to try to help more.

Answer 5:

You can do a lot of cool things with fluorescence. I would help you out, but my lab has actually transferred to Berkeley. If you don't find anyone at UCSB to work with, there are some things you can do on your own. Here is one website that I found that gives some simple ideas for making fluorescent materials.


One of the easiest things you can do is get a highlighter, remove the ink pad inside and soak it in water to get the fluorescent dye. The website also has suggestions for other chemistry projects too, if you are interested.

Good luck and have fun!

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