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C&EN Magazine Explores the Weaver Dye Library

[below text is an excerpt from C&EN Magazine written by Carmen Drahl]

Demands for colorful, cheap, and diverse dyes drove the transformation of chemistry into a modern science. To some, it may seem like dyestuffs are the stuff of times past. A dye collection recently donated to a university, however, might show that these compounds still hold the key to some cutting-edge chemistry problems.

Eastman Chemical has donated a dye collection spanning 50 years of the company’s research, beginning in the 1940s, to North Carolina State University. The library includes vials filled with vibrant powders, each meticulously hand-labeled; coordinating envelopes stuffed with dyed fabric swatches and testing data; and post-World War II intelligence reports on the German dye industry. The collection is named for the late Max A. Weaver, a longtime Eastman research leader who made the library his life’s work.

“This dye collection is a research treasure trove,” says David Hinks, director of the university’s Forensic Sciences Institute. NC State has agreed to build a digital database of the approximately 98,000 compounds. All of the structures, previously trade secrets, will become available to the public on the Royal Society of Chemistry’s ChemSpider database.

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Kelsey puts her passion for sharing science into practice

Green Chemical Graphic in Round Bottom FlaskKelsey Boes, one of our current PhD students, took her enthusiasm for strong science communication to DC. With degrees in both chemistry and studio art, Kelsey passionate about both science and design. What truly excites her is not only discoveries but also sharing them in dynamic and thoughtful ways.

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Yufei Chen receives Master's Degree and leaps into PhD

Yufei meditating on his progress through grad school.

Yufei Chen, the longest standing member of the group, received his Master's Degree in July 2015. His project explored fragmentation pathways of anthroquinone-based dyes from the Eastman Dye Library bequeathed to the NC State College of Textiles in 2013. Yufei's work confirmed and corrected the vast database of dye structures through careful mass spectrometric analysis. He is excited to begin work on his PhD under Dr. Vinueza and Dr. Freeman.

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