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Exploring Triboluminescence and Paramagnetism: A Rapid Mn Complex Synthesis for High School and Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratories

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posted on 2023-07-25, 00:44 authored by Vaclav Matousek, Radek Matuska, Tomas Vranka, Martin Adamec, Tadeas Herentin, Jiri Kalacek, Jan Havlik
Triboluminescence is a fascinating phenomenon that can engage students’ interest in chemistry. However, safe, cost-effective, and accessible laboratory experiments featuring highly triboluminescent substances are limited. To bridge this gap, we present a simple, rapid, semimicro test tube preparation of the visually engaging manganese complex [MnBr2(Ph3PO)2], conducted by high school students. During the laboratory session, students practice various laboratory skills, including handling semimicro quantities of substances, ascertaining the melting point, and recrystallizing the synthesized complex. They also investigate the complex’s triboluminescent, fluorescent, and magnetic properties through straightforward and illustrative experiments. Furthermore, this laboratory activity has been successfully implemented in an undergraduate chemistry didactics course for chemistry educators. The experiment’s simplicity, combined with the safety of starting materials and use of nontoxic solvents, makes it an optimal choice for a variety of educational environments, such as high school and university laboratory sessions, science clubs, and public science outreach activities.

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