Home Science Communication Accidental crystals formed in pH buffer

Accidental crystals formed in pH buffer

by Eva Amsen

I made a buffer way back in June that I didn’t need again until last week. It had been at the back of the fridge for 4 months, without being moved at all, and LOOK what happened! I created accidental crystals!

crystals crystals

I pipetted off all the liquid from the crystal before I took the pictures. The bottle was almost full before I did that.

The buffer was a monobasic sodium-phosphate buffer (pH 7), so the crystal was probably NaH2PO4 with water molecules in there somewhere. (The stuff I used to make the solution in the first place was hydrogenated too.)

The crystal is gone now, though. We’re moving the lab to a new building, so everything has to be cleaned up, and “unnecessary” things are thrown out. Besides, I don’t think the movers would have appreciated the delicacy of my crystal.



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Saskboy October 10, 2006 - 8:42 PM

nice crystals.
I have an off topic comment. I found your blog outside of my usual surfing pattern, and noticed you have a good science blog. I tend to find mostly political blogs. If you’re interested, there’s a Canadian Blog Awards being run, and I think nominations are still open so if you want to toss your hat/blog into the ring head over to even though you’d be competing with my Off The Grid blog 🙂

ed October 10, 2006 - 7:49 PM

Wow, that sure beats the stuff we used to find in old tissue culture waste flasks!

Eva October 10, 2006 - 8:56 PM

Oh, good idea! Thanks for the heads up, I submitted myself =)

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