• Question: You said that your favorite subject at school was chemistry. What about chemistry did you like so much?

    Asked by Gloria S to Laura on 9 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: Laura Kent

      Laura Kent answered on 9 Nov 2018:

      I think it was how colourful chemistry can be! Inorganic chemistry deals with the production and properties of materials that do not contain a carbon backbone. So things like salt and sapphires! For example, paint has a lot of inorganic materials in to give the colours such as chromium oxide which is green! Even some make up uses inorganic pigments.

      Inorganic chemistry also includes catalysts that help to make reactions more efficient. My PhD was focused on developing catalysts for water purification in the developing world. The absorbed light and produced reactive species known as free radicals. These free radicals would break down nasty pollutants in water.

      Inorganic chemistry can also be used to develop new treatments for illnesses. A chemotherapy drug, cisplatin, is an inorganic compound with platinum in the middle.