Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Coffee Molecules

After beading the molecular structure of caffeine in a couple of different color combinations, I wanted to try to see if this technique would work on other molecular structures. Since there are thousands of molecules to pick from, I decided to narrow my choices for the time being to molecules that are both flat and caffeine-sized. Sticking with the theme of compounds found in coffee, I started with trigonelline, a molecule slightly smaller than caffeine, that has just one aromatic ring. Here's the beaded result along with the skeletal structure of the molecule:
The trigonelline beadwork actually ended up flatter than caffeine, which is awesome because both molecules are (mostly) planar in real life!

I also beaded caffeic acid, which contrary to its name is not-so-closely-related in structure to caffeine, though it is a significant part of coffee and is present at some amount in all plants. It has just one ring instead of two, and it has a branched chain with three carbons and two oxygens. I chose to bead it over other compounds in coffee because I wanted to see if the beadwork would remain stiff with this branched chain.
The result? It mostly works, though I've found on repeated attempts that the thread path used will greatly affect how flexible the beadwork ends up.

For reference, here's the original beaded caffeine molecule, in the same "latte" color scheme:
I think they make quite a nice set!


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