Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Software for the New Year

We begin the Spring semester with new software for drawing chemical structures.  Several months ago our department purchased ChemSketch from ACD Labs and it is now part of the standard build on student lab computers throughout the campus.   In addition to being able to draw structures, students can generate various types of three-dimensional images of their structures and rotate them with the push of a button.  This should greatly help students appreciate concepts like steric hindrance and symmetry.  The picture shows two different 3D views of a chlorinated and alkylated dibenzofuran.  Also handy is a tool that "optimizes" the geometry of a poorly-drawn structure so that our lack of artistry is not apparent.  Students can find this software under the class-specific folder at the START menu of lab computers.