Polarized explorations part 2

Hello everyone,

There are going to be tons of pics in this post so I better limit the words. I have foldscoped 3 compounds here – Citric acid , L-cysteine and Potassium dichromate.

Recrystallized Citric acid

Just while I was foldscoping these citric acid crystals an orange caught my attention!

I thought Why not try locating citric acid in orange peels!This thought really excited me

Finally after some negotiations with mom she agreed to let me foldscope the orange if I promised to eat it first

This is a section of the peel..some regions appear birefringent (probably because of citric acid) while some appear normal
The orange pulp sowed these clusters of cell like structures which also appeared birefringent

Thanks to the high melting points of cysteine and potassium dichromate I have a burnt thumb. lesson learnt – you cannot use a lighter to melt all compound.

I will try recrystallizing these with the help of a burner next time

until then, enjoy these pictures

Edit 1: Embedding Instagram posts seems to not have worked so updating the post with pictures.

Potassium Dichromate

L-cysteinine showed hexagonal crystals!! It was a joy seeing such perfect hexagons


~Have fun Foldscoping!

Mitali Patil

Second Year Undergrad

Ramnarain Ruia Autonomous College,Mumbai.




8 Comments Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    @Mitali Fantastic post. Love the citric acid crystals. Exploring compounds is an endless fascination. There are people for whom this is an art form as you can imagine. Nice try on the orange peel. What if you just get some orange juice from the fruit and let it dry on a slide? For some reason the Potassium dichromate and L-cysteine pictures are not showing. Always look up the compound before heating it up. Some of these dont have good vapors. If you get a chance look up Brian Johnston’s works http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/bj-crystals.html
    They give a good idea of some compounds with which you have to be cautious. Also since you will be doing organic synthesis in the second year, put all those crystals through the cross-polars.

  2. Mitali says:

    Thankyou Laks Sir! Thats one amazing post you’ve shared. Will go through it properly after exams today.
    We are done with Chemistry practicals for SY already now only practical exams are left so no more organic spotting or preparations :/
    I did collect as many as I could while we still had practs (shared in previous post)
    🙂 also, Micro Dept’s reagent locker is filled with compounds. Will get more from there after exams but ascorbic acid from the previous bunch is up next!

  3. Manu Prakash says:


    This is one of the most stunning foldscope post I have read in a while. Absolutely brilliant – I had never seen such clear pictures for polarization.

    Absolutely stunning. Use your setup to get through as many crystalline structures as possible – everyone of them has a universe of colors in itself.

    Keep exploring.


  4. Puchina says:

    Hi Mitali,

    Great pictures!

    Where did you get the polarizing film that you used?

    1. Mitali says:

      Hi @Puchina,
      The polarizing filters are hard to find in India but you could try getting these online 🙂
      The ones I used here are given to me by @Laks sir

      1. laksiyer says:

        Just get a pair of 3D glasses and use them.

        1. Mitali says:

          Oh yes I forgot about those

  5. Mitali says:

    Thankyou sir 🙂

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