Is it wise to ask questions regarding ongoing research data in chemistry SE. I am currently working in semiconductor nanomaterials and studying its optical prorperties. I have some photoluminescene data in which some of the peaks i am unable to find a relation with my material.So I am thinking whether to ask a third peroson for their opinion.

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    $\begingroup$ All chemistry questions are fine, and I have once asked a question pertaining to my research, and received an excellent answer. $\endgroup$
    – F'x
    Oct 7, 2013 at 7:29

1 Answer 1


Ask your question!

How is asking questions about current research any different than asking another human being unrelated to your project? The format is different, and there is a record of you asking, but you can create a handle here that lets you be somewhat or completely anonymous.

Some pros of asking (anywhere):

  • New perspectives on the problem.
  • New ideas that you had not thought of.
  • The problem gets solved.
  • Interesting collaborations can develop.

Some cons of asking (anywhere):

  • Someone unintentionally provides bad advice.
  • Someone deliberately provides bad advice.
  • Someone takes your idea.

All three of the downsides are unavoidable whether asking someone in person or here. You minimize the impact of the first two by taking all advice with a grain of salt, some critical analysis, and some intuition. You guard against the third by providing only the minimum information needed to address the issue.

In your case, you would need to provide the structure/composition of compound/material in question, the abnormal photoluminescence peaks, and probably the reaction by which which the compound/material was made. The last one is important, because the abnormal peaks are probably from impurities derived from 1) the reagents used, 2) unreacted starting material, 3) an unexpected side reaction, or 4) a decomposition product.

If you ask your question and then worry about it living eternally in the vast interwebs, then delete it (or request from a moderator that it be deleted).


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