Rating: Very Good

Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android

Cost: Free.

Strong Points: Can search by chemical structure or name; includes a variety of information about each chemical.

Weak Points: Drawing interface is tricky to use at first; app links to ThermoFisher products.

Have you ever puzzled over the identity of a chemical structure on a homework assignment or tried to figure out what it could possibly represent on a bottle whose name has rubbed off? If so, then ChemSearch is for you. The app, created by Thermo Fisher Scientific, allows users to search for chemicals based on their structures. The app’s homepage contains a small window where users can draw out full structures. The drawing window includes shortcuts for outlining each structure, making it easy to add in double bonds, rings, and various different atoms. After completing the structure, you can search the app for matches. Matches include information such as the chemical’s name, its various physical properties, and any associated safety risks. Users who know what chemical they’re looking for can also search directly by chemical name. ChemSearch is a handy app for chemistry students and bench scientists looking for a quick reference for various chemicals.

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