Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

ChemComm Prizewinners at the 44th Symposium on Main Group Element Chemistry

The 44th Symposium on Main Group Element Chemistry took place on the 7th to 9th December at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Over 250 delegates attended the symposium which was chaired by Prof Kei Goto (TITech).

ChemComm was proud to sponsor two prizes, which were chosen out of 60 oral presentations and 108 poster presentations.

The winner of the ChemComm oral presentation was Mr Shogo Morisako (Graduate School of Science, Hiroshima University) who presented on ‘Syntheses and Reactivities of New Multiple Bond Boron Compounds’.

Mr Shogo Morisako

Mr Shogo Morisako (left) being presented his award by Dr Hiromitsu Urakami (right) on behalf of Chemical Communications

The winner of the ChemComm poster presentation was Mr. Tomoyuki Kosai (Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University) who presented on ‘Activation of Dihydrogen Using Disilenes Bearing Amino and Boryl Groups’.

Tomoyuki Kosai

Mr Tomoyuki Kosai (left) being presented his award by Dr Hiromitsu Urakami (right) on behalf of Chemical Communications

Congratulations to both Mr Morisako and Mr Kosai, we wish you both the best for the future!

 

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ChemComm poster prize winners at the Pan Africa Chemistry Network Congress

The Pan Africa Chemistry Network (PACN) Congress was held on 7 – 9 November in Accra, Ghana and was attended by approximately 250 researchers and policy-makers.

The PACN Congress is the flagship annual event for the PACN, which seeks to create a self-sustaining science based in Africa, helping to build capacity, solve local challenges and contribute to global knowledge. The topic for this year’s Congress was ‘Sustainable Agriculture: how the chemical sciences can contribute to food security for a growing population’.

ChemComm is proud to have supported the poster prizes for this wonderful event and the 1st prize was awarded to Francis Asiam, from KNUST in Ghana, for his poster entitled ‘Collection, distribution, extraction and characterisation of vegetable oils from 40 varieties of high yielding Allanblackia parviflora in Ghana’. A full list of the poster prize recipients and poster titles can be found below.

Well done to all of the well-deserved winners!

 

PACN Prize 1st place: Francis Asiam (KNUST, Ghana) for ‘Collection, distribution, extraction and characterisation of vegetable oils from 40 varieties of high yielding Allanblackia parviflora in Ghana

PACN Prize 2nd place: EA Asamoah (KNUST, Ghana) for ‘Development of Rabbit Meat Sausages’

PACN Prize, 3rd place: Ray Voegborlo (KNUST, Ghana) for ‘Human Exposure Assessment of Ochratoxin A through consumption of cocoa beans’

Agilent supported prize: Nkechinyere Isienyi (Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria) for ‘Impact of heavy metal on soil near Lapite dumpsite in Ibadan, Nigeria’

Syngenta supported prize: Flaure Essoung (ICIPE, Kenya) for ‘Welwitschianol A and B: Two cyclohexene derivatives and other insecticidal constituents of Caesalpinia Welwitschiana’

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Cram Lehn Pedersen Prize 2018 – call for nominations

The International Committee of the International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry is pleased to invite nominations for the Cram Lehn Pedersen Prize for young supramolecular chemists.

The Cram Lehn Pedersen Prize, named in honour of the winners of the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, recognises significant original and independent work in supramolecular chemistry.

Previous winners include Tom F. A. de Greef, Ivan Aprahamian, Feihe Huang, Oren Schermann, Tomoki Ogoshi, Jonathan Nitschke, and Amar Flood.

Those who are within 10 years of receiving their PhD on 31st December 2017 are eligible for the 2018 award. The winner will receive a prize of £2000 and free registration for the ISMSC meeting in Québec, Canada. In addition to giving a lecture at ISMSC, a short lecture tour will be organised after the meeting in consultation with the Editor of Chemical Communications, the sponsor of the award.

Nomination Details:

You may nominate yourself or someone else. Please send your CV, list of publications (divided into publications from your PhD and post-doc, and those from your independent work), and if desired, a letter of support, or these materials for someone you wish to nominate, to Prof. Roger Harrison (ISMSC Secretary) at rgharris@chem.byu.edu by 31st December 2017.

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Negative press is not always a bad thing: a novel anode material for sodium-ion batteries

At a product launch in California last week Elon Musk introduced Tesla’s new electric semi-trailer truck. Musk sells a tantalising future: one where an electric fleet replaces vehicles which currently rely on fossil fuels. Central to this fleet are powerful rechargeable batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are favoured for many current applications, such as portable electronic devices and the current offerings of full and hybrid vehicles. In coming years they are projected to be the technology of choice for the large-scale applications mentioned above and for storing power generated from intermittent renewable energy sources.

A limiting factor in the widespread roll-out of lithium batteries is that lithium is an expensive resource with low natural abundance. Sodium offers a possible alternative and has the obvious benefits of being both very cheap, and one of the most abundant elements in the earth’s crust. The electrode materials used in lithium batteries cannot be used to make the sodium variant because the sodium ion is larger (1.02 Å compared to 0.76 Å for lithium) and damages the crystalline materials optimised for lithium.

Researchers Gu, Gu and Yang at Beihang University in Beijing have reported the synthesis and performance of a novel anode material optimised for sodium. The material is a graphene-tetrahydroxybenzoquinone (Na4C6O6) hybrid, and is comprised of a porous graphene-oxide scaffold decorated with nanocrystals of Na4C6O6. Furthermore, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) reveals the homogenous distribution of sodium throughout this conducting material.

The electrochemical performance contrasts with previously reported materials of this type by exhibiting high cyclic stability. The reversible capacity of graphene-Na4C6O6 at a current density of 74.4 mA g-1 is 268 mA h g-1, a value which is steady over 60 cycles. This is competitive with the graphite anode materials found in lithium batteries, which have specific capacities between 200 and 400 mA h g-1. Furthermore the material performs well over a range of current densities, with reversible capacities of 95 – 211 mA h g-1 measured over a range of 3720 – 186 mA g-1.

With this work the authors contribute, at most, a viable candidate for the next rechargeable sodium battery and, at the very least, continued research into sustainable technologies. This ensures that in addressing our current energy challenges we are solving the problem, not delaying it.

To find out more please read:

3D organic Na4C6O6/graphene architecture for fast sodium storage with ultralong cycle life
Jianan Gu, Yue Gua and Shubin Yang
Chem. Commun., 2017, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7CC08045J, Communication

About the author

Zoë Hearne is a PhD candidate in chemistry at McGill University in Montréal, Canada, under the supervision of Professor Chao-Jun Li. She hails from Canberra, Australia, where she completed her undergraduate degree. Her current research focuses on transition metal catalysis to effect novel transformations, and out of the lab she is an enthusiastic chemistry tutor and science communicator.

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MOF catalysts show great promise for the future of industrial oxidation

Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) have enjoyed a short but illustrious career to date. Much attention has focussed on their potential for gas storage, but as the field matures an emerging function of these materials is being developed to great success: MOFs as heterogeneous catalysts.

MOFs are highly porous coordination polymers comprised of metallic ‘nodes’ connected in a 3-dimensional lattice by organic ‘linkers’. This structure offers advantages of both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis: their large surface area and porosity offers an accessible network of active sites, they can be recovered and recycled, and they are well-characterised and crystalline with a uniformity which facilitates reproducibility, selectivity, and systematic modification.

The authors of the review entitled ‘Tunable nature of metal organic frameworks as heterogeneous solid catalysts for alcohol oxidation’ are tasked with reviewing the literature exploring catalytic MOFs developed to selectively oxidise alcohols to aldehydes and ketones, a reaction with particular relevance to the fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

The review divides MOF oxidation catalysts into four categories. The first are defined by having transition-metal complexes attached to the linker, with the nodes having little to no catalytic activity. They compare to the second category, which are constructed with catalytically active metal nodes. The third category comprises photocatalysts, assembled from linkers that facilitate electron transfer to the nodes upon light irradiation, while the fourth category describes MOFs containing stabilised metallic nanoparticles.

This review highlights the most promising catalysts in each category, and MOFs are evaluated on more than catalytic performance alone. Catalysts are examined which contain precious transition metals such as ruthenium and iridium, used under reaction conditions requiring stoichiometric oxidant, base and/or co-catalyst. These are succeeded by MOFs which closely approach the ideal for industry and sustainability: a catalyst with high catalytic activity constructed from earth abundant metals such as copper and iron, which requires no added base or co-catalyst, uses air as the terminal oxidant and can be used under solvent-free conditions. And although we’re not there yet, the challenge has been set.

To find out more please read:

Tuneable nature of metal organic frameworks as heterogeneous solid catalysts for alcohol oxidation
Amarajothi Dhakshinamoorthy, Abdullah M. Asirib and Hermenegildo Garcia
Chem. Commun., 2017,53, 10851-10869
DOI10.1039/C7CC05927B

About the author

Zoë Hearne is a PhD candidate in chemistry at McGill University in Montréal, Canada, under the supervision of Professor Chao-Jun Li. She hails from Canberra, Australia, where she completed her undergraduate degree. Her current research focuses on transition metal catalysis to effect novel transformations, and out of the lab she is an enthusiastic chemistry tutor and science communicator.

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Desalinating Seawater with Carbon “Sandwiches”

A joint group of scientists from China, Japan and Australia recently made a breakthrough in water desalination. They designed and synthesized a multilayered electrode consisting of a graphene nanosheet sandwiched between two porous carbon particle layers. This “sandwich” electrode can be used for capacitive desalination to produce fresh water from seawater, and exhibited the highest desalination capacity among the reported graphene sheet-based electrodes.

Capacitive desalination is an emerging water desalination technique. It removes water-soluble salts, mostly sodium chloride, by applying an electric field to move the salts to the surface of electrodes. Because the amount of ions being removed is directly proportional to the surface area of the electrodes, using electrodes with abundant surface to electro-adsorb ions is critical for excellent desalination performance.

The researchers utilized graphene oxide (GO) and zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8, a metal organic framework) as the two components (Figure 1a). When dissolved in water, ZIF-8 nanocrystals became attached to the surface of GO and completely covered both sides of the GO nanosheets. This process was driven by the coordination interaction between the two species. The formed ZIF-8/GO/ZIF-8 “sandwiches” were then annealed at near 1000 oC in nitrogen gas. The annealing step converted GO nanosheets and ZIF-8 nanocrystals into graphene nanosheets and porous carbon particle layers, respectively. Owing to the presence of pores on the surface of the yielded carbon particles, the carbon “sandwiches” had a high surface area of 1360 m2/g, much higher than that of the graphene sheets alone (150 m2/g).

Figure 1. (a) A schematic diagram displaying the key steps for the synthesis of the carbon “sandwiched” electrodes. 2-MeIM = 2-methylimidazole, a building block for ZIF-8. (b) The change of NaCl concentration collected for a “sandwiched” electrode (NC/rGO) and a graphene sheet electrode (rGO). When an electric field is applied, the concentration of NaCl starts to drop and reaches a plateau; When the electric field dissipates, the concentration of NaCl returns to its initial level. The salt concentration decreased to a much lower level with NC/rGO (red curve) than rGO (black curve).

The desalination capacity of the carbon “sandwich” reaches 17.52 mg/g, meaning 1 gram of the electrode can remove 17.52 mg of sodium chloride. Consistent with the enhanced surface area, the capacity of the “sandwich” is much higher than that of the graphene alone (Figure 1b). More significantly, the “sandwich” electrode outperforms all other previously reported graphene sheet-based electrodes in terms of the desalination capacity.

This work has greatly advanced the development of capacitive desalination, a promising and affordable technique to mass produce fresh water by desalting seawater.

To find out more please read:

High Performance Capacitive Deionization Electrodes Based on Ultrathin Nitrogen-doped Carbon/graphene Nano-Sandwiches

Miao Wang, Xingtao Xu, Jing Tang, Shujin Hou, Md. Shahriar A. Hossain, Likun Pan and Yusuke Yamauchi

Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 10784-10787

About the blogger:

Tianyu Liu is a Ph.D. in chemistry graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz in United States. He is passionate about scientific communication to introduce cutting-edge researches to both the general public and the scientists with diverse research expertise. He is a web blogger for the Chem. Commun. and Chem. Sci. blog websites. More information about him can be found at http://liutianyuresearch.weebly.com/.

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Theoretical trinorbornane joins the real world

Scientists have successfully synthesised one of last small polycyclic hydrocarbons left to make or find in nature.1

Until recently, trinorborane (tetracyclo[5.2.2.01,6.04,9]undecane) had only existed in the Chemical Universe Database (GDB) – a database containing all possible molecules up to a certain number of atoms.2 Trinorbornane has an interesting structure where two norbornanes share a pair of neighbouring edges so it looks like three interlaced norbornanes.

Source: Royal Society of Chemistry
The two enantiomers of trinorbornane display axial chirality

Read the full story by Adrian Robinson on Chemistry World.

1 L D Bizzini et al, Chem. Commun., 2017, DOI: 10.1039/c7cc06273g (This paper is free to access until 16 November 2017.)

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3D graphene adds dimension to deaf–mute communication

Graphical AbstractScientists in China have printed conductive 3D graphene structures and applied them in a wearable electronic device that can translate common sign language gestures into written text. Given the simplicity underpinning its manufacture, during which graphene ink is extruded from a syringe, this material could inject some pace into the printed electronics field.

Wearable and bio-integrated devices are mainstays in medical technology, ranging from adhesive patches that measure heart and respiratory rate to brain–computer interfaces that induce neural activity. Its remarkable mechanical and electrical properties cast graphene, a 2D honeycomb lattice of carbon atoms, as a key future player in the wearable technology arena. However, it is a challenge to preserve the advantages of graphene’s sheet-like nanostructure in a 3D material that – unlike typical 2D materials – can relay information about forces from every angle.

Read the full article in Chemistry World >>>


Three-dimensional multi-recognition flexible wearable sensor via graphene aerogel printing
Boxing An, Ying Ma, Wenbo Li, Meng Su, Fengyu Li and Yanlin Song
Chem. Commun., 2016, 52, 10948-10951
DOI: 10.1039/C6CC05910D, Communication

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Pink paper probe exposes formaldehyde

A new test, developed by investigators in China, exposes formaldehyde quickly and colourfully wherever it may be.

Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic pollutant produced mainly by industrial activity. It also occurs naturally in plants and animals, albeit only in small quantities. The simple aldehyde can be harmful in larger concentrations, but detecting it requires specialised equipment or applying harsh acids or bases.

Graphical Abstract

Read the full article in Chemistry World >>>


Longwei He, Xueling Yang, Mingguang Ren, Xiuqi Kong, Yong Liu and Weiying Lin
Chem. Commun., 2016, 52, 9582-9585
DOI: 10.1039/C6CC04254F, Communication
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Light and heat flip compound between phases

Scientists from Japan can now transform an ionic liquid to a solid coordination polymer using UV light, and then reverse the switch using heat.

Tomoyuki Mochida and co-workers from Kobe University, Japan, synthesised a ruthenium-containing ionic liquid, which transforms to a yellow solid coordination polymer when irradiated with UV light. Applying heat reverses the process.

Graphical Abstract

Read the full article in Chemistry World >>>

Yusuke Funasako, Shotaro Mori and Tomoyuki Mochida
Chem. Commun., 2016, 52, 6277-6279
DOI: 10.1039/C6CC02807A, Communication
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