Archive for February, 2012

Graphene and related compounds – a review collection

Since the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”, the eyes of the world (or, at least, the scientific world) have been focused on this so-called miracle material.

Graphical abstract: Graphene nanosheet: synthesis, molecular engineering, thin film, hybrids, and energy and analytical applications

This strange, stretchy, strong, see-through, conductive material – and its derivatives - has captured the attention of many research groups. Here’s a selection of reviews to inform and inspire:

Graphene-based composites
Xiao Huang, Xiaoying Qi, Freddy Boey and Hua Zhang
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 666-686

Graphene-based semiconductor photocatalysts
Quanjun Xiang , Jiaguo Yu and Mietek Jaroniec
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 782-796

Chemistry and physics of a single atomic layer: strategies and challenges for functionalization of graphene and graphene-based materials
Liang Yan, Yue Bing Zheng, Feng Zhao, Shoujian Li, Xingfa Gao, Bingqian Xu, Paul S. Weiss and Yuliang Zhao
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 97-114

Graphene nanosheet: synthesis, molecular engineering, thin film, hybrids, and energy and analytical applications
Shaojun Guo and Shaojun Dong
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2011, 40, 2644-2672

Electronic conduction in polymers, carbon nanotubes and graphene
Alan B. Kaiser and Viera Skákalová
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2011, 40, 3786-3801

The chemistry of graphene oxide
Daniel R. Dreyer, Sungjin Park, Christopher W. Bielawski and Rodney S. Ruoff
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2010, 39, 228-240

Graphene-based materials in electrochemistry
Da Chen, Longhua Tang and Jinghong Li
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2010, 39, 3157-3180

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Developing drug molecules for therapy with carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is known as the silent killer – it is colourless, odourless and tasteless and kills around 50 people each year in the UK. So are scientists crazy when they suggest that it could be used to save lives?

Graphical abstract: Developing drug molecules for therapy with carbon monoxideWell, no. Last century a physician discovered that our bodies produce CO. Not only that, but CO levels are higher in sick people than healthy. This suggested that CO could actually be therapeutic and sparked interest from pharmaceutical chemists.

The challenge is to deliver just the right amount of CO safely to diseased tissues. And as Gonçalo Bernardes and colleagues discuss in their Tutorial review, CO-releasing pro-drugs could be the solution. But how do they work and when will we see them in the clinic? Read the review to find out.

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Top ten most accessed articles in January

This month sees the following articles in ChemSocRev that are in the top ten most accessed:-

Trace metal impurities in catalysis
Isabelle Thomé, Anne Nijs and Carsten Bolm
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 979-987, DOI: 10.1039/C2CS15249E

Mesoporous silica nanoparticles in biomedical applications
Zongxi Li, Jonathan C. Barnes, Aleksandr Bosoy, J. Fraser Stoddart and Jeffrey I. Zink
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15246G

Coordination polymers: what has been achieved in going from innocent 4,4′-bipyridine to bis-pyridyl ligands having a non-innocent backbone?
N. N. Adarsh and Parthasarathi Dastidar
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C2CS15251G

Green Chemistry: present and future
Chao-Jun Li and Paul T. Anastas
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1413-1414, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS90064A

Chemistry and physics of a single atomic layer: strategies and challenges for functionalization of graphene and graphene-based materials
Liang Yan, Yue Bing Zheng, Feng Zhao, Shoujian Li, Xingfa Gao, Bingqian Xu, Paul S. Weiss and Yuliang Zhao
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 97-114, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15193B

Graphene-based composites
Xiao Huang, Xiaoying Qi, Freddy Boey and Hua Zhang
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 666-686, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15078B

The golden age: gold nanoparticles for biomedicine
Erik C. Dreaden, Alaaldin M. Alkilany, Xiaohua Huang, Catherine J. Murphy and Mostafa A. El-Sayed
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15237H

Metal-organic framework growth at functional interfaces: thin films and composites for diverse applications
Darren Bradshaw, Ashesh Garai and Jia Huo
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15276A

Fluorescent and colorimetric sensors for detection of lead, cadmium, and mercury ions
Ha Na Kim, Wen Xiu Ren, Jong Seung Kim and Juyoung Yoon
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15245A

Multifunctional nanoparticles for multimodal imaging and theragnosis
Dong-Eun Lee, Heebeom Koo, In-Cheol Sun, Ju Hee Ryu, Kwangmeyung Kim and Ick Chan Kwon
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C2CS15261D

Why not take a look at the articles today and blog your thoughts and comments below.

Fancy submitting an article to ChemSocRev? Then why not contact us today with your suggestions.

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Can artificial molecular machines deliver on their promise? – a discussion

In November we posted an article on the Chem Soc Rev blog entitled Time to hook up the switches. The article was about a Chem Soc Rev Tutorial review by Ali Coskun, Michal Banaszak, R. Dean Astumian, J. Fraser Stoddart and Bartosz A. Grzybowski called ‘Great expectations: can artificial molecular machines deliver on their promise?’ Since then, there have been some interesting comments about the review posted by mol machines guy. I’ve copied these below along with a detailed response from Coskun et al.

What do you think? Join the discussion by posting your comments below.

mol machine guy says:

This is a rather confused Tutorial Review. The difference between molecular switches and more complex molecular machines, notably motors, has previously been discussed at length by Leigh’s group in their 2006 paper “Beyond Switches: Ratcheting a Particle Energetically Uphill with a Compartmentalized Molecular Machine” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 4058-4073 (remarkably not cited in the Stoddart review). That paper included all the points about the need to avoid reciprocal motion (not, as incorrectly stated in this CSR review, “reversible” motion) and was further elaborated on in the 2007 review “Synthetic Molecular Motors and Mechanical Machines” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007, 46, 72-191.

Some of the statements in the CSR are just plain wrong. In the “Roadmap” (Fig 8 )  it states prominently that Artificial Molecular Switches “Cannot do Work!”. Not only can molecular switches do work, they have been measured doing so both collectively (e.g. ACS Nano, 2009, 3, 291–300) and at the single molecule level (Nature Nanotech. 2011, 6, 553-557). What switches cannot do is *progressively* perform work. That is, after performing one work cycle a switch cannot be reset to do more work without undoing the work it did previously (as discussed in the 2006 JACS and 2007 Angew Chem papers mentioned above). To do that requires a ratchet mechanism (as outlined in Fig 4 of the CSR, without use of the term “ratchet”).

Whilst it is probably progress that the authors now recognize (p3 of the CSR) that they have been claiming too much (again, see the earlier Leigh papers and also Chem. Soc. Rev., 2011, 40, 3656–3676 for gentle hints at this) in categorizing their molecular switches as “motor-molecules” in many previous papers, it might be better if they didn’t continue to confuse the issue by still claiming that palindromic bistable rotaxanes are somehow phenomenologically different to other molecular switches that they say are “ten a penny”. There are synthetic molecular machines that are not switches (the Feringa rotary motors, some DNA walkers and some of Leigh’s small-molecule walking molecules), but bistable rotaxanes are not amongst them.

 

Commentary Response

by

Ali Coskun, Michal Banaszak, Dean Astumian, Fraser Stoddart and Bartosz Grzybowski

Unfortunately, the authors of the commentary apparently seriously misunderstand both our Tutorial Review and several of the papers from Leigh’s group. The authors claim that the paper (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 4058‒4073) entitled “Beyond Switches: Ratcheting a Particle Energetically Uphill with a Compartmentalized Molecular Machine” included all the points about the need to avoid reciprocal motion.  In fact, that paper does not even contain the words reciprocal or non-reciprocal.  The JACS paper correctly invokes “breaking” detailed balance (a corollary of microscopic reversibility) as the key to doing work with a molecular machine.  This point has, of course, been made by many authors.  The important question, which we address explicitly in our Tutorial Review, is HOW to circumvent detailed balance at the single molecule level.

The review article (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007, 46, 72‒191) entitled “Synthetic Molecular Motors and Mechanical Machines” does discuss reciprocal motion as a potential mechanism for directed transport of molecules (see Fig. 34 in that review).  Fig. 34d of that paper involves a photochemical process which explicitly breaks (or more precisely circumvents) microscopic reversibility.  Although the authors of that paper did not explain it clearly, Leigh and colleagues certainly must have realized that the thermally activated processes in the three-part, two-hinge molecule shown in their Fig. 34c would be constrained by microscopic reversibility, i.e., any individual molecule would undergo many non-reciprocal clockwise cycles every second. The molecule would also undergo many counter-clockwise non-reciprocal cycles every second.  The average of the number of clockwise cycles would exactly equal the average of the number of counter-clockwise cycles irrespective of any asymmetry built into the molecule during its synthesis.  This outcome is the essence of detailed balance or microscopic reversibility, and it is this microscopic reversibility that must be circumvented.

The authors of the commentary also criticize our claim that switches alone do not do work.  Trivially, of course, the motion of any atom relative to another atom involves “doing” or “receiving” work since the process involves an object moving a certain distance in the presence of a force!  Indeed, as the authors of the commentary point out, this trivially obvious fact can be experimentally measured when some of the atoms are attached to an AFM and a geometrical change is stimulated externally.  What we mean (and we think it is very clearly stated in our review) is the performance of work in a cyclic process occurs when one form of free energy in the environment (e.g., chemical free energy) is converted into another form of free energy in the environment (e.g., mechanical free energy) and where the molecular machine cycle can continue.

For clarity let us consider the original “ratchet” mechanism, first termed electro-conformational coupling from the context in which it was proposed (Westerhoff et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 1986, 83, 4734‒4738; Astumian et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 1987, 84, 434‒438).

the original “ratchet” mechanism

This scheme describes a transporter molecule which spans a bilayer membrane and facilitates the transport of an uncharged substance S across the membrane.  The transporter has two conformations, A with the binding site for S facing to the left hand side of the membrane, where the chemical potential of S is μs,l, and B, with the binding site for S facing to the right hand side of the membrane, where the chemical potential of S is μs,r.  By microscopic reversibility the product of the equilibrium constants must equal unity, K1K2K3K4 = 1, which can also be written K1K3 = (K2K4)-1.

Since there is some charge transfer in the conversion between the A and B forms, an electric field can serve as an external stimulus to switch the molecule from one form to another.  Charge transfer in biomolecular transporter conformational changes is very common ― e.g., voltage gated (or switched) channels ― and can be very large, e.g., the equivalent of five or more elementary charges (zd = 5) moving across the membrane. 

For any constant transmembrane potential difference, ψ ≠ 0, every transition between A and B, whether bound or not, involves the molecule doing work on or receiving work from the electric field.  Nevertheless, microscopic reversibility assures that there is no net electrical work done on/received by the transporter in any cycle, irrespective of the value of Δμ = μs,lμs,r .  The situation is dramatically different when the membrane potential depends on time, either periodically (Westerhoff et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 1986, 83, 4734‒4738) or randomly (Astumian et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 1987, 84, 434‒438).  The AC field can drive transport of a substrate against a small gradient (from low to high chemical potential) and a sufficiently large concentration gradient can do net work on the applied field (Derenyi and Astumian, Phys. Rev Lett., 1998, 80, 4602‒4605).  A required asymmetry is assured by K1K3 ≠ 1 ; when K1K3 > 1  a time dependent ψ tends to drive transport of S from left to right, and vice versa when K1K3 < 1.  The thermodynamic efficiency is optimized when the inter-conversion between A and B and between sA and Bs is very fast so that the energy input is nearly reversible.

Let us restate the necessary steps that need to be taken to realize a molecular machine: they are ―

(1) Design a molecule with a cycle of states, the completion of which in one direction accomplishes a desired task.  Completion in the opposite direction undoes the task!

(2) Build in a switching function by which the relative stability of two states in the cycle can be controlled externally.

(3) Design an asymmetry such that switching kinetically favors one path, while reset favors the other.

(4) Operate the machine by externally switching/resetting.  The molecule will proceed in a directed way cyclically, thereby accomplishing its appointed task, even if there is a small load tending to undo that task.

There is clearly a real lack of agreement in the literature as to what constitutes a molecular switch and what constitutes a molecular machine (or motor).  While we can seek to bring more precision into the argument, we should ALL recognize that the excellent progress that is being made today in several different laboratories around the world finds its intellectual inspiration ― not to mention its technical basis ― from the early beginnings of the field.

We thank the authors of this commentary for their critical comments.

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Reviews in Green Chemistry – a cross journal collection

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The development of green and sustainable chemistry is one of the most topical issues of today and is relevant across all areas of chemistry in academia and industry.

Chemical Society Reviews (Chem Soc Rev), Green Chemistry and Energy & Environmental Science (EES) are delighted to present a combined collection of high quality reviews covering a broad range of topics from this field.  The collection includes reviews currently featured in Chem Soc Rev’s Green Chemistry themed issue (online now), as well as a selection of cutting edge reviews published in Green Chemistry and EES last year.

All these articles are free to access for a limited time only, so make the most of this opportunity and take a look…

Fundamentals of green chemistry: efficiency in reaction design, Roger Sheldon, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1437.

Evaluating the “Greenness” of chemical processes and products in the pharmaceutical industry—a green metrics primer, Concepción Jiménez-González et al., Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1485.

Searching for green solvents, Philip, G. Jessop, Green Chem., 2011, 13, 1391.

Derivation and synthesis of renewable surfactants, Evan S. Beach et al., Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1499.

Industrial biotechnology―the future of green chemistry?, Udo Kragl et al., Green Chem., 2011, 13, 3007.

Expanding the organic toolbox: a guide to integrating biocatalysis in synthesis, Christopher M. Clouthier and Joelle Pelletier, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1585.

Enzyme immobilization on/in polymeric membranes: status, challenges and perspectives in biocatalytic membrane reactors (BMRs), Yamini Satyawali et al., Green Chem., 2011, 13, 1609.

Immobilization technology: a sustainable solution for biofuel cell design, Xiao-Yu Yang et al., Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, 5, 5540-5563

Green chemistry oriented organic synthesis in water, Marc-Olivier Simon and Chao-Jun Li, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1415.

Fischer–Tropsch fuels refinery design, Arno de Klerk, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 1177.

The importance of green chemistry in process research and development, Peter J. Dunn, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1452.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Alternative energy input: mechanochemical, microwave and ultrasound-assisted organic synthesis, R. B. Nasir Baig and Rajender S. Varma, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1559.

Ionic liquid processing of cellulose, Robin D. Rogers et al., Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1519.

Processing of metals and metal oxides using ionic liquids, Andrew P. Abbott et al., Green Chem., 2011, 13, 471.

Continuous reactions in supercritical carbon dioxide: problems, solutions and possible ways forward, Xue Han and Martyn Poliakoff, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1428.

Green materials synthesis with supercritical water, Tadafumi Adschiri et al., Green Chem., 2011, 13, 1380.

Multiple objectives in biofuels sustainability policy, Jon C. Lovett et al., Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 261.

Conversion of biomass to selected chemical products, Pierre Gallezot, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1538.

Toward a rational control of solid acid catalysis for green synthesis and biomass conversion, Ken-ichi Shimizu and Atsushi Satsuma, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 3140-3153

Waste materials―catalytic opportunities: an overview of the application of large scale waste materials as resources for catalytic applications, J. S. J. Hargreaves et al., Green Chem., 2011, 13, 16.

Recent advances in the recycling of homogeneous catalysts using membrane separation, Dieter Vogt et al., Green Chem., 2011, 13, 2247.

Cobalt catalysts for the coupling of CO2 and epoxides to provide polycarbonates and cyclic carbonates, Xiao-Bing Lu and Donald J. Darensbourg, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1462.

Keep up-to-date with the latest reviews and primary research in this field by registering for our e-alerts today!

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Tailoring nanoparticles: Suits you sir!

There are many diagnostic and therapeutic applications within medicine where nanoparticles can find use, as Chem Soc Rev’s forthcoming Nanomedicine issue demonstrates. Nanoparticles made from a diverse range of materials such as gold, iron, silica and polymers bring specific benefits to the medical field. However, these nanoparticles need to be designed so that they can be delivered to and interact with the target biosystem. This is achievable by changing the nanoparticle surface coating as Vincent Rotello and co-workers illustrate in their Highlight review.

Graphical abstract: Surface functionalization of nanoparticles for nanomedicineJust as you would dress up to go to a 5 star restaurant, swapping your jeans and T-shirt for a suit jacket and tie, a nanoparticle’s coating needs to be tailored to suit the application. Nanoparticle ‘coats’ can be made from a variety of ‘fabrics’ which include small molecules that change the surface charge and therefore the cellular uptake properties. Polymer coatings can create ’stealth’ nanoparticles, preventing serum protein adsorption thus increasing circulation times in the body, whilst other polymers act as gate keepers allowing drugs to escape from nanocages only when desired. If the coat is made from biomolecules, they can be selected so the resulting nanoparticle will actively target specific cancerous tumours.

Those researchers who modify the surface functionality of nanoparticles can be considered as master tailors who must make sure that the coat they prepare is appropriate for the occasion. This means ensuring it is stable in biological media; is non-cytotoxic; and specific for particular cells or tissues. For those starting out in this field, Rotello’s Highlight review article provides a general overview of the materials/fabrics available for preparing nanoparticle coats. When you discover a surface coat that improves the efficiency of your nanoparticles to treat a disease, you can’t help but say “Suits you sir!”

Read ‘Surface functionalization of nanoparticles for nanomedicine’ >

The Nanomedicine themed issue will be online soon. Sign up to the Chem Soc Rev e-alert to be notified when it is available.

Posted on behalf of Iain Larmour, Chem Soc Rev web science writer.

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Top ten most accessed articles in December

This month sees the following articles in ChemSocRev that are in the top ten most accessed:-

The golden age: gold nanoparticles for biomedicine
Erik C. Dreaden, Alaaldin M. Alkilany, Xiaohua Huang, Catherine J. Murphy and Mostafa A. El-Sayed
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15237H

Biological and chemical sensors based on graphene materials
Yuxin Liu, Xiaochen Dong and Peng Chen
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15270J

Organic photoresponse materials and devices
Huanli Dong, Hongfei Zhu, Qing Meng, Xiong Gong and Wenping Hu
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15205J

Gold nanoparticles in biomedical applications: recent advances and perspectives
Lev Dykman and Nikolai Khlebtsov
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15166E

Recent developments in metal catalyzed asymmetric addition of phosphorus nucleophiles
Depeng Zhao and Rui Wang
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15247E

Chemistry and physics of a single atomic layer: strategies and challenges for functionalization of graphene and graphene-based materials
Liang Yan, Yue Bing Zheng, Feng Zhao, Shoujian Li, Xingfa Gao, Bingqian Xu, Paul S. Weiss and Yuliang Zhao
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 97-114, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15193B

Fluorescent and colorimetric sensors for detection of lead, cadmium, and mercury ions
Ha Na Kim, Wen Xiu Ren, Jong Seung Kim and Juyoung Yoon
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15245A

Functional porous organic polymers for heterogeneous catalysis
Yugen Zhang and Siti Nurhanna Riduan
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15227K

Progress in adsorption-based CO2 capture by metal–organic frameworks
Jian Liu, Praveen K. Thallapally, B. Peter McGrail, Daryl R. Brown and Jun Liu
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15221A

Toxicity of nanomaterials
Shahriar Sharifi, Shahed Behzadi, Sophie Laurent, M. Laird Forrest, Pieter Stroeve and Morteza Mahmoudi
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15188F

Why not take a look at the articles today and blog your thoughts and comments below.

Fancy submitting an article to ChemSocRev? Then why not contact us today with your suggestions.

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