Author Archive

RSC Advances Emerging Investigators series 2021 – Meet the Authors

Welcome to our Emerging Investigator Series 2021. This series showcases some of the very best work from chemists in the early stages of their independent careers. In keeping with the theme of RSC Advances as a cross-cutting chemistry journal, in this inaugural issue with the help of our Series Editor Professor James Batteas, we have 23 papers spanning the breadth of chemistry on topics ranging from the development and application of analytical tools and devices for chemical analysis, to the design and synthesis of bioactive materials for disease treatments, to catalysis and synthesis of new materials. You can read all about the contributions in this accompanying Editorial, prepared by the 2021 Series Editor James Batteas.

You can read below the biographies of some of the brilliant authors who have been published in the 2021 collection:

Thiago Regis Longo Cesar da Paixão

Enhanced performance of pencil-drawn paper-based electrodes by laser-scribing treatment

Thiago Regis Longo Cesar da Paixão received a B.Sc. from the Institute of Chemistry of the University of São Paulo in 2001 and became a graduate student at the same institution, where he received his M.Sc. (2004) and Ph.D. (2007). For a year (2008/2009), he was a postdoctoral fellow at the same University. Following his postdoctoral fellowship, he was appointed as an Assistant Professor at the University Federal of ABC, where he stayed for two years. In 2011, he was hired as an assistant professor at the University of São Paulo and promoted to Associate Professor in 2016. At the beginning of 2018, he was nominated as an affiliate member of the Brazilian Academy of Science as a promising young researcher. His fields of interest include chemical sensors, paper-based devices, and electronic tongues aiming at forensic and clinical applications.

Zbigniew Pianowski

Selective release of a potent anticancer agent from a supramolecular hydrogel using green light

Zbigniew Pianowski received his PhD in chemistry in 2008 under the supervision of Prof. Nicolas Winssinger at the ISIS ULP Strasbourg, France, investigating peptide nucleic acids (PNA) – functional oligonucleotide analogues – for templated reactions and catalytic RNA sensing. Then, he joined the group of Prof. Donald Hilvert at the ETH Zürich, Switzerland, as a Marie-Curie postdoctoral fellow. There, he worked in the area of protein engineering, like de novo enzyme design and engineering of protein capsids. Since 2014 he has been an independent group leader at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, and served as a deputy professor of organic chemistry at the University of Heidelberg (2017-2019). His current research interests are focused on applications of molecular photoswitches in smart materials and biological systems. Within this area, his group intensively explores photochromic supramolecular hydrogels reversibly disassembled with light, their use for light-controlled drug release, and other photopharmacology applications of photochromic cyclic dipeptides.

Darci Trader

Identification of a covalent binder to the oncoprotein gankyrin using a NIR-Based OBOC screening method

Prof. Trader obtained her Ph.D. under the mentorship of Erin E. Carlson while at Indiana University in 2013. She then went on to do a NIH-funded postdoc with Prof. Thomas Kodadek, where she was introduced to proteasome-related research. She began her independent career at Purdue University in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology in 2016. Her lab is focused on furthering the understanding of how small molecules can be used to perturb the activity of the proteasome. Her lab has developed activity probes for both the standard proteasome and immunoproteasome, and is actively applying these probes to discover proteasome inhibitors and stimulators.

Christine Beemelmanns

GNPS-guided discovery of xylacremolide C and D, evaluation of their putative biosynthetic origin and bioactivity studies of xylacremolide A and B

Dr. Beemelmanns studied Chemistry at the RWTH Aachen. She then went to Japan for a one year research stay in the group of Prof.  Sodeoka at RIKEN. Back in Germany she worked at the FU Berlin with Prof. Reißig and received her PhD in Organic Chemistry. She then worked another six month in Japan at the University of Tokyo under the supervision of Prof K. Suzuki and joined shortly afterwards the group of Prof. Clardy at Harvard Medical School (Boston) in 2011. End of 2013, she received an offer from the Hans-Knöll Institute (HKI), where she established the Leibniz Junior Research Group in the field of Natural Products Chemistry and Chemical Biology. In 2021 she accepted a call from the Leipzig University for a Professorship Biochemistry of Microbial Physiology. Her research combines different aspects of chemical ecology and organic and natural product chemistry and aims to chemically and functionally characterize microbial signaling and defense molecules in different symbiotic model systems. By analyzing coevolved microbial interactions, unprecedented chemical core structures with potential pharmaceutical application are likely to appear.

Abisola Egbedina

Green synthesis of ZnO coated hybrid biochar for the synchronous removal of ciprofloxacin and tetracycline in wastewater

Abisola Egbedina is a PhD student in Industrial Chemistry at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria under the supervision of Professor Kayode Adebowale and Professor Bamidele Olu-Owolabi. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Chemistry from Bowen University, Iwo, Nigeria (2009) and her master’s degree in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Ibadan (2012). She received the 2017 Commonwealth Science Conference follow-on grant from the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2018 to conduct research at the University of Toronto, Canada under the supervision of Professor Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin.

Her research interests lie in the synthesis of low-cost and environmentally benign materials for applications in wastewater treatment. Specifically, she focuses on tuning the surface properties of these materials for optimum selectivity and efficiency. Her current research focuses on the synthesis of carbon materials from biomass for the removal of pharmaceuticals and other emerging contaminants from water. She has a number of peer-reviewed publications in international journals. She has also presented some of her research findings at various local and international conferences.

Abisola Egbedina was appointed as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, University of Ibadan in November 2016, and is currently a Lecturer II. Besides teaching and carrying out research, Abisola loves reading novels, watching movies, swimming and dancing.

Kishor Sarkar

RAFT polymerization mediated core–shell supramolecular assembly of PEGMA-co-stearic acid block co-polymer for efficient anticancer drug delivery

Dr. Kishor Sarkar was awarded PhD in Polymer Science and Technology from University of Calcutta, India in August 2014. In 2016, he has joined as Assistant Professor in the Department of Polymer Science and Technology, University of Calcutta in June 2016. Before joining here, he worked as postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, USA (May 2015-April 2016). He was awarded Dr. D.S. Kothari Postdoctoral Fellowship in India and carried out his postdoctoral work under Prof. Giridhar Madras, Department of Chemical Engineering and Dr. Kaushik Chatterjee, Dept. Of Materials Engineering, IISc, Bangalore, India from Nov. 2013 to March 2015. Dr. Sarkar has broad background in Polymer Chemistry with specific training and expertise on the development of polymeric non-viral vectors for gene therapy application. After joining as Assistant Professor, Dr. Sarkar received Early Career Research Award from SERB, Govt. of India in March 2017. Presently, the main research area of Dr. Sarkar focuses on the development of efficient polymeric vector for drug delivery or gene therapy application and synthesis of novel biopolymers from recycled plastic wastes for Tissue Engineering applications.

Michiel Dusselier

On the key role of aluminium and other heteroatoms during interzeolite conversion synthesis

Prof. Michiel Dusselier obtained his Ph.D. degree in Bioscience Engineering (Catalytic Technology, 2013) at KU Leuven, Belgium, with Bert Sels, inventing new catalytic routes for bioplastics synthesis. In 2014–15, he did postdoctoral work with Mark Davis at Caltech, studying the synthesis of zeolites and methanol-to-olefins. In 2017, he accepted a tenure track professorship at KU Leuven and co-founded the new Center for Sustainable Catalysis and Engineering (CSCE) in 2019. He is focusing on zeolite synthesis methods, reactor design, functional biodegradable plastics and heterogeneous catalysis (CO2 activation). In particular, he is enthusiastic about elaborate synthesis-structure-activity relations and bottom-up catalyst design. He has (co)authored over 60 peer-reviewed papers and 7 patents, of which one transferred to industry. He is the holder of an ERC starting Grant (2020) called Z-EURECA, studying unusual reactors for zeolite synhtesis. In 2021, he received the alumni award in applied sciences of the Belgian American Educational Foundation.

Erin Leitao

The photophysical properties of naphthalene bridged disilanes

Dr Erin Leitao obtained her BSc degree in Chemistry from the University of Victoria (BC, Canada) in 2006.  Her final project, with Prof Scott McIndoe, involved the synthesis of electrospray active distannoxane catalysts.  Erin’s PhD degree was awarded from the University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada) in 2011 and was supervised by Prof Warren Piers. Her research project investigated the decomposition and re-design of an olefin metathesis catalyst. Erin was then a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Prof Ian Manners at the University of Bristol (UK) where she transitioned into researching catalysis of main-group compounds as well as polymer self-assembly. Erin has been at the University of Auckland for six years and in 2016 she was the NZ recipient of the L-Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science fellowship. Members of the Leitao lab are working towards the synthesis of new main-group molecules and materials using catalysis.

Chandra Sekhar Tiwary

Development of a schwarzite-based moving bed 3D printed water treatment system for nanoplastic remediation

Chandra Sekhar Tiwary is a professor at Department of metallurgical and materials engineering, at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur India. After receiving his Ph.D from Indian Institute of Science Bangalore India. He worked as postdoc at Rice University, Houston, USA. His group works on 3D printing, 2D materials, nanomaterials, development of new alloys and its applications in environment, energy, electronics and catalysis etc. Based on his contributions, all three Academies of India (Indian National Science Academy, National Science Academy, India and Indian National Academy of Engineers) awarded him the Young Scientist Awards. Apart from this, the Ministry of Steel, India, has awarded him the Young Metallurgist of the year 2020 for his contributions to metal research. Electron microscopy society of India has recognized his contribution to electron microscopy and awarded him the Excellent Microscopist of 2020. He has been also awarded the Alain Reza Yavari Young/Junior Scientist Award -International Society of ISMANAM and many more. For carrying out cutting-edge research in India, the Department of Science and Technology, India, has awarded Prof. Tiwary the Ramanujan Fellowship in 2018.

Jiangshui Luo

Phase-dependent dielectric properties and proton conduction of neopentyl glycol

Dr. Jiangshui Luo has been a Professor in College of Materials Science and Engineering, Sichuan University in China since 2020, where he is the Head of the team of Electrolytes and Phase Change Materials. He has been appointed by Sichuan province as a distinguished expert since 2021. He has also been appointed by KU Leuven in Belgium as a visiting professor.

He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Xiamen University and Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, respectively. From 2008 and 2011, he worked as a project researcher on high temperature electrolytes in EWE Research Center for Energy Technology in Germany. He completed his PhD study on protic salt electrolytes for fuel cells in KU Leuven within 2 years in November 2012.

His research interest includes electrolytes, phase change materials, electrocatalysts, heat transfer fluids, solid-state refrigeration, isotope effects and scientometrics. So far, he has published 52 journal papers and holds 10 patents. He proposed and demonstrated protic organic ionic plastic crystals (POIPCs) as a novel type of proton conductors for fuel cells. He has been the PI of 7 national projects and received several governmental awards. He is an Editorial Board Member of Journal of Ionic Liquids.

Daniel A. Heredia

Photoactive antimicrobial coating based on a PEDOT-fullerene C60 polymeric dyad

Daniel A. Heredia is an Adjunct Researcher of CONICET at National University of Río Cuarto (UNRC). He graduated in 2009 with a BSc and he received his PhD degree in material science and electrochemistry in 2014 from UNRC. He obtained a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Institute of Chemistry of Rosario, where he did research into the total synthesis of structurally relevant natural products. He was visiting researcher at Complutense University of Madrid, at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH and at Arizona State University. His interests are wide, ranging from organic synthesis to the development of new materials and their photophysical characterization. His current research activities focus on the synthesis of organic materials to apply in photodynamic inactivation and optoelectronic devices.

Frank Hahn

Cross-linking of a polyketide synthase domain leads to a recyclable biocatalyst for chiral oxygen heterocycle synthesis

Frank studied Chemistry at the Universities of Karlsruhe, Paris VI and Bonn and finished his PhD on solid phase synthesis and biological evaluation of polyamines in 2008. He then moved to the University of Cambridge (UK) to study polyketide biosynthetic pathways with Prof. Peter F. Leadlay. In 2011, he returned to Germany to start his independent career at the Leibniz University Hannover, where he became leader of a DFG-funded Emmy Noether Research Group in 2013. In 2016, he moved to his current position as a Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Bayreuth. His research interests are in the fields of natural product synthesis and biosynthesis as well as the biotechnological exploitation of the microbial secondary metabolism.

David J. Lewis

Preparation of solution processed photodetectors comprised of two-dimensional tin(ii) sulfide nanosheet thin films assembled via the Langmuir–Blodgett method

David J. Lewis (DJL, h = 31) is Deputy Head of Department, Head of Research & Reader in Materials Chemistry in the Department of Materials at The University of Manchester, UK. DJL leads a research group actively researching soft processing and applications of nanostructured and low-dimensional materials broadly related to energy generation. DJL’s research has led to over 100 publications and he has been the recipient of funding from EPSRC and The Royal Society as well as a number of industrially-sponsored grants. In 2021 he was elected by Members and Fellows to serve on the RSC Materials Chemistry Division council for 3 years.

Binju Wang

The molecular mechanism of P450-catalyzed amination of the pyrrolidine derivative of lidocaine: insights from multiscale simulations

Binju Wang obtained his PhD in 2012 from Xiamen University in China. After two periods of post-doctoral research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (with Prof. Sason Shaik) and Universitat de Barcelona, Spain (with Prof. Carme Rovira), he joined Xiamen University in 2018 as a full professor. His current research interest focuses on the use of multiscale modeling to decipher the catalytic mechanisms of metalloenzymes, including O2 and H2O2 activations, electronic state and spin-state reactivities, protein environment effects, as well as the rational design of metalloenzymes for biocatalysis. Professor Wang has published over 50 peer reviewed publications.

Scott Tsai

An ultrafast enzyme-free acoustic technique for detaching adhered cells in microchannels

Dr. Scott Tsai is the Director of the Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). His undergraduate training in Mechanical Engineering is from the University of Toronto, and his masters and PhD degrees in Engineering Sciences are from Harvard University. Dr. Tsai’s laboratory specializes in droplet and bubble microfluidics. His group also collaborates actively with hospital researchers to implement these technologies in medical applications related to kidney disease and prostate cancer. Dr. Tsai is a recipient of the United States’ Fulbright Visiting Research Chair Award, Government of Ontario’s Early Researcher Award, and Toronto Metropolitan University’s Deans’ Teaching Award.

Daniel Globisch

Investigation of the individual human sulfatome in plasma and urine samples reveals an age-dependency

Daniel Globisch is an Associate Professor in Analytical Chemistry at Uppsala University. He studied Chemistry at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern (Germany) and the University of Southern Denmark, Odense (Denmark). He received his Ph.D. from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (Germany) with Professor Thomas Carell in March 2011 and joined the laboratory of Professor Kim D. Janda at The Scripps Research Institute (CA, USA) for his postdoctoral studies for 4.5 years. He started his independent career in September 2015 at Uppsala University (Sweden) after recruitment as a Science For Life Laboratory Fellow. He was appointed as Associate Professor in 2017 and joined the Department of Chemistry – BMC after securing a tenured position in December 2020. Daniel has been elected as a board member of the Nordic Metabolomics Society for two terms and as an Editorial Board Member for the metabolomics society journal Metabolites. The interdisciplinary nature of his research projects is focused on the elucidation of the metabolic interaction between the gut microbiota and their human host. Towards this goal, his laboratory develops new Chemical Biology tools to extend the scope of metabolomics research for the selective discovery of unknown biomarkers and bioactive metabolites.

Tangxin Xiao

Efficient artificial light-harvesting system constructed from supramolecular polymers with AIE property

Tangxin Xiao was born in China in 1987. He obtained his B.Sc. degree in chemistry from Hubei Normal University in 2009. Then he joined the laboratory of Prof. Leyong Wang at Nanjing University and got his Ph.D. in supramolecular chemistry in 2014. After postdoctoral research on fine chemicals at Zhejiang University-NHU Company United R&D Center, he joined Changzhou University in 2017, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2020. Between March 2021 and June 2022, he worked as a visiting scholar in Prof. Oren Scherman group at University of Cambridge. His current research interests concern the supramolecular chemistry and luminescent materials. He has co-authored more than 50 publications with a total citation of more than 2700 times and his H-index is 23.

Xiao-Yu Hu

Influence of water-soluble pillararene hosts on Kemp elimination

Xiao-Yu Hu obtained her Ph.D. in pharmaceutical chemistry from the Chengdu Institute of Biology (CAS) in 2011. After postdoctoral research with Prof. Leyong Wang, she joined Nanjing University as an associate research professor in 2013. In 2016, she joined University of Duisburg-Essen as a senior AvH Fellow (“The Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researcher”) working with Prof. Carsten Schmuck. Since 2018, she has been appointed as the Full Professor of Organic Chemistry at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Her current research interests are focused on supramolecular self-assembly and functional supramolecular materials. She is currently the associate editor of Frontiers in Chemistry, and an editorial board member of Chinese Chemical Letters, Green Synthesis & Catalysis, and Molecules.

She has authored and coauthored over 100 research publications, including Nat. Commun., J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Acc. Chem. Res., CCS Chem. and so on. Moreover, has received many grants and awards, including the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province for Outstanding Young Scholar, the Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researcher, the Science and Technology Award of Jiangsu Province, the National New Star Award in Supramolecular Chemistry of Aromatic Macrocycles, and the Teaching and Research Achievement Award of Jiangsu Province.

 

 

We would like to give a huge thank you to Series Editor James Batteas, Associate Editors and to all our reviewers at RSC Advances for their ongoing support and contribution, helping us to bring together such a fantastic collection of articles.

 

Looking forward: Emerging Investigator Series 2022!

We are pleased to announce the Series Editors of the next Emerging Investigator series of 2022: Fabienne Dumoulin and Shirley Nakagaki, and we can’t wait to see what the next early career investigators have been working on in Chemistry! Selection for the Emerging Investigators series comes in part from the recommendations of our Editorial Board as well as our Associate Editors. Authors can also self-nominate for participation and review by our Associate Editors for the journal, articles can be submitted to the series at any time and will be accepted and published throughout the year.

If you would like to be involved in our up coming series, please look at our webpage here for more information or submit now!

For any questions do not hesitate to contact us at advances-rsc@rsc.org

 

RSC Advances Royal Society of ChemistrySubmit to RSC Advances today! Check out our author guidelines for information on our article types or find out more about the advantages of publishing in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal.

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RSC Advances Popular Advances – an interview with Emanuele Moioli

We are very pleased to introduce Dr Emanuele Moioli, the sole author of the RSC Advances article Linking heat and electricity supply for domestic users: an example of power-to-gas integration in a building. This paper became one of the newest additions to our Popular Advances collection. The Popular Advances Collection is a selection of well received RSC Advances articles, handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors.

Emanuele told us more about the work that went into this article and what he hopes to achieve in the future. If you would like to explore more of our Popular Advances, please find the full online collection here.

Meet the Author:

Emanuele Moioli studied chemical engineering at Politecnico di Milano and Politecnico di Torino (Italy). He then pursued a PhD focused on chemical reactor design and optimization as Marie-Curie fellow at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany), in collaboration with the Swiss multinational Lonza. After graduation, he moved to EPFL (Switzerland) for a postdoc focused on the development of new catalysts and reactors for the CO2 methanation reaction. In 2020 he started working as scientist at the Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland) where he expanded his interest in the field of CO2 methanation, including the research aspects considering the integration of energy storage technologies in the energy system.

 

 

  1. Could you briefly explain the focus of your article to the non-specialist (in one or two sentences only) and why it is of current interest?

The focus of the research is a feasibility assessment of micro-scale power-to-gas systems to be applied in residential buildings. These systems link electricity to the gas grid, increasing the energy efficiency of the house.

 

  1. How big an impact could your results potentially have?

These results could be directly applied in the realisation of such systems, generating a disruptive change in the way electricity and gas supply are guaranteed in residential buildings. This can significantly increase the renewable energy production in micro-scale applications.

 

  1. Could you explain the motivation behind this study?

The motivation behind the study consists in finding the key points to link electricity and gas grids, increasing energy storage potential and the penetration of renewable energy.

 

  1. In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?

The key design consideration of the study is the possibility of linking electricity and heat supply in the system. While standard power-to-gas systems suffer from low efficiency, this study shows that the self consumption of waste heat from the reaction is beneficial to decrease the global energy demand.

 

  1. Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?

The most challenging part of the study is the collection of reliable data, which can be used for the system design. To overcome this limitation, the study was based on field observations, linking weather conditions and electricity, heat demand and availability.

 

  1. What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

I am most excited at the fact that this study shows how close we are from the application of power-to-gas in a wide range of specific cases!

 

  1. What is the next step? What work is planned

The next step is the implementation of the results in the case investigated. We are currently working with an industrial partner to make this demonstration possible.

 

Linking heat and electricity supply for domestic users: an example of power-to-gas integration in a building

Emanuele Moioli*

RSC Adv., 2022,12, 10355-10365    DOI:10.1039/D2RA00951J

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RSC Advances Popular Advances – an interview with Dr Nicholle Bell

We are very pleased to introduce Dr Nicholle Bell, the corresponding author of the RSC Advances article 19F-centred NMR analysis of mono-fluorinated compounds. This paper became one of the newest additions to our Popular Advances collection. The Popular Advances Collection is a selection of well received RSC Advances articles, handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors.

Nicholle told us more about the work that went into this article and what she hopes to achieve in the future. You can find out more about the authors and their article below. If you would like to explore more of our Popular Advances, please find the full online collection here.

Meet the Author:

Nicholle Bell is an environmental chemist whose research involves the design and application of state-of-the-art analytical methods for unravelling the composition of complex mixtures. She completed her PhD in 2015 where she designed 3D and 4D NMR experiments for identification of molecules within Earth’s most complex mixture: soil organic matter. In 2016, she was awarded a 3 year NERC Soil Security Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh to develop new NMR and FT-ICR-MS methods for examination of the organic matter within peat soils. In 2017, she was award the RSC Joseph Black Medal for “innovative developments in the teaching and practice of spectroscopy”. She is currently a NERC Independent Research Fellow combining molecular, microbial and enzymatic methods to examine the relationships between the drivers of carbon cycling in peatlands across the UK, Canada and Sweden.

 

 

  1. Could you briefly explain the focus of your article to the non-specialist (in one or two sentences only) and why it is of current interest?

19F-centred Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is a spectroscopic methodology that allows efficient structure elucidation of fluorine-containing molecules in complex mixtures.

 

  1. How big an impact could your results potentially have?

The analysis of fluorinated molecules is required in many scientific fields. Incorporation of 19F into small organic molecules improves their biological properties making them an important target for the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. Organic chemists chose to tag their molecules with 19F to allow them to study reaction mechanisms and kinetics. A similar approach can be used to characterise unknown molecules in complex environmental mixtures. To support all these efforts, efficient analytical methodology for the characterisation of fluorinated molecules, either as pure species or in mixtures, is required and this is where our methodology can help.

 

  1. Could you explain the motivation behind this study?

I am an environmental chemist fascinated by the complexity of environmental mixtures. Part of my research portfolio is the development of methodologies that will enable structure elucidation of small molecules found in our soils and waters. We are surrounded by these mixtures and yet do not understand their composition and hence find it difficult to explain their properties and functions. In addition, many manmade fluorinated molecules have become part of our modern life with approximately 25% and 50% of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals, respectively, containing fluorine. It is satisfying to realise that our methodology can be used in a number of research fields.

 

  1. In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?

NMR is one of the most powerful analytical techniques for structure determination of molecules. It is an indirect method, which gathers and interprets a plethora of molecular parameters to arrive at the proposed structure, a process akin to putting together pieces of a puzzle. Our 19F-centred NMR approach utilises the substantial sensitivity of 19F and it’s far reaching couplings with 1H and 13C to obtain 1H, 13C and 19F chemical shifts, values of JHF, JHH, and JFC coupling constants and 13C induced 19F isotopic shifts. The obtained data constitute a rich source of information that enables structure elucidation of fluorinated structures. An important advantage of 19F over other nuclei is the lack of background signals due to the absence of fluorinated endogenous compounds, making it possible to apply our methodology to complex mixtures without the need to separate individual compounds.

 

  1. Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?

Today’s NMR spectroscopy has at its disposal in impressive set of building blocks, which when put together produce, new, ever more sensitive and efficient NMR experiments. A lot of time is spent putting these bocks together and refining them in order to produce generally applicable, state of the art NMR experiments. This could be a challenge, but also great fun.

 

  1. What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

The potential of our approach to identify molecules found in environment. To understand their transformations and roles they play in our ecosystems, including their effects on human health or ability to enable carbon storage.

 

  1. What is the next step? What work is planned?

The focus now is on applying our methodology to study environmental samples. We are testing numerous existing fluorination methodologies to introduce fluorine into complex mixtures of natural organic matter. Once incorporated we are using fluorine as a molecular spy to report on its chemical environment to help aid structure determination of organic compounds.

 

19F-centred NMR analysis of mono-fluorinated compounds

Alan J. R. Smith, Richard York, Dušan Uhrín and Nicholle G. A. Bell *

RSC Adv., 2022,12, 10062-10070 DOI: 10.1039/D1RA08046F

 

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Editors’ collection: Liquid Crystals Science and Technology by Associate Editor Giacomo Saielli

We are delighted to share with you our latest collection of recently published articles focusing on Liquid Crystals, handpicked by Associate Editor Dr Giacomo Saielli (Italian National Research Council and University of Padova).

Liquid Crystals (LCs) have been discovered serendipitously in 1888 by the botanist Friedrich Reinitzer. Their discovery sparked a great deal of debate during the first half of 1900 concerning their structural and dynamic properties and even their relationship with living organisms. They remained, however, mostly an academic curiosity until the second half of the last century when their possible application as displays became clear.

LC displays now represent a huge share of the display industry and many other applications based on LCs have been proposed and developed. At the same time, the LC science, mostly rooted in chemistry and physics but also touching mathematics, biology and engineering, has progressed significantly with new fields opening, e.g. ionic liquid crystals, polymeric liquid crystals, active matter systems, orienting phases for bio-NMR, LC-based membranes for separation. Moreover, new LC phases have been reported during the last recent decades renewing the scientific discussion on the fundamental properties and phase structure of these fascinating materials.

This themed collection highlights a series of papers published in the last two years concerning basic scientific investigations on LCs, from the synthesis of novel materials to structure-property relationships as well as applications in opto-electronic devices, thus attesting the breadth and vitality of the present research on liquid crystals.

As the world’s largest gold open access chemistry journal, all publications in RSC Advances are free to access. We hope you enjoy reading these articles.

We invite you to submit your research to this collection and give your work the global visibility it deserves.

 Submit your research now

Featured articles:

Photo-controllable rotational motion of cholesteric liquid crystalline droplets in a dispersion system
Yota Sakai, Woon Yong Sohn and Kenji Katayama
RSC Adv.
, 2020, 10, 21191-21197. DOI: 10.1039/D0RA03465G

The role of intermolecular interactions in stabilizing the structure of the nematic twist-bend phase
Katarzyna Merkel, Barbara Loska, Chris Welch, Georg H. Mehl and Antoni Kocot
RSC Adv., 2021, 11, 2917-2925 DOI: 10.1039/D0RA10481G

Textile materials inspired by structural colour in nature
Celina Jones, Franz J. Wortmann, Helen F. Gleeson and  Stephen G. Yeates
RSC Adv., 2020, 10, 24362-24367 DOI: 10.1039/D0RA01326A

Read the full collection here

Meet the Editor

Dr. Giacomo Saielli is currently Senior Researcher at the CNR Institute on Membrane Technology, Padova Unit, and contract Professor of Chemistry at the University of Padova. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Padova in 1999, he spent two years as a post-doc at the University of Southampton, UK. He then received a JSPS short fellowship for a post-doc at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tsukuba, Japan, in 2003. Moreover, he has been a visiting researcher at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla CA (2010); Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley CA (2013); and PIFI visiting scientist (President’s International Fellowship Initiative – Chinese Academy of Science) at the CAS Institute of Theoretical Physics in Beijing, in 2017. His research is mainly focussed on computational studies of ionic liquids, liquid crystals and computational spectroscopy.

 

 

About RSC Advances

As the world’s largest gold open access journal dedicated to the chemical sciences, we are here for everyone who wants to publish quality chemistry research and share it with the world. Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry and led by active researchers, we publish work in all areas of chemistry and our low article processing charges, discounts and waivers make publishing open access achievable and sustainable. Learn more.

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Research Infographic: Covalent and non-covalent chemistry of 2D black phosphorus

2D black phosphorous is an emerging material with a fascinating structure and outstanding electronic properties that holds potential for many applications.

Aleksandra Mitrovic, Gonzalo Abellán and Andreas Hirsch have published an interesting review discussing the structural and mechanistic insights of black phosphorus, while emphasising the current synthetic challenges.

Find out more in the open access article:

Covalent and non-covalent chemistry of 2D black phosphorus

Gonzalo Abellán and Andreas Hirsch et al., RSC Adv., 2021,11, 26093-26101

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Editors’ collection: Shining a Light on the f-Block by Associate Editor Robert Baker

We are delighted to share with you our latest collection of recently published articles Shining a Light on the f-Block, handpicked by Associate Editor Dr. Robert Baker (Trinity College Dublin).

Whilst the chemistry of the f-block (Ln and An) elements are not as well investigated as the transition metals, fascinating results have been forthcoming in the last 10 years. These results have challenged our ideas on bonding and led to refinement of theories on bonding and magnetism to name but two.

In this collection, numerous facets of the interest, both fundamental and applied, in f-block chemistry are showcased. The photophysics and magnetism of the lanthanides are highlighted in numerous applications, including biochemistry whilst there is still room for the coordination and organometallic chemistry of the lanthanides to be extended and explored.

The chemistry of the actinides is generally more challenging both experimentally and from a safety and regulatory framework. Separation science has an important role here for treatment of legacy, current and future nuclear wastes, both experimentally and theoretically. Advances in state-of-the-art spectroscopy highlights what can be achieved for small concentrations of U, Pu and Cm. The chemical creativity on display in this selection shows that forays into the f-block can be both satisfying and rewarding.

As the world’s largest gold open access chemistry journal, all publications in RSC Advances are free to access. We hope you enjoy reading these articles.

We invite you to submit your research to this collection and give your work the global visibility it deserves.

Submit your research now

Featured articles:

Tb(iii)-doped nanosheets as a fluorescent probe for the detection of dipicolinic acid
Bing Wang, Jinfeng Xia, Guohong Zhou, Xin  Li, Mengting  Dai, Danyu Jiang, Qiang Li
RSC Adv., 2020,10, 37500-37506. DOI: 10.1039/C9RA09695G

All near-infrared multiparametric luminescence thermometry using Er3+, Yb3+-doped YAG nanoparticles
Jovana Perisa, Zoran Ristic, Wojciech Piotrowski, Zeljka Antic, Lukasz Marciniak, Miroslav D. Dramicanin
RSC Adv., 2021,11, 15933-15942. DOI: 10.1039/D1RA01647D

Functionalized natural cellulose fibres for the recovery of uranium from seawater
Adrian Tellería-Narvaez, Whitney Talavera-Ramos, Lucas Dos Santos, Jimena Arias, Alejandro Kinbauma and Vittorio Luca
RSC Adv.
, 2020,10, 6654-6657. DOI: 10.1039/D0RA00601G

 

Read the full collection here

Meet the Editor

Dr Bob Baker was born in 1975 in Blaenavon, South Wales. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Warwick and carried out his PhD studies under the supervision of Prof. P. G. Edwards at Cardiff University (1997-2001) on early transition metal triphosphamacrocycles. He then worked as a postdoctoral research fellow with Prof. Cameron Jones (2001-2005), working on low oxidation state group 13 compounds. He was then awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship held at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, working with Prof. Dr. Matthias Tamm on substituted cyclohepatrienyl early transition metal complexes. From 2006-2008 he was a Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry at Nottingham Trent University, before moving to Trinity College in January 2009. His research interests are in fundamental and applied actinide chemistry and the development of new transition metal complexes for catalysis

 

Submit to RSC Advances today! Check out our author guidelines for information on our article types or find out more about the advantages of publishing in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal.

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Research infographic: The role of biocatalysis in the asymmetric synthesis of alkaloids – an update

Alkaloids are a group of natural products with interesting pharmacological properties and a long history of medicinal application.

E. Cigan et al. from the Elk crew at the University of Graz explore how the chemo-enzymatic strategies for the asymmetric synthesis of alkaloids have developed during recent years.

Find out more in the open access article:

The role of biocatalysis in the asymmetric synthesis of alkaloids – an update

E. Cigan et al. RSC Adv., 2021,11, 28223-28270

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Research infographic: “Phase-dependent dielectric properties and proton conduction of neopentyl glycol”

Jiangshui Luo et al. at Sichuan University have published an interesting research article investigating the mesophase, usually referred to as the plastic crystalline state.

Phase transitions of the molecular plastic crystal neopentyl glycol were studied using permittivity and conductivity data, via the variable-temperature broadband dielectric spectroscopy.

Find out more in the open access article:

“Phase-dependent dielectric properties and proton conduction of neopentyl glycol”

Jiangshui Luo et al. RSC Adv., 2021, 11, 23228-23234 DOI:10.1039/D1RA03366B

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Research infographic – “Greening the synthesis of peptide therapeutics: an industrial perspective”

As of 2017 over 60 peptide drugs have been approved in the US, Europe and Japan.

The Sejer Pederson group at Novo Nordisk realise the importance of greening the synthesis of peptide therapeutics within industry, and identify methods on how we can achieve this.

Find out more in the Open Access article:

“Greening the synthesis of peptide therapeutics: an industrial perspective”

Vincent Martin et al. RSC Advances, 2020, 10, 42457-42492 DOI:10.1039/D0RA07204D

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