Monday, May 28, 2012

Picture of Olympicene

AFM image of Olympicene molecule
Back in 2009, at the IBM Research lab scientists imaged, for the first time, the chemical structure of an individual molecule (pentacene) with unprecedented resolution, using technique they developed called noncontact atomic force microscopy. The same IBM team, has once again come up with an interesting image. This time they've imaged a new organic molecule, Olympicene.

Olympicene, gets its name because its five linked rings resemble the Olympic symbol. The compound is a powder, that is very sensitive to light. In fact, even with brief exposure it changes color. It is only 1.2 nanometers wide, or 100,000 times thinner than a human hair. This AFM technique could become a real structure-determination tool for organic chemist.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

PhD student fellowships

The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) "The Exploration of Ecological Interactions with Molecular and Chemical Techniques" in Jena, Germany, invites applications for 6 PhD fellowships beginning in January 2013.

Application deadline is June 29, 2012.
For detailed information about the IMPRS, Projects offered and application requirements, @

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Molecule vending machine

 Nano-catalysis is a fast-growing field of chemistry, which involves the use of nanomaterials as catalysts for a variety of selective organic transformations. Nano-catalysis can be considered as a bridge between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. Because of high surface area of nano materials, the contact between reactants and catalyst increases dramatically and they can operate in the same manner as homogeneous catalysts (homogeneous catalysis), at the same time, due to their insolubility in the reaction solvent, they can be separated out easily from the reaction mixture (heterogeneous). Only the molecules of certain sizes and chemical properties are selected and guided to the reaction centers where they are efficiently transformed to the desired products.

 Solid supports have the potential to house more than one metal and, hence, catalyze multiple types of bond constructions. Such “multifunctional” catalysts attained much attention due to several advantages over mono metal catalyst. The high selectivity of the nano catalyst may help reduce the energy consumption required for product separation and waste disposal processes in chemical industries.