Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A multitude of exciting new applications in chemistry

22.01.2003


Scientists at the University of Leicester are on the way to solving a problem that has long beset chemists trying to study chemical reactions.



To establish reaction mechanisms the observation of reaction intermediates is vital, but they are incredibly short-lived under normal conditions, and therefore difficult to detect. Freezing the reaction – known as matrix isolation - has been employed for many years, but produces rigid solids in which molecules are trapped and therefore motionless.

Chemistry revolves around the making and breaking of chemical bonds. Molecules must correctly orient themselves with respect to one another so that they can react, and as reaction progresses various chemical intermediates, such as free radicals, may be formed.


At the University of Leicester Department of Chemistry a research team led by Drs Andy Ellis and Martyn Wheeler is using an exotic new solvent - liquid helium nanodroplets (LHNDs) - as an ultra-low temperature nano-laboratory.

LHNDs have some extraordinary properties. Composed of several thousand helium atoms, they only exist at a temperature close to absolute zero (0.2 K). In addition they are superfluid, which means that molecules trapped within them can still move around.

This winning combination of exceedingly low temperature with molecule mobility opens up a multitude of exciting new applications in chemistry.

Molecules that disappear in an instant under normal chemical conditions, such as free radicals, can be studied at leisure in LHNDs.

It should even be possible to bring together several free radicals to form stable complexes, a concept previously unthinkable in experimental chemistry.

Dr Ellis commented: “This is an exciting and challenging research program at the cutting edge of modern chemistry. Dr Wheeler and I will be constructing major state-of-the art apparatus which will open up new frontiers in the study of free radical chemistry and dynamics.”

Barbara Whiteman
email: ara@le.ac.uk

Barbara Whiteman | Alphagalileo

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht 'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells
20.02.2018 | Biophysical Society

nachricht New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures
20.02.2018 | Queen Mary University of London

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>