- Issue 2 |
- January 2010
How heavy can the periodic table go? Scientists have long had the capability to create new, “superheavy” elements by fusing lighter nuclei. The existence of a system formed in a heavy-ion fusion reaction is often brief, however, because the nucleus heats up in the process and must find a way to shed energy and cool back down to a more stable state.
As recently reported in Angewandte Chemie and highlighted in the Chemistry World magazine (http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2009/April/27040901.asp) computer-aided design can effectively guide the construction of self-assembled nanoscale containers with predetermined functionality. Specifically, with the help of molecular modeling, a cage receptor functionalized for optimal encapsulation and efficient sequestration of sulfate from water was efficiently crafted.
A team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has demonstrated that the open edges of fullerene-like features in carbon catalysts are the sites responsible for catalytic activity in oxidative dehydrogenation reactions. The result can be attributed to the use of synthetic carbon catalysts where the relative amount of the nanoscale structural features can be manipulated and correlated with catalytic performance.
Converting the abundant energy of the sun into a form convenient for human consumption is the ultimate dream for sustainable generation of environmentally clean energy. Since the seminal discovery by Fujishima and Honda in the early 1970s, titanium oxide (TiO2), an inexpensive white pigment widely used in daily life, has been considered as the most promising photocatalyst for solar energy utilization and environmental cleanup.