Tag Archive for Chemistry

NSF Supports Pickett’s, Novick’s Spectroscopy Research

Stewart Novick, professor of chemistry, and Herb Pickett, a visiting scholar in chemistry, received a $323,880 grant from the National Science Foundation for their research titled “High resolution spectroscopy of molecular hydrogen complexed with Transition metal halides and chalcogens: a model for H2 MOF hydrogen storage.” The grant will be awarded Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, 2013. The grant is subcontract with the project’s co-PI Zhenghong Yu at Aerodyne Research Inc.

Using the extremely sensitive Fourier transform microwave spectrometer in Novick’s laboratory and incorporating “laser ablation” as a source of refractory molecules, Novick and Pickett plan to study the “active site” of the metal organic frameworks (MOF) binding site to molecular hydrogen. These MOFs can be used to safely transport hydrogen, for example in hydrogen fuel-cell driven automobiles.

“Perhaps we will ultimately learn how to design a better MOF for hydrogen transport,” Novick says.

Novick and Pickett will explore the chemical nature of bonding between H2 and its various binding partners such as ZnO, CuO, CuF, and other transition metal halides and chalcogens (oxygen and sulfur), which we will denote by MX.

“The investigation of the structure and dynamics of these medium strength complexes will enable us to elucidate the influence of the electronic structure of the transition metal halides and chalcogens upon the bond strength of these molecules with molecular hydrogen,” Novick explains. “We will also obtain detailed information on the anisotropy of the bonding of the MX with H2. The complexes will be produced by a laser ablation source immediately following supersonic expansion of a dilute mixture of hydrogen and an inert gas.”

These experimental and theoretical investigations will reveal important structural, energetic and dynamical information which should provide detailed insights into what further modification of MOFs will be required for hydrogen storage at room temperature.

Russu, Weng Published in Journal of Molecular Biology

Irina Russu, professor of chemistry, and chemistry graduate student Xiaoli Weng are the co-authors of an article titled, “Structural Enegetics of the Adenine Tract from an Intrinsic Transcription Terminator,” published in the Journal of Molecular Biology 397, pages 677-688, in 2010.

Westmoreland Attends Chemistry Session in Sri Lanka

T. David Westmoreland, associate professor of chemistry, attended the 39th Annual Sessions of the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon June 16-18 in Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka. The theme was “Beginning of a new era: Challenges and Opportunities for Chemists on National Development.”

Fry’s Article Published in Tetrahedron

Albert Fry, the E.B. Nye Professor of Chemistry, is the co-author of “Substituent Effects on the Redox Properties and Structure of Substituted Triphenylamines. An Experimental and Computational Study,” published in Tetrahedron, 65, 2408-2414, 2009.

Northrop Co-Authors Several Articles in Chemistry Journals

Brian Northrop, assistant professor of chemistry, is the co-author of several new articles. These include: “Ultrafast Optical Excitations In Supramolecular Metallacycles with Charge Transfer Properties,” published in Journal of the American Chemical Society, 132, 1348-1358 in 2010; “Assembly of Metallacycles on HOPG by Shape-Persistent Macrocycle Templates,” published in Journal of the American Chemical Society, 132, 1328-1333, 2010; “Surface Confined Metallosupramolecular Architectures: Formation and Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Characterization,” published in Accounts of Chemical Research, 42, 249-259, 2009; “Directed Self-Selection in the Coordination-Driven Self-Assembly of Irregular Supramolecular Polygons,” published in Journal of Organic Chemistry, 74, 3554-3557, 2009.

Also, “Synthesis of Six-Component Metallodendrimers via [3+3] Coordination-Driven Self-Assembly,” published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, 74, 3524-3527, 2009; “Introduction of Heterofunctional Groups onto Molecular Hexagons via Coordination-Driven Self-Assembly,” published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry 74, 4828-4833, 2009; “Facile Self-Assembly of Neutral Dendritic Metallocycles via Oxygen-to-Platinum Coordination,” published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, 74, 7067-7074, 2009; “Self-Organization in Coordination-Driven Self-Assembly,” published in Accounts of Chemical Research, 42, 1554-1563, 2009; and “Synthesis and X-ray structural analysis of platinum and ethynyl-platinum corannulenes: supramolecular tectons,” published in Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 7, 2009.

Pratt Published in Bioorganic Chemistry Publication

Rex Pratt, the Beach Professor of Chemistry, is the co-author of  “Substituted aryl malonamates as new serine b-lactamase substrates: Structure-activity studies,” published in Bioorganic & Mecicinal Chemistry,18, 282 in 2010; “Approaches to the simultaneous inactivation of metallo- and serine- b-lactamases,” published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters,19, 1618; 2009; “Inhibition of class A and C b-lactamases by diaroyl phosphates,” published in Biochemistry, 48, 8285, 2009; “Intramolecular cooperativity in the reaction of diacyl phosphates with serine b-lactamases,” published in Biochemistry, 48, 8293, 2009; “Structural basis of the inhibition of class A b-lactamases and penicillin-binding proteins by 6-b-iodopenicillanate,” published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131, 15262, in 2009.

5 Questions With . . . Erika Taylor

Erika Taylor, assistant professor of chemistry, is exploring lignin as a possible carbon source of biofuel. (Photo by Bill Burkhart)

In this issue, we ask 5 Questions to. . . Erika Taylor, assistant professor of chemistry and chair of the 35th Peter A. Leermakers’ Committee.

Q. How did you get involved in biofuel research?

A.There seemed to be a compelling need for more scientists to look for alternatives to biofuel carbon sources beyond the ones that have already been researched, corn being a common, but problematic one.

Q. Can you explain what lignin is?

A. Lignin is the second most abundant polymer on the planet (the most abundant polymer is cellulose). Lignin is interwoven into trees, along with cellulose and hemicellulose, two sugar polymers. Lignin provides the structural rigidity.

Q. Why are you exploring lignin as a possible carbon source of biofuel?

A. more than 50 millions tons of lignin are produced each year. It  is an abundant waste product of both the biofuel and paper industries. Lignin is also found in municipal waste. My hope is to take the lignin and develop a means for recycling it into a biofuel

Students, Alumni Present Research at Biophysical Meeting in San Francisco

Several Wesleyan students presented their work at the Biophysical Society 54th Annual Meeting Feb. 20-24 in San Francisco, Calif. More than 6,000 scientists from academia, government and industry attended. Olga Buzovetsky '10, pictured, presented her poster titled "Binding and Bending Parameters of Integration Host Factor to Holliday Junction." Her advisor is Ishita Mukerji, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry.

Several Wesleyan students and recent alumni presented their work at the Biophysical Society 54th Annual Meeting Feb. 20-24 in San Francisco, Calif. More than 6,000 scientists from academia, government and industry attended. Olga Buzovetsky '10, pictured, presented her poster titled "Binding and Bending Parameters of Integration Host Factor to Holliday Junction." Her advisor is Ishita Mukerji, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry.

Graduate student Sanchaita Das presented her poster titled, "Mapping SecA-SecY Interaction using In Vivo Photo-Cross Linking." Das's advisor is Don Oliver, the Daniel Ayres Professor of Biology, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry.

Graduate student Sanchaita Das presented her poster titled, "Mapping SecA-SecY Interaction using In Vivo Photo-Cross Linking." Das's advisor is Don Oliver, the Daniel Ayres Professor of Biology, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry.

NSF Awards Grant to Dierker, Beveridge

Lisa Dierker, chair and professor of psychology, and David Beveridge, the University Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics, professor of chemistry, received a $174,999 grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant will support an inquiry based, supportive approach to statistical reasoning and applications. The award will be applied Jan. 1, 2010 through Dec. 31, 2012.

Grant to Support Chemistry Department Fume Hoods

The Chemistry Department received a $125,000 grant from the George I. Alden Trust of Worcester, Mass. on Oct. 21. The funds will be used to replace, reconfigure, and add fume hoods in a teaching lab used for introductory chemistry courses.

Bolton Receives NIH Grant for DNA Research

Philip Bolton, professor of chemistry, received a grant for $76,037 from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The grant, awarded on Sept. 30, is for research titled “Structures and Complexes of Vertebrate Telomere Repeat DNAs.” This is a Supplemental Recovery Act Award.