NNNS chemistry blog http://chem.vander-lingen.nl Chemistry blog : news - comments - basics in chemistry en-us 1440 Paint spotting http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Paint spotting/id/261/itemid/879 Lately this blog has taken an interest in the arts. It was about time, otherwise it is just more science filling these pages. Paintings are an art form and the Ghent Altarpiece is an early one (completed in 1432). Away with all the chemistry, it was decided that this important masterpiece would be a Friday 24 Mar 2017 21:20:08 More hydrogen spotting http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/More hydrogen spotting/id/261/itemid/878 In the image of the week we see actual deuterium atoms (in red) embedded in steel. The image was produced by Chen et al. as reported in Science (DOI). The presence of hydrogen in steel in general is a serious matter as it causes brittleness and ultimately nasty things like bridges collapsing Hydrog Saturday 04 Mar 2017 12:03:19 The biology of named reactions http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The biology of named reactions/id/260/itemid/877 Lin, McCarty and Liu have authored an interesting review in Angewandte titled "The enzymology of Organic Transformations" (DOI). It is of course well known that synthetic organic reactions exist with a biological enzymatic counterpart but this review exposes the true scale, especially for the so-cal Saturday 25 Feb 2017 12:15:33 CCN three minus http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/CCN three minus/id/260/itemid/876 In the chemical zoo this week: CCN three minus, that is acetonitrile stripped of all its protons as reported by Jach et al. in The Angewandte (DOI). The recipe was unsurprisingly complex: a mixture of barium nitride (made from barium and nitrogen at 550K), elemental tantalum, sodium azide and graphi Thursday 09 Feb 2017 21:21:04 Wikipedians not amused http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Wikipedians not amused/id/260/itemid/875 The chemistry Wikipedians have had a difficult week! Someone pointed them in the direction of a paper that, although already published in 2016 took them by surprise. Titled "Glaring Chemical Errors Persist for Years on Wikipedia" in the Journal of Chemical Education and authored by Michel Mandler (D Sunday 05 Feb 2017 14:21:59 Metallic hydrogen http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Metallic hydrogen /id/259/itemid/873 This week Dias and Silvera have reported the discovery of metallic hydrogen in the journal Science and not without controversy (DOI). A diamond anvil cell was used to compress hydrogen gas at cryogenic temperatures and a record-high pressure. Problems to overcome were diamond tip failure and hydroge Friday 27 Jan 2017 22:50:42 Dark reactions http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Dark reactions/id/259/itemid/872 We can add a new chemical reaction database to our list of chemical reaction databases. See previous database coverage here. Not a brand new one, it has been around since 2016. This Haverford College initiative aims to use machine learning to predict the success of chemical reactions. This conce Thursday 26 Jan 2017 22:13:41 Pyramidal carbon http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Pyramidal carbon/id/259/itemid/871 Thanks to the New Scientist article here for reminding us but the discovery of a pyramidal carbon dication by Malischewski and Seppelt (DOI) must be the chemistry event of the last year (work published 26 November, yeah this blog missed it completely). It is common knowledge that carbon will partner Saturday 14 Jan 2017 18:47:17 Spot the hydrogen atoms http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Spot the hydrogen atoms/id/259/itemid/870 Does the phrase "hydrogen atoms omitted for clarification" sound familiar to you? It is the default text accompanying every crystal structure depiction. The reason? it may be that the presence of the hydrogen atoms is obvious so that there is no need to show them. The actual truth: the accuracy of t Friday 13 Jan 2017 19:14:05 New in carbon dioxide chemistry http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/New in carbon dioxide chemistry/id/257/itemid/869 Charles S. may or may not be on Donald Trumps hitlist. As a scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory he works on carbon dioxide capture and Trump may think of him as one of those climate scientists. Oak Ridge is part of the United States Department of Energy that will soon have a new climate-scept Tuesday 27 Dec 2016 21:21:04 The synthesis robot http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The synthesis robot/id/257/itemid/868 We have been critical of Lee Cronin in the past here and here but the recent accomplishment of Kitson, Glatzel and Cronin (doi) as we shall see is remarkable: everything open-sourced! : publication medium (Beilstein J. Org. Chem.) - 3D-printer (RepRap)- printer API (Octoprint) - hardware (Ard Tuesday 20 Dec 2016 18:22:23 New in Barton decarboxylation http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/New in Barton decarboxylation/id/257/itemid/867 Qin et al. have reported a new take on the classic Barton decarboxylation. This organic reaction is usually associated with Barton esters that have low stability and have a terrible smell. A similar ester based on N-hydroxyphthalimide was found with equally desired electron accepting properties. In Sunday 18 Dec 2016 16:47:21 Batrachotoxin total synthesis http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Batrachotoxin total synthesis/id/256/itemid/866 So why does my Twitter feed all of a sudden have these little yellow frogs? Must be an all-important new batrachotoxin (BTX) total synthesis? Yes, there it is: a Justin du Bois report in Science (DOI) about the compound made infamous by the poison dart frog! The toxicity of the compound excreted by Friday 18 Nov 2016 18:09:09 Next round in Diesel scandal http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Next round in Diesel scandal/id/255/itemid/865 In 2015 it was found that Volkswagen diesels were rigged to defeat NOx emissions tests. It resulted in a big scandal and Volkswagen will have to pay out a lot of money in damages. But is Volkswagen the only car brand with defeat devices that was ever caught? This week the Dutch government body respo Saturday 15 Oct 2016 15:04:07 Congratulations to Ben http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Congratulations to Ben/id/255/itemid/864 Congratulations to Ben Feringa! Of course Sauvage and Stoddart won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry as well but Ben is a fellow Dutchman. It makes him the fourth Dutchman to get the prize after Crutzen in 1995, Peter Debye in 1939 and 't Hoff in 1901 in on average 40 year intervals. It is also a true or Friday 07 Oct 2016 21:52:31 Heal Thyself http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Heal Thyself/id/254/itemid/863 In the image displayed here, a crack that had formed when a crystal was broken slowly heals itself. Self-healing materials are nothing new but they belong to the polymer family. This crystal is made of dipyrazolethiuram disulfide and is more specifically a molecular crystal just like sucrose is. Now Friday 30 Sep 2016 21:51:19 Asymmetric alpha C-H activation http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Asymmetric alpha C-H activation/id/254/itemid/862 A recent contribution from the Guosheng Liu laboratory concerns the asymmtric version of a copper catalysed alpha C-H-activation (Wen Zhang , Fei Wang DOI). This work builds on the classic Kharasch-Sosnovsky reaction. The substrates are benzylic compounds with unactivated protons at the alpha po Saturday 24 Sep 2016 21:23:37 Asymmetric beta C-H activation http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Asymmetric beta C-H activation/id/254/itemid/861 A recent contribution from the Kendall Houk laboratory concerns the asymmtric version of a palladium catalysed beta C-H-activation (Gang Chen et al. DOI). This work builds on work done by Giri et al. in 2005 on asymmetric Pd iodination (DOI). The substrates are amides with unactivated protons a Saturday 24 Sep 2016 13:24:11 Hoffmann on citations http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Hoffmann on citations/id/254/itemid/860 Hoffmann, Kabanov, Golov, and Proserpio have a thing to say about citations in a recent 15 page Angewandte essay (DOI) 1). The bottom line: do not be lazy citing work and with modern search capabilities there is no excuse really to not being able to find previous work. Here are some entertaining q Thursday 22 Sep 2016 19:25:14 Green pool mystery solved http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Green pool mystery solved/id/253/itemid/859 The Olympic green swimming pool mystery has been solved. See media coverage from The Independent and Buzzfeed For days one of the pools was changing into an ever darker color of green in sharp contrast to the pool next to it. Swimmers had good reason to fear for their health. The green was of a dis Sunday 14 Aug 2016 15:27:53