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Current Chemistry News of the Week

Van der Waals Force Re-Measured
Van der Waals Forces Re-Measured

Jülich physicists verify nonlinear increase with growing molecular size.

Image: Schematic experimental setup. When different types of molecules are removed from the metal surface, the van der Waals forces can be determined by frequency changes at the tip of the atomic force microscope. Their findings have been published in Nature Communications and could help to improve fundamental simulation methods for chemistry, physics, biology, and materials science.

[Image Credit, Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich]

Molecular Banister
Chemists Build a Molecular Banister

Chemists at the University of Basel in Switzerland have succeeded in twisting a molecule by combining molecular strands of differing lengths.

Image: Based on the strands of different lengths (blue and gray), the new helical molecule (right) adopts a spatial arrangement (schematic diagram in the center) that resembles the banister of a spiral staircase [Credit, Illustration: University of Basel, Department of Chemistry].

Buckyball Molecules Grow
Buckyballs: Live Images from the Nano-cosmos

Researchers watch layers of football molecules grow.



This is an artist's impression of the multilayer growth of buckyballs.

[Credit: Nicola Kleppmann/Technical University Berlin, Germany]

Normalized activity
Decay rates of radioactive substances are constant

Precise activity measurements on Cl-36 samples refute a dependence of the decay rate on the distance between the Earth and the Sun.

Image: The normalized activity as a function of time shows no dependence on the season in PTB's data, contrary to the data obtained at the Ohio State University Research Reactor (OSURR) [Image credit: PTB].

Strongest material
Carbon's New Champion

Rice University theorists calculate atom-thick carbyne chains may be strongest material ever.



Rice University researchers have determined from first-principle calculations that carbyne would be the strongest material yet discovered.

The carbon-atom chains would be difficult to make but would be twice as strong as two-dimensional graphene sheets.

[Credit: Vasilii Artyukhov, Rice University].

Biomass catalytic tandem reaction
A Tandem for Biomass

Catalytic tandem reaction for the conversion of lignin and bio-oil by hydroxylation of phenols to form arenes.

Image: The conversion of lignin into low-boiling-point arenes instead of high-boiling-point phenols could greatly facilitate conventional refinery processes. A new procedure for the depolymerization of lignin and simultaneous conversion phenols into arenes is described.

[Source: Angewandte Chemie]

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