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This Week’s Events

Seminar: Plasmonic and Photonic Chemistry

Group: School of Chemistry
Speaker: Prof Emiliano Cortes, University of Munich (LMU), Faculty of Physics, Munich, Germany
Date: 21 October, 2020
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Zoom link will be provided after registration

Abstract: Optical modes engineering in metallic and dielectric nanoparticles could open new paths for assisting chemihttps://uofglasgow.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwscuusrD4sE9C29fmeU7663dhLLRgzLHMT cal transformations using sunlight. In recent years, we have investigated these phenomena at the single nanoparticle level in order to unravel the mechanisms inducing catalytic transformations at these illuminated interfaces [1-11]. In both cases - plasmonic and photonic catalysis - the possibility to study the light-induced chemical transformations at the single particle level helped us to unravel: the energy of the carriers [5], the spatial-resolved reactivity [3, 6, 9, 10, 11], the optimum geometry [2, 3, 4, 11], the dynamic processes affecting these catalysts [1, 3, 8], among others. Gaining a nanoscopic insight on these processes could aid in the rational design of novel plasmonic and photonic photocatalysts.


 

Short Bio: Since December 2018, Emiliano holds an Associate Professor position in the Faculty of Physics at the University of Munich (LMU) and he is the academic lead of the Plasmonic Chemistry Group. He is also a visiting researcher at the Chemistry Department, University College London, UK, and at the Physics Department, Imperial College London, UK. His research interests lies at the interface between chemistry and physics, focusing on the development of novel nanomaterials and techniques for applications in energy conversion, photocatalysis, electrocatalysis and sensing. Emiliano studied chemistry at the National University of La Plata in Argentina. He was one of the founders of Nanodetection, a start-up company based on plasmonic sensing. He was also a Marie-Skłodowska-Curie research fellow at Imperial College

London, UK. In 2018, he was awarded with the ERC Starting Grant from the European Commission for his project CATALIGHT. He is currently a Principal Investigator (PI) of two German excellence research clusters, Nanoinitiative Munich (NIM) and e-conversion; member of the Munich-based Centre for Nanotechnology (CeNS) and the Bavarian program Solar Technologies go Hybrid (SolTech). Since March 2019, Emiliano is also a member of the Young Academy of Europe (YAE) and he is currently co-editing the first book in Plasmonic Catalysis (Wiley, Apr. 2021).


Register: https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwscuusrD4sE9C29fmeU7663dhLLRgzLHMT 

Organiser: Dr William Peveler

Upcoming Events

Seminar: Plasmonic and Photonic Chemistry

Group: School of Chemistry
Speaker: Prof Emiliano Cortes, University of Munich (LMU), Faculty of Physics, Munich, Germany
Date: 21 October, 2020
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Zoom link will be provided after registration

Abstract: Optical modes engineering in metallic and dielectric nanoparticles could open new paths for assisting chemihttps://uofglasgow.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwscuusrD4sE9C29fmeU7663dhLLRgzLHMT cal transformations using sunlight. In recent years, we have investigated these phenomena at the single nanoparticle level in order to unravel the mechanisms inducing catalytic transformations at these illuminated interfaces [1-11]. In both cases - plasmonic and photonic catalysis - the possibility to study the light-induced chemical transformations at the single particle level helped us to unravel: the energy of the carriers [5], the spatial-resolved reactivity [3, 6, 9, 10, 11], the optimum geometry [2, 3, 4, 11], the dynamic processes affecting these catalysts [1, 3, 8], among others. Gaining a nanoscopic insight on these processes could aid in the rational design of novel plasmonic and photonic photocatalysts.


 

Short Bio: Since December 2018, Emiliano holds an Associate Professor position in the Faculty of Physics at the University of Munich (LMU) and he is the academic lead of the Plasmonic Chemistry Group. He is also a visiting researcher at the Chemistry Department, University College London, UK, and at the Physics Department, Imperial College London, UK. His research interests lies at the interface between chemistry and physics, focusing on the development of novel nanomaterials and techniques for applications in energy conversion, photocatalysis, electrocatalysis and sensing. Emiliano studied chemistry at the National University of La Plata in Argentina. He was one of the founders of Nanodetection, a start-up company based on plasmonic sensing. He was also a Marie-Skłodowska-Curie research fellow at Imperial College

London, UK. In 2018, he was awarded with the ERC Starting Grant from the European Commission for his project CATALIGHT. He is currently a Principal Investigator (PI) of two German excellence research clusters, Nanoinitiative Munich (NIM) and e-conversion; member of the Munich-based Centre for Nanotechnology (CeNS) and the Bavarian program Solar Technologies go Hybrid (SolTech). Since March 2019, Emiliano is also a member of the Young Academy of Europe (YAE) and he is currently co-editing the first book in Plasmonic Catalysis (Wiley, Apr. 2021).


Register: https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwscuusrD4sE9C29fmeU7663dhLLRgzLHMT 

Organiser: Dr William Peveler

Past Events

CANCELLED

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Prof Eric Mcinnes, University of Manchester
Date: 29 May, 2020
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Wolfson Building, Seminar Room 1 (Yudowitz)

RSC Tilden Prize Lecture

Host: Prof Mark Murrie


 

CANCELLED

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Prof Benjamin Cravatt, Scripps Institution, San Diego, CA (USA)
Date: 15 May, 2020
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B4-19 (Main Lecture Theatre)

RSC Jeremy Knowles Award Lecture

Host: Prof Richard Hartley


 

CANCELLED

Group: Chemical Photonics Seminar
Speaker: Dr Kayn Forbes, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Date: 20 April, 2020
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Host: Prof Malcolm Kadodwala


 

CANCELLED

Group: Chemical Photonics Seminar
Speaker: Prof Iouri Gounko, Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland)
Date: 17 April, 2020
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B4-08 (Physical Lecture Theatre)

RSC Local Section Lecture.

Host: Prof Malcolm Kadodwala


 

Dynamic Effects and Machine-Learning Transition State Theory

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Prof Daniel Singleton, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX (USA)
Date: 09 March, 2020
Time: 16:00 - 17:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Transition state theory is chemistry’s most important quantitative method for the calculation of rates and qualitative framework for the understanding of rates.  Some flaws and limitations of transition state theory were apparent at its beginning, while others have become apparent in recent years from a growing number of reactions found to exhibit “dynamic effects,” that is, experimental kinetic observations that cannot be predicted or understood from statistical rate theories.  Trajectory methods can often account for dynamic effects but they intrinsically provide very little insight, and each new prediction requires a new set of trajectories. This seminar will describe a new form of transition state theory that uses machine learning to divide transition states in phase space into regions that lead to specific products or transition state recrossing. In this way, machine learning is used to define transmission coefficients for each class of product or recrossing. In simplest form, this process requires an initial set of trajectories, but this set can be six to ten times smaller than a normal set, with equivalent precision, and further predictions can be made without additional trajectories. In an advanced form, the interactive use of machine learning and trajectories allows accurate quantitative predictions with only a small portion of the normally required trajectories. The seminar will describe the application of this process to a series of complex organic reactions where experimental data is available and where conventional and variational transition state theories fail. The results make detailed predictions of temperature effects on product ratios and rates, and provide insight into the origin of recrossing and trajectory selectivity in reactions. On a larger scale, the results define the onset of chaos as the predictability of trajectory outcomes declines with time.

ScotCHEM Lecture

Host: Dr David France


 

Molecular Devices for the Transmission of Information across Membranes

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Dr Simon Webb, University of Manchester
Date: 26 February, 2020
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B4-08 (Physical Lecture Theatre)

Nanoscale molecular devices that can transmit chemical information will be a key component of manufacturing processes that use molecular machines. Such nanoscale devices are common in natural systems, for example, protein channels allow the transit of chemicals through cell membranes and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) use conformational change to transmit external signals into cells.

α-Aminoisobutyric acid (Aib) foldamers are a compound class with particular promise for ion channel formation and the mimicking of signal transduction by GPCRs. These oligomers, which fold into hydrophobic 310 helices, embed easily into bilayers and have a conformation that is very sensitive to stimuli at the N-terminus.1,2 We show that light-switchable Aib foldamers can relay photochemical information over >2 nm within bilayers,3 whileAib foldamers with recognition groups can transmit external binding information deep into bilayers.4 We also recently found that the reversible complexation of external signals can switch on/off the ion channel activity of Aib foldamers. Next steps include the development of catalytically active molecular devices.

References

  1. Lizio MG, Andrushchenko V, Pike SJ, Peters AD, Whitehead GFS, Vitórica-Yrezábal IJ, Mutter ST, Clayden J, Bour P, Blanch EW, Webb SJ. (2018) Optically Active Vibrational Spectroscopy of α-Aminoisobutyric Acid Foldamers in Organic Solvents and Phospholipid Bilayers. Chem. Eur. J, 24, 9399–9408.
  2. Jones JE, Diemer V, Adam C, Raftery J, Ruscoe RE, Sengel JT, Wallace MI, Bader A, Cockroft SL, Clayden J, Webb, SJ (2016) Length-dependent formation of transmembrane pores by 310 helical Aib foldamers. J. Am. Chem Soc., 138, 688–695.
  3. De Poli M, Zawodny W, Quinonero O, Lorch M, Webb SJ, Clayden J. (2016) Conformational photoswitching of a synthetic peptide foldamer bound within a phospholipid bilayer. Science, 352, 575–580.
  4. Lister FGA, Le Bailly BAF, Webb SJ, Clayden J. (2017) Ligand-modulated conformational switching in a fully synthetic membrane-bound receptor. Nature Chem., 9, 420–425.

Host: Dr William Peveler


 

Targeting protein modification to break drug resistance using chemical biology

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Prof Ed Tate, Imperial College and Francis Crick Institute, London
Date: 26 February, 2020
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Host: Dr. David France


 

Supramolecular Chemistry: a powerful tool to create "colourful" multistimuli responsive macromolecular assemblies

Group: Energy Conversion and Storage Seminar
Speaker: Prof Patrice Woisel, University of Lille (France)
Date: 25 February, 2020
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room A4-41a (Conference Room)

Host: Prof Graeme Cooke


 

CANCELLED: Who would have thought Group 14 nanomaterials could be so complicated (and useful)?

Group: Energy Conversion and Storage Seminar
Speaker: Prof Jonathan Veinot, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)
Date: 17 February, 2020
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B4-08 (Physical Lecture Theatre)

The study of “small semiconductor crystallites” known as “Quantum Dots (QDs)” has grown from Brus’ first reports thirty years ago into an important cross-disciplinary research area. Much of the foundational QD work has focused on the development of toxic CdSe-based; this is primarily because of the ease of preparing these materials. To date, many prototype applications have appeared and Cd-free compound semiconductor QDs are even being used as emitters in commercially available state-of-the-art displays.

Somewhat surprisingly, the development and application of QDs based upon the quintessential semiconductor on which much of our world is reliant upon (i.e.,  silicon) remain in a comparative state of infancy. The reasons for this are complex and often attributed to the strong directional bonding that complicates syntheses, their indirect band gap and surface states that can lead to poor and/or irreproducible optical response, among others.  Despite these limitations, the community has seen impressive advances related to these challenges and many prototype SiQD applications (e.g., solar materials, light-emitting diodes, rechargeable batteries, drug delivery, sensors, among others) have emerged.  This has led to predictions that “nanosilicon” applications could produce up to $2.1 billion US annually.  

This presentation will highlight ongoing studies of the Veinot team that focus on the development of Group 14 nanomaterials. Our discussion will begin with a brief overview of the development of a convenient preparative method that afforded SiQDs of tailored size and move to an overview of methods used to tailor SiQD surface chemistry and end with a discussion of optical response.  We will then shift direction and delve into our investigations of more complex GeQDs. Finally, the presentation will conclude with a brief look at potential applications of Si and Ge QDs as well as the preparation and potential of other Group 14 nanomaterials.

Host: Prof Peter Skabara


 

Photoinduced Assembly of C–N Bonds

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Dr Daniele Leonori, University of Manchester
Date: 29 January, 2020
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Wolfson Building, Seminar Room 1 (Yudowitz)

Nitrogen-radicals are versatile synthetic intermediates that can be engaged in a broad range of chemical reactions. However, the difficulties associated with their generation have somewhat thwarted their use in synthetic chemistry.
Development of Photoinduced Radical-Transposition Reactions. We have developed a class of easy-to-make oximes and hydroxy-amides that upon photoredox oxidation enable access to iminyl and amidyl radicals. These species have been used in radical transposition reactions for the site-selective functionalization of unactivated sp3-carbons. These strategies have been applied to the deconstruction–functionalization of complex steroids (radical ring-opening) and to the preparation of unnatural aminoacids (1,5-HAT).
Development of Photoinduced Aromatic C–H Amination Reactions. Aminated aromatics are a widespread motif in high-value products. In general, these structures are assembled by Pd or Cu-catalysed cross-couplings between aryl halides/organoboron and amines. We have developed an umpolung approach where electrophilic amidyl and aminium radicals are generated by photoredox reduction of electron poor N-aryloxy-amides and protonated N-chloro-amines. These radical species undergo highly selective addition to a broad range of electron rich aromatics thus enabling direct C–H amination.

Host: Dr Alistair Boyer


 

Catalytic conversion of renewable feedstocks into small and macro-molecules

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Dr Jennifer Garden, University of Edinburgh
Date: 22 January, 2020
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Replacing petroleum-derived feedstocks with renewable sources is an attractive method to improve the sustainability of chemical production, with desired targets ranging from small to macro-molecules. These processes usually require the presence of a catalyst; some of the most efficient are homogeneous metal complexes. This presentation will discuss the development of homo- and hetero-metallic catalysts for upcycling CO2 into polycarbonates or cyclic carbonates, and lactide into poly(lactic acid). 

In the reaction between CO2 and epoxides, catalyst design can direct product formation towards polycarbonates or cyclic carbonates. A series of heterobimetallic Mg/Zn complexes based on a macrocyclic ligand have been developed which give >99% selectivity for polycarbonates. These synergic heterobimetallic complexes display catalytic activities up to 40 times higher than the homobimetallic analogues, either alone or in combination (TOF-1). To switch the reaction product towards cyclic carbonate formation (>99% selectivity), we have exploited enhanced ligand flexibility to develop a series of monometallic phenoxyimine Fe(III)-chloride complexes. Notably, these robust and selective Fe(III) catalysts are tolerant to air and water, and successfully convert the internal epoxide, cyclohexene oxide, to cyclohexene carbonate.

The ring-opening polymerisation of lactide is a useful means to prepare biodegradable materials with well controlled polymer architectures and bespoke material properties. This presentation will describe a series of highly active Al-chloride catalysts based on a functionalisable salen ligand. Incorporating Lewis basic NEt2 groups into the ligand scaffold not only improves the initiation efficiency but also avoids the need for a Lewis basic co-catalyst and excess epoxide. Studies of our amino-substituted catalysts reveal that the formation of a hexacoordinate aluminate species may hinder rather than enhance the catalyst activity.

Host: Dr William Peveler


 

TBA

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Prof Andy Cooper, University of Liverpool
Date: 15 January, 2020
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Host: Prof Dave Adams


 

“Research to Realization” – From molecular-level interaction to real-time monitoring systems

Group: Heterogeneous Catalysis Seminar
Speaker: Prof Roy Vellaisamy, University of Glasgow
Date: 10 January, 2020
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B4-08 (Physical Lecture Theatre)

Growing industrialization and urbanization has put human beings and other living organisms at risk against new threats due to the contamination of food, water and air. These Contaminants endanger all the living organisms in this world, especially for human beings genetic disorders and unknown diseases become common nowadays. The WHO statistics show that more than 422 million people worldwide are suffering from contamination related illness. The growing prevalence of such disorders has been linked to exposure to chemicals in plastic, food and water. Although regulatory steps have been taken to minimize risk, cases of overexposure (2011 Taiwan food crisis, Flint and Hong Kong lead contamination, etc.) still occur. Detection of these chemicals is done in testing labs using expensive and time consuming mass spectrometer systems that require specially trained users. In the regard, we demonstrate a real-time monitoring system for a rapid pre-screening test that could curtail cases of contamination. Over the years, we have developed an electronic sensor platform based on molecular level interaction between the target and analyte to detect these toxins. The advantage of our sensor platform is that it can be used for on-site detection; it is easy to operate and provides results on real-time basis. In addition, we have extended our sensor platform system for healthcare applications such as detection of cancer biomarkers and monitor pulse waveform in real-time. Following latest advancements of our electronic device platform from materials chemistry to device engineering will be discussed, 

  1. Point of Care (PoC) diagnostic tools for onsite testing of contaminants in food and water
  2. Wearable devices for real-time monitoring of human motions using piezoresistive sensors and thermoelectric devices. 
  3. Understanding materials chemistry for the application in neuromorphic devices.

Host: Prof Justin Hargreaves


 

Organic Materials; Linking Structure and Properties

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Dr Martijn Zwijnenburg, University College London
Date: 13 December, 2019
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

In my talk I’ll discuss work in two areas where computational chemistry can provide unrivalled insight into the structure-property relationships that underlie the use of organic materials for optoelectronic applications. First, I’ll discuss how we can understand the optoelectronic properties of gels and thin films obtained by self-assembly of molecules such as perylene and naphthalene bisimides by predicting the intermolecular structure of the aggregates that underlie these materials. Second, I’ll demonstrate how large-scale calculations on tens to hundred of thousands molecules allow us to understand the fundamental limits to the optoelectronic properties of organic molecules and the link between (intra)molecular structure and molecular properties. The latter allows one to pick the best synthetic strategy for controlling these properties, as well as, even if these calculations are by necessity on single molecules, estimate the properties of the molecular solids.

Host: Dr William Peveler


 

Manipulating the Monolayer: Dynamic Covalent Nanoparticle Building Blocks

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Dr Euan R. Kay, University of St. Andrews
Date: 27 November, 2019
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Monolayer-stabilized nanoparticles are a canonical category of nanomaterial that exhibit a range of potentially useful properties depending on the material composition. Colloidal stability allows nanomaterials of this sort to be manipulated in solution in much the same way as (macro)molecular systems. This raises the prospect of extending synthetic chemistry capabilities to include chemically active nanoscale components, which would be particularly attractive given that virtually every application of monolayer-stabilized nanoparticles requires optimization and interrogation of surface-bound chemical functionality. Yet, robust approaches for nanomaterial surface engineering are critically under-developed.

‘Dynamic covalent nanoparticle (DCNP) building blocks’ introduce a conceptually distinct strategy for post-synthetic modification of nanoparticle-bound molecules, essentially independent of the underlying nanomaterial. Combining the error-correcting and stimuli- responsive features of equilibrium processes with the stability and vast structural diversity of covalent chemistry enables efficient, divergent routes to myriad functionalized nanomaterial products.

Here I will introduce the DCNP concept using the example of hydrazone exchange within gold nanoparticle-bound monolayers; I will discuss the role that monolayer-stabilizednanoparticles can play as ‘pseudomolecular’ models for surface-confined chemical processes; and I will demonstrate how understanding the molecular-level details of surface-bound reactions helps us to predictably modify nanoparticle surface chemistry, to tune nanoparticle properties, or to direct selective covalent assembly of specific nanoparticle building blocks.

Host: Dr William Peveler


 

From Weakness Comes Strength – ADORable zeolites and hemilabile MOFs

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Prof Russell Morris, University of St. Andrews
Date: 20 November, 2019
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

We quite often here the phrase ‘That material isn’t any use because it isn’t stable!’ used as a way of pointing out a perceived weakness in a material, but what does it really mean? Of course, what we really want is that our material has the correct stability with respect to its environment so that it can complete its function. Materials that don’t have the ‘required’ stability are often then termed ‘useless’ (in the zeolite world we most often here this used in connection with lower thermal and hydrolytic stability that limits catalytic potential of the material). In this presentation I would like to explore how this perceived weakness in a material can in fact be turned into a positive feature. I will use examples taken from MOFs (a notoriously ‘unstable’ class of material) and show how understanding where weaker bonds are in the structure can lead to some unusual and intriguing effects, and open up new avenues of potential application. I will then explain how engineering weakness into zeolites can be used as a route to the preparation of new zeolite architectures using a process we describe using the ADOR acronym.

RSC Tilden Prize Lecture

Host: Prof Ross Forgan


 

Fluorescent Nucleoside Analogues with New Properties for Biophysics

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Prof Byron W. Purse, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA (USA)
Date: 20 November, 2019
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Wolfson Building, Seminar Room 1 (Yudowitz)

Biophysical probes for the study of nucleic acids are essential tools in the endeavor to understand the regulation and expression of the genetic code. While many capable fluorescent nucleoside analogues exist for these applications, it has been especially challenging to design analogues that maintain Watson–Crick hydrogen bonding, offer fluorescence brightness similar to conventional probes, and that absorb and emit at long wavelengths. Moreover, it is not yet possible to predict how the fluorescence of nucleobase analogues will respond to base pairing and stacking. Towards our goal of developing nucleoside analogues with new and enhanced fluorescent properties and plugging knowledge gaps in the relationship between base analogue structure and photophysics, we have designed a series of cytidine analogues with a range of structural modifications and studied their fluorescent responses to base pairing and stacking and the efficiency of their incorporation by DNA and RNA polymerases. This series of cytidine analogues shows clear relationships between analogue electronic properties, the electronics of neighboring bases, and the fluorescent responses to base pairing and stacking, including with mismatches. One of the analogues, DEA-tC, offers a powerful, sequence-specific fluorescence turn-on response to base pairing and stacking that is further enhanced in DNA/RNA heteroduplexes. The combination of photophysical studies, NMR structure determination of representative duplexes, and computational work helps to explain the observed photophysical properties and relate them back to cytidine analogue structure and neighboring base effects.

Host: Dr Steven Magennis


 

Adventures in Single-Molecule Spectroscopy: How To Make Movies of Chemical Reactions

Group: Complex Chemistry Seminar
Speaker: Prof Randall Goldsmith, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (USA)
Date: 04 November, 2019
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Joseph Black Building A3-29 (Cronin Group Meeting Room)

Host: Prof Lee Cronin


 

Chemoselective Transformations by Designing Organoradicals

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Dr Kounosuke Oisaki, University of Tokyo (Japan)
Date: 04 November, 2019
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Boyd Orr Building, Lecture Theatre D (Room 513)

Host: Dr Drew Thomson


 

Real-time, Bioorthogonal Imaging of Intracellular Drug Concentrations

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Prof Alison Hulme, University of Edinburgh
Date: 30 October, 2019
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Wolfson Building, Seminar Room 1 (Yudowitz)

A large proportion of the compounds which enter clinical trials never make it to patients. So there is an urgent need to enhance our understanding of the interplay between small molecules, either from nature or designed in the laboratory, and the intricate network of cellular machinery for which they are intended. Integrating advanced imaging techniques into the early stages of drug-discovery campaigns may help to improve pre-clinical modelling studies and reduce the high attrition rates of clinical drug candidates. Stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy is a new imaging technique which can be used to detect specific chemical bonds within either the small molecule, or the cell, to give high contrast, label-free imaging and to provide intracellular quantification of small molecules. In this lecture, recent advances from our group will be discussed including: the design of synthetic Raman-active labels which exploit spectroscopically bioorthogonal functional groups; the use of both dual-colour SRS and multi-modal imaging to probe intracellular drug distribution and drug resistance mechanisms; and analysis of the quantitative data which SRS imaging provides to allow the kinetics of bioorthogonal reactions to be studied in the intracellular environment itself.

Host: Dr Andrew Jamieson


 

Homogeneous Catalysis for Organic Synthesis and Polymer Synthesis

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Prof Kyoko Nozaki, University of Tokyo (Japan)
Date: 18 October, 2019
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B4-08 (Physical Lecture Theatre)

In order to avoid the formation of undesired by-products, development of catalytic reactions affording the desired compound as a sole product is highly desired. We have developed catalysts applicable for small molecules and macromolecules. The former isrecognized as organic synthesis which finds its applications as intermediates for fine chemicals while the latter are widely used in bulk material synthesis. The catalysts we studied are organometallic complexes consist of metals with catalytic activities and ligands with ability to control the reactions. Three examples are shown as below.

(1) Asymmetric synthesis of chiral polymers: Two examples are presented for the synthesis of optically active polymers with main-chain chirality from achiral monomers using chiral metal-complexes as catalysts. Asymmetric alternating copolymerization of α-olefins with carbon monoxide provided optically active polyketones with high enantioselectivity.

(2) Copolymerization of ethylene or propylene with polar vinyl monomers: Aiming to expand the application range of polyolefins, metal-catalyzed copolymerization of olefins with easily available polar vinyl monomers has been intensively studied in the last decades. Here in this presentation, our contribution to the development of coordination–insertion copolymerization of ethylene or propylene with polar vinyl monomers by palladium catalysts will be presented.

(3) Organic synthesis with polymerization catalyst: Propylene polymerization catalyst was successfully used for the total synthesis of a natural product endowed with deoxypropionate unit.

Host: Dr Joëlle Prunet


 

Aspects of Chirality in 4f-Based Coordination Clusters

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Prof Annie Powell, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Date: 14 October, 2019
Time: 16:00 - 17:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Host: Prof Mark Murrie


 

Ab initio-assisted analysis of paramagnetic NMR: Theory and applications

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Dr Elizaveta Suturina, University of Bath
Date: 04 October, 2019
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Solution NMR of paramagnetic metal complexes contains a lot of useful information on their geometry, dynamics, electronic structure and magnetic properties. However, it is often impossible to retrieve it due to difficulties in spectra assignment that complicates further analysis. In our work, we show how computational chemistry can help to analyse pNMR spectra and extract full magnetic susceptibility tensor from standard 1H, 13C NMR. Our case study of radical-bridged bimetallic complexes of Ni(II) and Co(II) demonstrates that variable temperature solution NMR is able to constrain more spin-Hamiltonian parameters than commonly employed powder SQUID measurements. 

Host: Dr William Peveler


 

Optical Biosensors − Gratings and Waveguides

Group: Chemical Photonics Seminar
Speaker: Dr Ruchi Gupta, University of Birmingham
Date: 23 September, 2019
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B3-27 (Parkin Room)

The research in my group is focused on developing optical biosensors, which are defined as recognition elements in contact with a transducer. We are developing biosensors for objective assessment of disease conditions including the status of wounds. We make transducers out of porous hydrogels to improve sensitivity and limit of detection by (1) immobilising large number of recognition elements in the 3D matrix of hydrogels and hence lots of binding sites are available for analytes, and (2) maximising the overlap between recognition element-analyte complex and light used to probe the biochemistry. The work in my group is primarily focused on label-free biosensors where binding of the analyte to recognition elements results in a change in either real or imaginary refractive index. The change in refractive index is converted into a more easily measurable signal using a transducer, and in this talk I will focus on waveguides- and gratings- based transducers.

Host: Dr Affar Karimullah


 

Peering into the Lipid World

Group: Complex Chemistry Seminar
Speaker: Prof Neal K. Devaraj, UC San Diego (USA)
Date: 18 September, 2019
Time: 16:00 - 17:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Lipids remain one of the most enigmatic classes of biological molecules. Lipids were likely one of the first components necessary for life, yet our understanding of how lipid membranes could have arisen spontaneously is a mystery.  Human cells produce thousands of unique lipid species, but the purpose for such diversity remains unknown. Dysregulation of lipid metabolism is a key factor in some of the most common diseases that afflict human beings. My lab is using imaging and chemistry to understand the assembly and function lipids. We are watching the formation of artificial cells that consist of synthetic membranes that can continually reproduce. We are designing specific chemical reactions to manipulate and image lipids within living cells during cell death and disease. Our ultimate goal is to answer fundamental questions about the origins of lipid membranes and build a functional understanding of the diverse array of lipids present in life today.

Host: Prof Lee Cronin


 

GPA Biosynthesis or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Negative Results

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Prof Max Cryle, Monash University, Melbourne (Australia)
Date: 05 September, 2019
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Host: Dr Andrew Jamieson


 

Data-driven exploration of new superconductors under high pressure

Group: Energy Conversion and Storage Seminar
Speaker: Prof Yoshihiko Takano, National Institute for Materials Science and University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba City (Japan)
Date: 03 September, 2019
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

High pressure is a promising tool to find new functional materials which cannot appear under ambient pressure. For example, the discoveries of new high-Tc superconductivity in H3S at ~200 K and LaHat ~260 K under high pressure were recently reported. The diamond anvil cell (DAC) is the most useful apparatus to generate pressures over 10 GPa. However, resistivity measurements using DACs is challenging because 4-terminal electrodes are required to be wired to a very small sample. To facilitate resistivity measurements under high pressure, we have developed a new DAC using superconducting diamond electrodes fabricated on the bottom anvil. This design of high pressure cell has enabled us to explore new pressure-induced superconductors for the first time.

Data-driven materials science (materials informatics, the materials genome initiative and chemometrics among others) has recently yielded remarkable results in fields as diverse as medicine and macromolecules. Conversely, the search for new superconducting materials continues to be conducted through a rather inefficient “carpet-bombing” type experimental approach, which is dependent on the experience and inspiration of individual researchers. Nevertheless, a data-driven strategy should be feasible for functional materials such as superconductors.

We have searched exhaustively for new superconducting candidate materials using a data-driven rationale via first-principles calculations. Specifically, we have targeted electronic band structures with a “flat band” near the Fermi energy and a small band gap. If the flat band crosses the Fermi energy at high pressure, then superconductivity should appear due to the high density of state (DOS) near the Fermi energy. In my presentation, I will demonstrate how high pressure methods coupled to a data-driven materials research strategy has led to the successful discovery of new superconductors.

Host: Prof Duncan Gregory


 

Organocatalysis Using N-Heterocyclic Carbenes

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Prof Michel Gravel, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK (Canada)
Date: 02 September, 2019
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

N-Heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) are well known for their ability to catalytically generate nucleophilic acyl anion equivalents from aldehydes. This catalytic manifold is best exemplified by the benzoin and Stetter reactions generating α-hydroxyketones and 1,4-dicarbonyl products, respectively. However, some of the most synthetically useful substrate combinations are not currently amenable to reactions in high chemo- or enantioselectivity. For instance, the use of two distinct aldehydes in the cross-benzoin reaction or of simple unsaturated ketones in the intermolecular Stetter reaction do not generally provide products in high yield and/or enantiomeric ratio. We have recently made some headway in addressing both of these challenges through the use of triazolium, oxazolium,and bis(dialkylamino)cyclopropenium salts.Our progress in improving the scope as well as the chemo- and stereoselectivity of these classical reactions will be presented.

Host: Dr Andrew Sutherland


 

Microfluidics for novel diagnostics and therapies

Group: Chemical Photonics Seminar
Speaker: Prof Zulfiqar Ali, Teesside University, Middlesbrough
Date: 19 August, 2019
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Location: Rankine Building, 108 LT

Host: Dr Affar Karimullah


 

Impact of Cysteinate Protonation on the Electronic Structure and Reactivity of Biological Nickel Sites

Group: Chemical Photonics Seminar
Speaker: Prof Jason Shearer, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas (USA)
Date: 17 June, 2019
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B4-08 (Physical Lecture Theatre)

Host: Dr Stephen Sproules


 

CANCELLED: Interfacing Nanochemistry with Biology: From Bioorthogonal Nanozymes to Antimicrobials

Group: Energy Conversion and Storage Seminar
Speaker: Prof Vincent Rotello, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (USA)
Date: 04 June, 2019
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room A4-41a (Conference Room)

A key issue in the use of nanomaterials is controlling how they interact with themselves and with the outer world. Our research program focuses on the tailoring of nanoparticles of surfaces for a variety of applications, coupling the atomic-level control provided by organic synthesis with the fundamental principles of supramolecular chemistry. In one area, we are developing nanoparticle catalysts for a range of applications. These ‘nanozymes’ use hydrophobic environments created using nanoparticle and polymer scaffolds to encapsulate transition metal catalysts (TMCs), providing enzyme-like systems for performing bioorthogonal chemistry. These nanozyme platforms solublize the TMC and protect it from degradation in complex biological environments. Finally, this presentation will also feature the use of nanoparticles as therapeutics against multi-drug resistant bacteria, providing a potential strategy for combatting this emerging threat.

Host: Dr William Peveler


 

Complementarity: complex systems from simple components

Group: Energy Conversion and Storage Seminar
Speaker: Dr Dan Preston, University of Canterbury, Christchurch (New Zealand)
Date: 31 May, 2019
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Main Building, Room 466

Much of the current work in metallo-supramolecular chemistry is targeted towards developing behaviourally complex (i.e. switchable) systems, as well as architectures with potential for applied functions such as catalysis. We report here the self-assembly and molecular recognition properties of a system based around a simple 2-(1-(pyridine-4-methyl)-1H-1,2,3-triazol-4-yl)pyridine ligand. Due to self-complementary denticity at the 2-pyridyl-1,2,3-triazole bidentate site with square planar Pd(II) or Pt(II) metal ions, in a 2:1 ligand to metal ratio a complex with a planar cationic panel forms, that has affinity for neutral aromatic guests.1In a homo-metallic ligand/Pd(II) system, stoichiometry and concentration can be used to cycle between a [PdL2]2+complex, a [Pd2L2]4+dimer, and a nonanuclear [Pd9L12]18+cage. The equivalent nonanuclear hetero-metallic [Pd3Pt9L12]18+cage has also been synthesised. The Pt(II)-containing panels allow this cage to act as a photosensitizer for the production of singlet oxygen upon irradiation, resulting in the conversion of anthracenyl substrates into endoperoxides.

Host: Dr Mark Symes


 

Following function: from photoswitching to chiroptics of organic conjugated materials

Group: Chemical Photonics Seminar
Speaker: Prof Matthew J. Fuchter, Imperial College, London
Date: 12 April, 2019
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)


This talk will give an overview of two aspects of our group’s research, both of which are linked by a desire to pursue novel function in organic materials. The first part will focus on our discovery of the arylazopyrazole photoswitches, which offer quantitative photoswitching and high thermal stability of the Z isomer (half-lives of up to 1000 days). It will summarise our studies to elucidate the origin of the long thermal half-lives and excellent addressability of the arylazopyrazoles, and our initial studies to apply these compounds as photopharmacological agents. The second part of the talk will focus on our interests in chiral organic materials and their use in organic electronic devices. Examples will be presented where the molecular chirality of the system can be used to generate OLEDs that emit circularly polarized (chiral) light, OFETs that can detect circularly polarized (chiral) light and the use of chiral composition to tune the bulk characteristics of organic materials.

Host: Prof Malcolm Kadodwala


 

Repurposing aromaticity for organic electronics: making, breaking and stacking pi-circuits

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Prof J. D. Tovar, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (USA)
Date: 10 April, 2019
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Main Building, Room 466

Host: Prof Dave Adams


 

Dynamic behaviours of metal-organic frameworks and their guests

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Dr Tim Easun, University of Cardiff
Date: 27 March, 2019
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Main Building, Room 466

Host: Prof Dave Adams


 

Connecting genes to chemistry to empower small molecule discovery

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Prof Bradley Moore, Scripps Institution, San Diego, CA (USA)
Date: 22 March, 2019
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Nature as a chemist continues to teach and inform us about the wonders of complex organic synthesis in a cell. Recent advances in genomics and metabolomics have ushered in a new era in natural products research linking genes to molecules. Synthetic biology programs now offer streamlined approaches to the discovery, production, and design of gene-encoded small molecules. This presentation will highlight recent progress in the genomics-guided discovery and production of natural product small molecules, from the oncology agent salinosporamide to the neurotoxin domoic acid.

Host: Dr David France

RSC Natural Product Chemistry Award


 

Teflon Coated Compounds and Small Molecules for Nanowires

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Prof Linda H. Doerrer, Boston University (USA)
Date: 19 March, 2019
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)


 

Deciphering Transition Metal Signaling with Activity-Based Sensing and Proteomics

Group: Joseph Black Research Lecture
Speaker: Prof Christopher J. Chang, University of California, Berkeley (USA)
Date: 18 March, 2019
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B4-19 (Main Lecture Theatre)

Metals are essential for all forms of life, and the traditional view of this biological inorganic chemistry is that mobile fluxes of redox-innocent metals like sodium, potassium, and calcium are privileged as dynamic signals while redox-active transition metals like copper and iron must be buried and protected as static metabolic cofactors to prevent oxidative stress. We are advancing a new paradigm of transition metal signaling, using copper and iron as primary examples to show a broader metabolism/signaling continuum that can influence neural circuitry and regulate fundamental behaviors. This presentation will focus on our latest efforts to decipher new roles for metals in living systems, enabled by chemical technologies such as activity-based sensing and proteomics.

Host: Prof Richard Hartley

RSC Jeremy Knowles Award Lecture


 

CANCELLED: Tailoring the Photophysics of First-row Transition Metal-based Chromophores for Light Capture and Conversion: Challenges and Opportunities

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Prof James K. McCusker, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI (USA)
Date: 06 March, 2019
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

The conversion of light to chemical energy is one of the most fundamental processes on Earth. It is the basis of photosynthesis, in which light absorption results in the separation of charge that ultimately creates the chemical potential needed to drive ATP synthesis; an advantageous by-product of this process is, of course, O2 production. Ironically, photosynthesis is also the source of the biomass from which the fossil fuels that constitute the basis of society’s energy infrastructure are derived. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists are in agreement that it is the burning of these fossil fuels – in effect the re-release of what was sequestered carbon into the atmosphere – that is driving global climate change. Options for shifting away from fossil fuels as our primary energy source generally revolve around renewables such as wind, solar, biomass, nuclear, geothermal, and hydro: of these, the only renewable energy source that is limitless and carbon-free (at least in principle) is solar. The energy flux hitting the Earth is 120,000 TW: integrated over a 24-hour period, this translates to humankind’s total energy budget for an entire year. Despite the progress that has been made in the implementation of solar energy (due primarily to reductions in the cost of silicon), the intermittent nature of solar energy, the balance of systems costs that continue to represent a significant economic obstacle, combined with the fact that electricity constitutes only ~30% of the global energy footprint all underscore the need for continued research in solar energy conversion science.

Fundamental research on solar energy conversion – which will ultimately lead to the next generation of solar energy technologies – has sought to replicate Nature’s solution through the creation of artificial constructs that mimic various aspect of photosynthesis. When considering large-scale (i.e., global) implementation of any solar energy conversion scheme, material availability becomes a critically important consideration in the light-capture part of the problem, particularly when one considers the projected two- to three-fold increase in energy demand over the next 30–40 years. Unfortunately, virtually all of the molecule-based approaches for solar energy conversion that have been proven successful rely on some of the least abundant elements on earth.

An obvious alternative is to employ chromophores based on earth-abundant materials: for transition metal-based approaches, this means moving away from the second- and third-row transition series elements (e.g., ruthenium) and develop photoredox-active chromophores based on first-row, widely available metals like iron and copper. As our group first demonstrated in 2000, the central problem with this approach is that the charge-transfer excited states that lie at the heart of photo-induced electron transfer chemistry exhibit sub-picosecond lifetimes (as compared to the microsecond lifetimes of their 2nd- and 3rd-row congeners). Our research program therefore focuses on understanding the factors that determine the dynamics associated with the excited states of first-row transition metal-based chromophores, with the ultimate goal of circumventing and/or redefining their intrinsic photophysical properties in order to make feasible their use as light-harvesting components in solar energy conversion schemes. This seminar will describe the key experimental results establishing this paradigm, as well as survey several approaches that we are pursuing in an effort to broaden the utility of this class of chromophores for a wide range of solar energy and chemical transformations.

Host: Prof Mark Murrie

ScotCHEM Lecture


 

Clay supported metal catalysts for sustainable chemicals production

Group: Heterogeneous Catalysis Seminar
Speaker: Dr Indri Badria Adilina, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Jakarta (Indonesia)
Date: 28 February, 2019
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room A4-41a (Conference Room)

Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and their associated climate change are driving the need for cleaner and more sustainable chemicals and energy supplies. The use of biomass offers the most readily implemented and low cost solution for this issue. However, catalysis is essential to transform these bulky, hydrophilic feedstocks into high value renewables. Intercalated and pillared clays constitute the best studied family of layered compounds and have become an important class of shape selective catalysts. Their applications in catalysis are based on the advantages of high surface area, porosity, and thermal stability. Fine tuning of the surface properties in clay is possible simply by changing the type of interlayer ions or immobilised metals. Here, I will talk about my research on the design and modification of clays as versatile catalysts for green conversion of biomass to useful chemicals. First is the modification of clay with a cobalt prophyrin ion via intercalation in aqueous media. The synthesised Co-porphyrin clay catalyst demonstrated high activity towards the oxidative cleavage of isoeugenol, a component of essential oil, giving high yields of vanillin. Second is the pillarisation of clay with an aluminium polycation followed by immobilisation of nickel-molybdenum metals. The synthesised NiMo clay catalyst showed high activity for the hydrodeoxygenation of guaiacol, a phenolic compound contained in bio-oil.

Host: Prof David Lennon


 

Visible Light Photoredox Catalysis as a tool for functionalization and preparation of complex organic molecules

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Dr Géraldine Masson, Institut de Chime des Substances Naturelles, Gif-sur-Yvette (France)
Date: 27 February, 2019
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Host: Dr Joëlle Prunet


 

Multiphoton and upconversion in f-element containing systems

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Dr Louise Natrajan, University of Manchester
Date: 22 February, 2019
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B4-08 (Physical Lecture Theatre)


Materials that undergo multiphoton excitation, including two photon absorption and upconversion, are finding increasing use in many applications including 3D fluorescence microscopy, data storage, optical power limiting biological imaging and optical sensors. In organic and transition metal based systems, large two photon cross sections can arise from centrosymmetric charge transfer in push-pull electron donor-acceptor (D-A) diads, in D-p-A type assemblies, and variants where the Laporte selection rule differs from one photon excitation. In the case of the f-elements (lanthanides and actinides), both two photon absorption and upconversion processes are feasible in molecular systems. While lanthanide ions have been sensitised via two-photon excitation of organic chromophores, and investigations in the solid state are well documented, direct two- photon excitation of lanthanides and actinides in solution is unprecedented.

Here, we will describe our recent work in this area with a view to harnessing and exploiting the multiphoton optical properties of metal-based compounds. We will present the multiphoton emission properties of a family of dtransition metal-lanthanide hybrid complexes bearing one or two polar terpyridyl-stilbene derived chromophores that have been optimised for multiphoton applications, discuss how lanthanide doped upconverting nanoparticles can be tailored to sense enzyme turnover and present the first examples of actinide two photon absorption in solution. Our results indicate that these systems are suitable candidate molecules for multi-photon applications and these will be discussed further.

Host: Prof Dave Adams


 

Probing Ultrafast Chemical Dynamics Inspired by the Rhythms of Fireflies

Group: Joseph Black Research Lecture
Speaker: Prof Gregory D. Scholes, Princeton University, Princeton NJ (USA)
Date: 12 February, 2019
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Coherence phenomena arise from interference, or the addition, of wave-like amplitudes in phase. While coherence has been shown to yield transformative new ways for improving function, advances have been limited to pristine matter, as quantum coherence is considered fragile. Here I will discuss how vibrational and vibronic wavepackets entrain ensembles of molecules, like the synchronized flashing of fireflies. I will discuss how this can be used to probe mechanisms of ultrafast dynamics and how in-step vibrational motion might be employed to control function on ultrafast timescales. I will give examples that include light-harvesting in photosynthesis,energy flow in organometallic molecules that is ‘wired’ by Fermi resonance, and ultrafast electron transfer in molecular systems.

Host: Prof Klaas Wynne

ScotCHEM Lecture


 

Sustainable Catalysts for Sustainable Chemistry

Group: Heterogeneous Catalysis Seminar
Speaker: Dr David J. Willock, University of Cardiff
Date: 07 February, 2019
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Wolfson Building, Seminar Room 1 (Yudowitz)

Sustainable or Green Chemistry is often thought of as the use of sustainable feedstocks such as biomass in chemical processes to produce materials and fuels with maximum atom economy. This ensures that the products we need are made with minimal environmental impact and that waste is avoided. Catalysis plays an important role by removing the need for stoichiometric reagents which may lead to undesired side products. It is also important to think about the catalyst materials themselves as these also have to be dealt with at the end of life of the catalyst. An important reaction in the processing of biomass is hydrogenation usually in the liquid phase. The current best performing heterogeneous catalyst for these processes is Ru/C and as Ru is a costly element with low abundance a more sustainable alternative is desirable. 

In this talk we will discuss the use of Cu based catalysts as replacement catalysts for the hydrogenation of ketones using the conversion of levulinic acid to γ-valerolactone as an example reaction with applications in chemicals and fuels. In this work we have brought together catalyst synthesis, testing, characterisation and simulation to study the mechanism of the reaction and to understand how the structure of the catalyst influences its performance.

Host: Prof David Lennon


 

From small rings to large: Synthesis of natural and unnatural products

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Prof Ed Anderson, University of Oxford
Date: 23 January, 2019
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B4-08 (Physical Lecture Theatre)

Host: Prof Stephen Clark


 

Crystalline Molecular Electronic Materials Based on Supramolecular Structures: Interplay between Molecular Motion and Electronic Systems

Group: Complex Chemistry Seminar
Speaker: Prof Takayoshi Nakamura, University of Hokkaido (Japan)
Date: 19 December, 2018
Time: 16:00 - 17:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B4-08 (Physical Lecture Theatre)

Host: Prof Lee Cronin


 

Air, fire, earth and water used to make formaldehyde in a renewable fashion: the active surface of FeMo catalysts

Group: Heterogeneous Catalysis Seminar
Speaker: Prof Mike Bowker, University of Cardiff
Date: 29 November, 2018
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Formaldehyde is a widely used commodity chemical, essential to modern living (from furniture making to embalmment!). It is made from methanol using a very specific type of catalyst – Fe2(MoO4)3. I will describe how this catalyst works and show that the important active surface is all Mo. Further, I will address the possibility that this can be made in a sustainable manner from renewable energy sources.

Host: Prof Justin Hargreaves

RSC Glasgow and West of Scotland Lecture


 

Flexible OLEDs for Display and Sensor Applications

Group: Energy Conversion and Storage Seminar
Speaker: Dr Jeremy Burroughes FRS, Cambridge Display Technology
Date: 28 November, 2018
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

One of the challenges for efficient and low voltage OLEDs is the need to use a low work function cathode material which leads to increased encapsulation requirements.  For mainstream applications such as TVs and lighting, the additional cost is acceptable.

For more price sensitive applications, such as displays for white goods and smart cards or sensor applications a method is required to mitigate this issue.  This talk will explain how this can be achieved using an air-processable electron injection layer capped with just aluminium.  This OLED technology can then be used to make a lower cost OLED displays suitable for a variety of applications, which will be discussed in this presentation.  

I will also finish off by giving some information on our other printed electronic activities.

Host: Prof Pete Skabara

ScotCHEM Industrial Lecture


 

Kinetic and mechanistic understanding of oxidative addition and reductive elimination of Pt(II) and Pt(IV) complexes

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Prof Jennifer A. Love, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (Canada)
Date: 23 November, 2018
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B4-08 (Physical Lecture Theatre)

The catalytic functionalization of unreactive small molecules such as methane via C–H activation and C–E (E = C, N, O, or other heteroatom) is a long-standing goal in organometallic chemistry. To achieve this goal, we must develop better understanding of the fundamental steps of the catalytic cycle. Towards this end, we have been studying oxidative addition and reductive elimination of Pt complexes, which have demonstrated ability to functionalize small molecules, including methane. We have established, for the first time, intermolecular oxidative addition of simple aryl iodides. We have also established that reductive elimination is facilitated by the generation of unsaturated metal species from which oxidative addition and reductive elimination reactions may occur. We report the preparation of 4-membered P,N metallacycles of Pt(II) and Pt(IV) exhibiting hemilabile character, resulting in facile oxidative addition of C–X bonds and reductive elimination of alkanes. It was found that large, electron rich phosphines were required to allow for chelate formation, and the intimate mechanism of reductive elimination and ligand effects on the barrier to reductive coupling of C–C bonds from Pt(IV) were investigated. The challenges and ligand design strategies associated with the preparation of these strained metallacycles will be discussed along with the comparative reactivity toward oxidative addition and reductive elimination of these species with less-strained P,N metallacycles.

Host: Dr David France

ScotCHEM Lecture


 

Cryo-EM structures of respiratory complex I from mouse-heart mitochondria in biochemically defined states

Group: Joseph Black Research Lecture
Speaker: Prof Judy Hirst FRS, MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Cambridge
Date: 21 November, 2018
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Kelvin Building, Room 257

Respiratory complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase) is one of the largest membrane-bound enzymes in the mammalian cell. It powers ATP synthesis in mitochondria by capturing the free energy produced by electron transfer from NADH to ubiquinone and using it to drive protons across the inner membrane. Structures of mammalian complex I, which contains more than forty different subunits, have now been determined by single-particle electron microscopy (cryoEM) in several species. In this talk I will discuss recent data on complex I from mouse-heart mitochondria, a biomedically relevant model system, including the first data from complex I-linked models of mitochondrial disease. In particular, our 3.3-Å resolution structure determined in the ‘active’ state, and comparisons with structures of the ‘deactive’ state and with known bacterial structures, has revealed differences in helical geometry in the membrane domain that occur upon activation or catalysis. Overall, these results demonstrate the capability of cryo-EM analyses to challenge and develop mechanistic models for mammalian complex I.

Host: Prof Richard Hartley

RSC Interdisciplinary Prize Lecture


 

What X-ray scattering can tell us about protein crystallisation and air pollution

Group: Supramolecular Electronic & Magnetic Systems Seminar
Speaker: Dr Annela Seddon, University of Bristol
Date: 12 November, 2018
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room B4-08 (Physical Lecture Theatre)

Host: Prof Dave Adams


 

Plasmonic Nanoparticles. Synthesis, Self-Assembly and Applications in Biosensing

Group: Chemical Photonics Seminar
Speaker: Prof Luis M. Liz-Marzán, Center for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials, San Sebastián (Spain)
Date: 23 October, 2018
Time: 16:00 - 17:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Nanoplasmonics can be defined as the science studying the manipulation of light using materials of size much smaller than the radiation wavelength. This technology finds applications in various fields including sensing and diagnostics. An essential component of nanoplasmonics are the nanostructured materials, typically noble metals, which can very efficiently absorb and scatter light because of their ability to support coherent oscillations of free (conduction) electrons. Although the remarkable optical response of “finely divided” metals is well known since more than 150 years ago, the recent development of sophisticated characterization techniques and modeling methods has dramatically reactivated the field. An extremely important pillar on which the development of nanoplasmonics has been based comprises the impressive advancement in fabrication methods, which provide us with an exquisite control over the composition and morphology of nanostructured metals. Colloid chemistry methods in particular have the advantage of simplicity and large scale production, while offering a number of parameters that can be used as a handle to direct not only nanoparticle morphology but also surface properties and subsequent processing.

This talk will be based on a selection of fabrication methods that allow fine tuning of the morphology of nanoplasmonic building blocks, with the ultimate goal of improving their optical properties and their performance in sensing applications. Several examples will be presented in which nanostructured materials comprising gold nanoparticles were used as substrates for ultrasensitive detection of biorelevant molecules.

Host: Prof Klaas Wynne

Joint event with the Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK


 

Computation and automation to accelerate drug discovery chemistry

Group: Chemical Biology & Precision Synthesis Seminar
Speaker: Dr Lewis Vidler, Eli Lilly, Erl Wood, Windlesham, Surrey
Date: 23 October, 2018
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room C3-05 (Carnegie Lecture Theatre)

Across many sectors of modern industry, there is a move towards increased automation to drive efficiency. However, within modern synthetic organic chemistry, heavily automated approaches have struggled to make a significant impact, partly due to the diverse nature of performing different types of reaction. This talk will cover some of the investments Lilly has made in the automated synthesis space and a number of the computational approaches to maximize their utility.

Within the pharmaceutical industry, drug discovery chemistry aims to take biological targets of interest, and deliver molecules capable of engaging those targets safely in humans. We may have a number of starting points from screening exercises and engage in synthetic efforts to probe the structure-activity relationships (SAR). The application of automated synthesis and associated computational tools enables rapid exploration of a scaffold of interest if amenable chemistry is applicable. Details of Lilly’s Automated Synthesis and Purification Labs (ASPL) and development of associated computational tools will be described, including automated retrosynthesis and massive virtual library enumeration.

The talk will conclude with the introduction of a virtual assistant that we have created within Lilly to engage with project scientists. This was inspired by the many mainstream tech companies that have gone down the virtual assistant route (E.g. Siri from Apple) despite having other well established user interfaces. The virtual assistant we have created interacts with users via email and provides alerts to new data, analysis and subsequent application of computational methods, all in an automated manner. Some aspects of this link with the automated synthesis facilities previously mentioned to move to a fully automated drug discovery paradigm.

Host: Dr Andrew Jamieson

ScotCHEM Industrial Lecture


 

Test Event

Group: Joseph Black Research Lecture
Speaker: A. Speaker, An Affiliation
Date: 31 October, 2016
Time: 09:30 - 10:30
Location: Joseph Black Building, Room A5-04 (Theoretical Lecture Theatre)

A talk by a speaker from a place

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