Siloxane Polymer Achieves Record Stretchiness

Chemists working at Pennsylvania-based materials supplier Gelest have created a siloxane polymer that is so stretchy, two yards of the material could extend across the length of a football field. Gelest’s manager of silicone R&D, Jonathan Goff, publicly unveiled the polymer Tuesday at the ACS national meeting in Boston during a session hosted by the… Read more »

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#ACSBoston In Review

Despite the unusual heat and humidity that turned Boston into a sweaty mess, nearly 14,000 chemists gathered in the historical city this week to provide a refreshing new perspective on how innovation has changed the world. Hosting the 250th celebration of the American Chemical Society national meeting and exposition, Boston—being the birthplace of Benjamin Franklin—was… Read more »

A blue LED coated with a MOF-based yellow phosphor (left) made by Rutgers researchers produces white light efficiently (right). Credit: Courtesy of Jing Li.

MOF Phosphor Improves On Light-Emitting Diodes

CORRECTION: Story was updated on 8/20/2015 to correct the type of yellow phosphor used in the white LED. Light-emitting diodes are now state-of-the-art when it comes to lighting. Yet scientists are still designing new ways to improve on the quality of light that LEDs produce and to reduce their cost and make them environmentally friendlier…. Read more »

Flow-IEG uses a semi-automated series of deprotection, purification, and coupling cycles to create homogeneous sequence- and length-defined polymers.
Credit: Adapted from PNAS

Automated Flow Technique Makes Length- And Sequence-Specific Polymers

Traditional synthetic polymers contain a distribution of chain lengths and monomer sequences. For applications such as molecular electronics, however, scientists want to create polymers of a specific sequence and length—a difficult task. Frank A. Leibfarth, Jeremiah Johnson, and Timothy Jamison at MIT have now developed Flow-IEG (flow synthesis and iterative exponential growth), a semi-automated coupling… Read more »

A sample, ring-shaped device is held together by linkers made from a new polymer, which dissolve in pH neutral solutions. Credit: Nat. Mater.

A pH-Sensitive Polymer Could Lead To Long-Term Drug Delivery Devices

A new family of polymers could help fight obesity and antibiotic resistance just by falling apart. Researchers led by Giovanni Traverso of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Robert Langer of Massachusetts Institute of Technology have synthesized hydrogels that are stable in stomach acid, but dissolve in the neutral pH of the intestines (Nat. Mater. 2015,… Read more »

Mechanochemical milling of ZnO with HMeIm first creates the sodalite topology of the ZIF-8 MOF, which then transforms into an amorphous material before reforming into katsenite and diamondoid ZIF-8.
Credit: Nat. Commun.

Chemists Grind Up New Crystalline Metal-Organic Framework From Amorphous Material

Grinding a crystalline metal-organic framework (MOF) material in a ball mill converts it into an amorphous structure and then into other crystal morphologies, according to research presented Tuesday at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Boston. The observation suggests researchers could use mechanochemical synthesis as a route to new MOFs. Tomislav Friščić, a chemistry… Read more »

DNA, bovine serum albumin (BSA), and four fluorescent donor and acceptor dyes self-assemble to form biodegradable light-harvesting artificial antennas. When researchers drop cast the material on a substrate, it forms floorboard-like structures on millimeter length scales (right). Credit: Challa V. Kumar.

DNA And Protein Self-Assemble Into Biodegradable Solar Antenna

A new light-harvesting antenna complex could pave the way for making biologically based solar cells. Challa V. Kumar and his team at the University of Connecticut made the biodegradable antenna from DNA, modified bovine serum albumin (BSA), and four fluorescent dyes. Kumar reported the research Monday at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Boston… Read more »

With the help of sunlight, thin films of urban grime on buildings and streets could release ozone- and smog-forming compounds. Credit:  Shutterstock

Sunlight Coaxes Urban Grime To Release Smog Compound

A grimy film covers the streets, statues, and buildings in our cities. This dirty chemical soup, deposited from pollution and dust, could play a previously unknown role in urban air quality, according to research presented Monday at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Boston. Chemists report that, when hit with sunlight, urban grime may… Read more »

Isolating tiny clusters (right) of two types of metals (green and blue) can boost catalytic prowess compared with single-metal (left) and alloy nanoparticles made from the same metals (center). Credit: Franklin Tao/U. Kansas.

Bimetallic Clusters Exhibit Exceptional Catalytic Ability

Minuscule metal clusters consisting of just a few atoms of two types of metals can catalyze chemical reactions with extraordinary selectivity if the clusters are supported on a solid and kept isolated from one another. Those findings, presented Sunday at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Boston, suggest ways to prepare highly effective industrial… Read more »

These photonic crystals changed color when a 300-µm-diameter tip pressed the materials with 30 mN (left), 60 mN (middle), and 90 mN (right) forces. Credit: Yang Lab

Porous Polymer Could Spot Traumatic Brain Injuries

The forces from an explosive blast or a head-on tackle can shake a person’s head, causing damage that might trigger long-term neurodegeneration. To help doctors determine whether a patient might suffer from this type of traumatic brain injury, materials scientists have developed a thin polymeric film that changes color when struck with forces similar to… Read more »

  • Schematic of a possible silica “paint” that can keep surfaces cool and protect against corrosion. Credit: Jason Benkoski.

    Sturdy Silica Coatings Take Tough Stance Against Corrosion

    Engineers have long relied on polymer paints to slow metal corrosion, but these soft materials degrade in a matter of years and their upkeep is costly. Now, researchers have turned to inorganic chemistry to create long-lasting coatings that fight oxidation on multiple fronts. Jason J. Benkoski of John Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory unveiled the composition… Read more »

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    ACS Chemoji Available For Download

    Move over emoji, ACS Chemoji is here! The American Chemical Society has launched a new app to help chemists communicate visually on social media by using chemistry-themed emoji.

  • Boston Mania

    Boston National Meeting Mania!

    C&EN reviews who’s who at chemistry’s tea party