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Copper: An element of surprise

Researchers in Switzerland have developed efficient copper-functionalised dye-sensitized solar cells as an alternative to ruthenium-functionalised systems.

11-Jul-2008

Edwin Constable and colleagues at the University of Basel, and at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, in Switzerland, have synthesised carboxylate-derivatized copper complexes as dye stuffs for TiO2 dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The conversion of light to electricity is an important ...

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A cascade of products

UK researchers have developed a cascade reaction strategy, to prepare heterocylic building blocks, using N-heterocyclic carbenes as catalysts.

10-Jul-2008

The ability to combine many separate chemical steps into a single cascade protocol, to produce organic building blocks from simple organic starting materials, is highly desirable. N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) are commonly used in organometallic processes, but have more recently been employed as ...

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One-pot process to isoxazolidines

US chemists have uncovered a cycloaddition reaction involving a nitrosobenzene and an aryl olefin to afford isoxazolidines in a one-pot procedure.

10-Jul-2008

Brian Connell and colleagues at Texas A&M University observed that reactive nitrones can be generated in situ by an unusual reaction of nitrosobenzene with styrene. The nitrone formed then undergoes a 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition with the excess styrene as the dipolarophile to provide the desired ...

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New rare-earth superconductors

08-Jul-2008

J. Paul Attfield and colleagues from the University of Edinburgh have shown that using high pressure could double the number of a new group of high temperature superconductors. Motivated by the discovery of superconductivity in the first half of the rare earth series (F-doped RFeAsO with R = ...

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Chemoselective reduction with non-flammable gold catalyst

08-Jul-2008

Yong Cao and colleagues from Fudan University, Shanghai, have discovered that the non-flammable Au/TiO2 demonstrates great potential for catalytic transfer hydrogenation. Traditionally this transformation relies on the use of homogeneous transition metal complexes, which are not very practical, ...

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Chemical tag to track proteins in cells

01-Jul-2008

Native Chemical Ligation (NCL) is a reaction that takes place between a molecule containing a thioester group and a polypeptide that has a cysteine amino acid at its N-terminal. The reaction takes place in aqueous solution and mild conditions and is completely specific which ensures that a ...

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Catalytic teamwork improves activity

Brønsted and Lewis acid sites can work in synergy to increase the catalytic activity of mesoporous materials, claim scientists.

26-Jun-2008

A team led by Ulf Hanefeld at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, made a series mesoporous silicates containing different ratios of aluminium and zirconium metals. They found that in Brønsted acid catalysed reactions, the catalytic activity of the mixed metal silicates was higher ...

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Powder power - a simple, efficient route to hydrogen fuel

25-Jun-2008

Chemists in the US have developed a simple reaction to make ammonia borane - a powder more hydrogen-dense than even liquid hydrogen. Their one-pot synthesis of this promising hydrogen storage material is reported in the first issue of the new Royal Society of Chemistry journal Energy & ...

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'Rocks-in-forest' catalyst supports

19-Jun-2008

A new type of catalyst support has been designed by Yi Tang, Hualong Xu and co-workers at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. They embedded silver-based microparticle catalysts in silicon nanowire arrays. The Si nanowire arrays not only provide a barrier to the possibility of agglomeration of ...

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Tagging-detagging for purification of radiotracers

10-Jun-2008

Veronique Gouverneur and colleagues from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, Cheshire, have developed a novel tagging-detagging strategy. This could be extremely useful for the purification of known and novel 18F-radiotracers for Positron Emission Tomography. It is the first detagging ...

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