Archive for the ‘Interesting chemistry’ Category

Why do flowers such as roses, peonies, dahlias, delphiniums (etc), exhibit so many shades of colours?

Monday, June 18th, 2018
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It was about a year ago that I came across a profusion of colour in my local Park. Although colour in fact was the topic that sparked my interest in chemistry many years ago (the fantastic reds produced by diazocoupling reactions), I had never really tracked down the origin of colours in many flowers. It is of course a vast field. Here I take a look at just one class of molecule responsible for many flower colours, anthocyanidin, this being the sugar-free counterpart of the anthocyanins found in nature.

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Ten years on: Jmol and WordPress.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
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Ten years are a long time when it comes to (recent) technologies. The first post on this blog was on the topic of how to present chemistry with three intact dimensions. I had in mind molecular models, molecular isosurfaces and molecular vibrations (arguably a further dimension). Here I reflect on how ten years of progress in technology has required changes and the challenge of how any necessary changes might be kept “under the hood” of this blog.

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Examples please of FAIR (data); good and bad.

Sunday, May 6th, 2018
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The site fairsharing.org is a repository of information about FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) objects such as research data.

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Aromaticity-induced basicity.

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018
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The molecules below were discussed in the previous post as examples of highly polar but formally neutral molecules, a property induced by aromatisation of up to three rings. Since e.g. compound 3 is known only in its protonated phenolic form, here I take a look at the basicity of the oxygen in these systems to see if deprotonation of the ionic phenol form to the neutral polar form is viable.

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A record polarity for a neutral compound?

Friday, April 13th, 2018
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In several posts a year or so ago I considered various suggestions for the most polar neutral molecules, as measured by the dipole moment. A record had been claimed[1] for a synthesized molecule of ~14.1±0.7D. I pushed this to a calculated 21.7D for an admittedly hypothetical and unsynthesized molecule. Here I propose a new family of compounds which have the potential to extend the dipole moment for a formally neutral molecule up still further.

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References

  1. J. Wudarczyk, G. Papamokos, V. Margaritis, D. Schollmeyer, F. Hinkel, M. Baumgarten, G. Floudas, and K. Müllen, "Hexasubstituted Benzenes with Ultrastrong Dipole Moments", Angewandte Chemie International Edition, vol. 55, pp. 3220-3223, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201508249

The dark satanic mills (of the industrial revolution?)

Sunday, March 18th, 2018
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Around the time of the 2012 olympic games, the main site for which was Stratford in east London, I heard a fascinating talk about the “remediation” of the site from the pollution caused by its industrial chemical heritage. Here I visit another, arguably much more famous and indeed older industrial site.

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How FAIR are the data associated with the 2017 Molecules-of-the-Year?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
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C&EN has again run a vote for the 2017 Molecules of the year. Here I take a look not just at these molecules, but at how FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) the data associated with these molecules actually is.

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What are the highest bond indices for main group and transition group elements?

Sunday, March 4th, 2018
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A bond index (BI) approximately measures the totals of the bond orders at any given atom in a molecule. Here I ponder what the maximum values might be for elements with filled valence shells.

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Is (hν)3 an allotrope of light?

Friday, February 23rd, 2018
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A little while ago I pondered allotropic bromine, or Br(Br)3. But this is a far wackier report[1] of a molecule of light.

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References

  1. Q. Liang, A.V. Venkatramani, S.H. Cantu, T.L. Nicholson, M.J. Gullans, A.V. Gorshkov, J.D. Thompson, C. Chin, M.D. Lukin, and V. Vuletić, "Observation of three-photon bound states in a quantum nonlinear medium", Science, vol. 359, pp. 783-786, 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aao7293

London: set to become a National Park City in 2019.

Friday, February 9th, 2018
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Last year, I showed photos of wildflower meadows in west London close to where we live, evolving as the seasons changed. Today we hear the announcement that London itself is set be declared the world’s first National Park City in 2019.

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