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Posts tagged with "Inorganic Chemistry"

  • Analytical Chemistry

    Organometallic Oddities

    Synthetic organic chemists spend a lot of time using organometallic coupling reactions, because they can be such great ways to make carbon-carbon (and carbon-heteroatom) bonds. And that’s the currency of the realm: do you want to build up larger molecules from smaller precursors in a controlled fashion? You’re going to have to make bond… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Single Atoms, On Demand

    We chemists spend a lot of time doing things in the solution phase. It makes sense – if you want things to react, getting all the partners dissolved in some medium where they can roam around and contact each other is surely the way to go, most of the time. But it’s also true that… Read More
  • Biological News

    Zap the Zinc

    Zinc – can’t live without it, can’t get rid of it. That about sums up the situation with trying to figure out the metal’s many important roles in biology. A long, long list of proteins have zinc-binding functions (with the metalloproteases and the DNA-binding zinc-finger domains being two important ones that immediately come… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Way Down There in the Pores

    Let’s get physical-organic. A big topic of research in recent years has been the properties of liquids and solids under boundary conditions. By that sweeping statement, I mean questions such as “When does a small cluster of metal atoms start to act like a small piece of bulk metal? Why is there a transition, and… Read More
  • Infectious Diseases

    The Invisible Fight for Iron

    One of the things that I have always liked about the sciences is that you get a behind-the-scenes look at what’s really going on in the world (which is something I emphasized in various entries in The Chemistry Book). If you’re not a biologist or chemist, one of those little-known but crucial things is how much… Read More
  • Biological News

    How We Smell Those Delightful Little Sulfur Compounds

    We humans have a huge number of different smell receptors, but some of the most famous are the ones that are sensitive to thiols. We don’t miss out on many low oxidation state sulfur compounds: S-alkyl and SH groups reek to the skies as far as our noses are concerned (as do the corresponding selenium… Read More
  • Inorganic Chemistry

    Today’s Lab Prep

    OK, this one’s a fairly easy procedure, which you will find way back in Volume 6 of the ever-entertaining Inorganic Syntheses. You’ll need a tube furnace, though, and you may or may not have one of those sitting around. You’ll also need to soften up the glass tube that goes into it, enough to make… Read More
  • Inorganic Chemistry

    Surfin’ On The Surface

    There are a lot of ways to think about the chemical reagents that we have stirring around in our flasks. But one of the basic ones, and one of the most useful, divides them into classes according to whether they’re in solution or not. When things are in solution, they may act funny, but at… Read More
  • Inorganic Chemistry

    Neil Bartlett, 1932-2008

    I’ve neglected to note the death of Neil Bartlett, famous for showing that the noble gases would in fact form chemical bonds. This work was a real triumph, since the great majority of scientific opinion at the time was that such compounds were impossible. Bartlett, though, formed a rather startling compound while working on the… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Copper: A Gentleman’s Disagreement

    I was running a copper-catalyzed coupling reaction the other day when my summer intern asked me how it worked. I showed her the mechanism that the authors of the paper had proposed, but pointed out that it was mostly hand-waving. The general features are probably more or less right: the copper iodide presumably does form… Read More
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