Obtaining movies of molecular movement of proteins through serial femtosecond crystallography

Seeing is believing; thus, it would be much better if we could observe real-time molecular level movement of proteins during catalysis, where, for example, binding of a substrate to an active site leads to molecular cleavage and enzymatic action. But, this feat is not realized until recent advent of serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX).   In … More Obtaining movies of molecular movement of proteins through serial femtosecond crystallography

Challenges of recycling lithium-ion batteries

With increasing use of lithium ion batteries for personal mobile devices and computers, there is a concomitant need to plan the end of life treatment of these batteries that contain precious metals as well as toxic and flammable substances. Specifically, while lithium ion is thought to be the most important element for recover in the … More Challenges of recycling lithium-ion batteries

Examining surface premelting in colloidal particles

Article in Nature, Vol. 531, 24 March 2017, pp. 485, “Modes of surface premelting in colloidal crystals composed of attractive particles”   Summary of article: Using Landau force field with poly(methyl methacrylate) characteristics, the effect of cohesion forces at low temperature was investigated and revealed the formation of crystalline domains and grain boundaries.   Link … More Examining surface premelting in colloidal particles

Ultrafast femtosecond imaging of molecular dynamics by tetrahertz scanning tunnelling microscopy

Article in Nature, Vol. 539, 10 November 2016, pp. 263, “Tracking the ultrafast motion of a single molecule by femtosecond orbital imaging”   Summary of article: Low current, low temperature, tetrahertz scanning tunnelling microscopy was used to probe the intrinsic dynamics of molecular motion at the femtosecond timescale.   Link to original article: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v539/n7628/full/nature19816.html   … More Ultrafast femtosecond imaging of molecular dynamics by tetrahertz scanning tunnelling microscopy

Synthesis of zig-zag shape graphene nanoribbons

Article in Nature, Vol. 531, 24 March 2016, pp. 489, “On-surface synthesis of graphene nanoribbons with zigzag edge topology”   Summary of article: Using a combination of polymerisation and dehydrogenation, zigzag graphene nanoribbons with bandgaps suitable for spintronics were synthesized and characterized, the latter by scanning tunnelling microscopy and tip functionalized non-contact atomic force microscopy. … More Synthesis of zig-zag shape graphene nanoribbons

Role of organic particles in seeding growth of aerosols in the atmosphere

Article in Nature, Vol. 533, 26 May 2016, pp. 527, “The role of low-volatility organic compounds in initial particle growth in the atmosphere”   Summary of article: Using nitrate ion chemical ionization atmospheric pressure interface time of flight mass spectrometry, a particle growth model for organic aerosols was proposed and validated.   Comment: Organic materials … More Role of organic particles in seeding growth of aerosols in the atmosphere

Different fractions from a polymerisation reactor

Polymers such as those used in clothing and the foam layer of running shoes are manufactured through a polymerisation reaction, most commonly free radical polymerisation. Hence, depending on how the reaction is tuned and controlled, different grades of polymers would predominate in the products stream coming out of the reactor.   However, irrespective of the … More Different fractions from a polymerisation reactor

High temperature magnetic topological insulators

Article in Nature, Vol. 533, Issue 7604, pp. 513, “A high temperature ferromagnetic topological insulating phase by proximity coupling”   Summary of article: Bi2Se3 and EuS adatom bilayer was shown to exhibit topological insulating and magnetic properties. Topological insulator is a class of relatively new materials where the properties of the material differs between the … More High temperature magnetic topological insulators

Reverse osmosis is the only means for removing trace contaminants in water

Current drinking water treatment techniques, while effective, is increasingly unable to cope with the larger set of trace contaminants in treated water found to impact on human health. For example, in some areas of the world, treated water contains trace concentration of lead (~ 3 parts per billion, ppb level), arsenic (~ 2 ppb), boron, … More Reverse osmosis is the only means for removing trace contaminants in water

Computational chemistry for investigating materials’ properties

Perspective article in Science, Vol. 354, Issue. 6309, pp. 180-181, “Making the most of materials computations”   Summary of article: Density functional theory (DFT) is the most popular ab initio (or from first principles) computational chemistry method for investigating interactions between small number of atoms and molecules. Advances in computational resources and algorithms together with … More Computational chemistry for investigating materials’ properties