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DEPARTMENTAL NEWS

Award Competition: Herbert C. Cheung Scholarships, Anna and Bernard Senkowski Scholarships

Each spring, the Chemistry Department runs an award competition open to all freshmen, sophomore, and junior chemistry majors currently enrolled at Rutgers-Newark. To be eligible, a student must be a declared chemistry major by June of this year. Award winners are selected based upon the evaluation of grade-point average, financial need, and two letters of recommendation. The deadline for submitting application forms is June 10.

BORAM XIV at Rutgers University-Newark in June

BORAM The Boron in the Americas conference (BORAM XIV) will take place on the Newark campus of Rutgers University from June 15-19, 2014. Check the conference website for the schedule, registration, accommodations, and other details.

Frieder Jäkle Joins the Organometallics Advisory Board

Prof. Jäkle has been appointed to the Editorial Advisory Board of the journal Organometallics, published by the American Chemical Society.

New Luminescent Triaryl Borane Polymers As Dual Responsive Fluoride Ion Sensors

JF2 The Jäkle group has prepared the first luminescent triarylborane block copolymers with well-defined chain architectures. Using these amphiphilic polymers, they developed a dual-responsive fluoride sensor by taking advantage of their ability to self-assemble reversibly. In addition to practical applications for anion sensing, this new class of electron-deficient block copolymers could prove useful for biological imaging and in the area of organic electronics. Read more in their recent JACS communication.

Recent Graduate Student Awards

For the 2012-2013 academic year, Hetalaben Patel won a Graduate Student Excellence Award from the Graduate School Government, and Fei Cheng won the Graduate School Dean's Doctoral Dissertation Award. Ms. Patel is studying for a Ph.D. in Prof. Jordan's research group; Dr. Cheng recently completed his degree working in Prof. Jäkle's group.

Intermediates Detected in TDP-dependent Enzymes Point to Catalytic Mechanisms

FLOUR Prof. Jordan and his co-workers have established techniques to detect covalent intermediates and products in thiamin diphosphate (TDP)-dependent enymatic pathways. Using these techniques, they have succeeded in monitoring key chemical species as reactions catalyzed separately by six different enzymes progress in time. Read the details about the mechanistic implications of their findings for pyruvate decarboxylase, the pyruvate dehydrogenase multienzyme complex, and other enzymes in their recent publications: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6].

Recent Faculty Awards to Profs. Mendelsohn, Jäkle, Piotrowiak, and Jordan

Chemistry faculty winning recent awards include Prof. Mendelsohn who won the 2012 Gold Medal from the NY Section of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, and Prof. Jäkle who won the Boron in the Americas Award along with the 2012 Akron ACS Section Award. Additionally, Prof. Piotrowiak was awarded the Donald H. Jacobs Chair in Applied Physics and Prof. Jordan won the Chancellor's Excellence in Research Award.

Efficient New Procedure for Highly Conductive Graphene

Professor He and her co-workers have developed a rapid, simple, and scalable method to produce large conductive sheets of graphene. The solution-processible sheets, formed in the presence of nitronium ion with microwave heating, could be used in a broad spectrum of applications. Read the details in their JACS article. PHILY

Fluorescence Enhancement from Constrained Spaces

FLOUR The Galoppini and Piotrowiak groups recently reported an unprecedented fluorescence enhancement observed in aqueous solutions of complexes formed by a viologen derivative in a molecular host or in a polymer matrix. The emission can be turned off and on by electrochemical reactions. Calculations show the behavior derives from conformational constraints of the complex. Read how these findings could be used to develop electrochromic materials and fluorescent switches in their recent JACS article.

Chemistry as a Life Science Symposium

The fifteenth biennial Chemistry as a Life Sciences Symposium will be held on the Newark Campus on March 16, 2012. Speakers include, Brian Stolz, Kevan Shokat, Laura Kiessling, Erik Sorensen, Marisa Kozolwski, and Jin-Quan Yu. The symposium is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required.

Electron Transfer Through the Walls of Host-Guest Complexes

HOST-GUEST Prof. Galoppini and her coworkers found that chromophores encapsulated in cavitands, when electronically excited by light, will transfer electrons though the host wall to various electron acceptors. The work shows that dyes protected by hosts from aggregation and oxidation may still serve as photosensitizers in solar devices. For details, read their Langmuir article.

Boron-based Macrocycles: New Frameworks for Sensors and Optoelectronics

Professor Jäkle and graduate student Pangkuan Chen prepared a conjugated, electron-deficient macrocycle containing six boron atoms. When anions bind, the bora-cyclophane's blue fluorescence is quenched as the conjugation is disrupted and the character of the ring switches from electron-poor to electron-rich. Read the details in their JACS communication or in a recent C&E News highlight. BOROCYCLE

Luminescent Conjugated Organoborane Oligomers

POLYMER The Jäkle group has developed methods to prepare organoboron oligomers with well-defined lengths, and used electrochemical, spectroscopic, and computational studies to discern in detail the role of boron in extended conjugated systems. Read more in the group's recent JACS communication.

Molecular Shuttle Transports Hydrophobic Guests to Protein Targets

HOST Prof. Piotrowiak and his coworkers monitored photoinduced electron transfer events to study the hemicarcerand-mediated binding of small molecules to cytochrome c. Read their article the Journal of the American Chemical Society for a detailed analysis of the elaborate supramolecular complexes identified in their work.

Nanoparticles for Co-delivery of Anti-cancer Agents to Cancer Cells

The groups of Professors He and Minko (Department of Pharmaceutics) have demonstrated that mesoporous silica nanoparticles can be used to simultaneously deliver siRNA and and doxorubicin to cancer cells. The siRNA serves to inhibit cellular resistance to the anti-cancer agent (doxorubicin) leading to greatly increased drug efficacy. Read more in their recent article. NANO

New Instrument Captures Femtosecond Images of Nanoscale Structures

JPC Cover FEMTO Non-linear optics allowed the Piotrowiak group to break the 100 fs (10-13s) time resolution barrier in microscopy. See the femtosecond fluorescence movie of ultrafast charge recombination in CdSSe nanobelts, and read about the new instrument in the cover-page article of the Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

Functionalization of Nanotube and Nanotip Arrays

The Galoppini group and their collaborators have developed methods to functionalize TiO2 nanotube arrays and ZnO nanotips. Read how the work could lead to new types of solar cells and biosensors in their latest Lagmuir and J. Phys. Chem. papers. h-nu

Polymer Symposium at Rutgers-Newark on May 14, 2009

POLYMER Prof. Jäkle is organizing a special symposium, Polymers for Sensor and Energy-Related Applications, to be held May 14 on the Newark Campus. Details about the event can be found at the website of the NJ-ACS Polymer Topical Group, the sponsor of the event. Admission for Rutgers students is free.

Inter-American Photochemistry Society Conference: January 2-5, 2009

Profs. Elena Galoppini and Bradley Arnold (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) are the co-organizers of the 19th winter conference of the Inter-American Photochemistry Society. The program and registration information is posted on the conference webpage. h-nu

Porphyrin Dyes for Semiconductor Sensitization

PORPHYRIN In their recent paper in Langmuir, Dr. Rochford and Prof. Galoppini describe rigid-rod Zn(II) porphyrins as model dyes for the study of sensitization processes on metal oxide semiconductor nanoparticle surfaces (TiO2, ZnO, ZrO2). The dyes were designed to allow for a systematic test of distance effects on properties related to charge transfer between the sensitizer and nanoparticle.

Use of DNA to Amplify Quality of Polymer Nanocomposites

Prof. He's group discovered that fabrication of composites made from carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and polyaniline is greatly improved by dispersing the nanotubes with DNA. As they report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the DNA interacts with the SWNTs and dramatically improves the polymerizaton of aniline to create a useful composite for future nanoscale devices. DNA-CNT

A Versatile New Method for the Preparation of Metallopolymers

B-POLYMER In their recent communication to the journal Macromolecules, the Jäkle group describes the synthesis of the first tris(pyrazolylborate)(Tp) functionalized polymers and their application as scaffolds for the attachment of transition metal complexes, which in turn impart interesting electronic and optical properties to the organic polymer backbone.

Oleh Taratula wins Gallo Award for Cancer Research Talk

At the 2008 Annual Retreat on Cancer Research in NJ, graduate student Oleh Taratula won the Gallo Award for Outstanding Cancer Research for his presentation Toward in vivo targeted Delivery of siRNA for Efficient Cancer Therapy. Mr. Tatatula's research, directed by Prof. He , is aimed at developing nanoparticles for use as selective drug-delivery agents in cancer therapy. siRNA_nanoparticle

Drug Permeation and Wound Healing

The work from the Mendelsohn lab on drug permeation and wound healing using IR and Raman microscopic imaging was discussed in the March 24th, 2008 version of C&E News ( Page 56-7). Professor Mendelsohn had presented the material at the 2008 PittCon meeting in New Orleans at a session entitled Moving from Bench to Bedside.

Ascorbic Acid Interference on Dopamine Nano-detectors Studied by Huixin He's Group

PRO_IMG Prof. He and her coworkers studied the mechanism of ascorbic acid interference on non-oxidative ultra-sensitive dopamine detectors. Previously, this interference had not been recognized as being important for non-oxidative detectors. The group's article in the Journal Physical Chemistry provides an explanation for the interference based on electrochemical and binding experiments.

Protein Loop Function Discovered in a Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Multienzyme Complex

Prof. Jordan and coworkers used the results of X-ray crystallographic studies, kinetics, and spectroscopy to determine the role of a flexible loop in the first pyruvate dehydrogenase component of this multienzyme complex. They find that the loop is important both in local catalysis carried out by the first component, and in communication with the second component in the large 4.6 MDa complex of the functional enzyme. Read more in their J. Biol.Chem. article. PDH_Loop

Jäkle Research Team Prepares New Type of Conjugated Polymer

PRO_IMG Researchers lead by Prof. Jäkle have developed procedures to prepare polymeric materials containing a highly conjugated backbone with electron-deficient organoborane substituents. The novel materials have electronic properties that make them interesting for use in optoelectronic device applications. The work was recently published as a communication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

New Porphyrin Sensitizers for Solar-cell Semiconductors

Prof. Galoppini and her coworkers synthesized and studied zinc porphyrins for use in photo-sensitizing nanoparticle films prepared from titanium, zinc, and zirconium oxides. They found that the efficiency of solar cells prepared with the porphyrins could be improved by altering the binding geometry and the sensitizer-semiconductor distance. Read more in their J. Am. Chem. Soc. article. pophyrin

Mendelsohn-Group Research Paper Wins Award

PRO_IMG A research paper from Prof. Mendelsohn's group was selected as the winner of the 2007 Meggers Award for the most outstanding paper in Applied Spectroscopy. The paper describes molecular aspects of skin-barrier recovery after exposure to heat, based on the group's time-dependent IR spectroscopy studies.

Huixin He's Group Develops Nanocomposite Dopamine Detector

Prof. He's research group fabricated boronic-acid substituted polyaniline nanocomposites with dispersed DNA and funtionalized carbon nanotubes, and developed a novel approach to detect dopamine with high sensitivity using the composite material. Read the details in their recent Analytical Chemistry article. Dopamine Detector

Prof. Galoppini Selected to be a Kavli Fellow

Prof. Galoppini was recently selected to chair a session of the National Academy of Sciences' Frontiers of Science Symposium as a Kavli Fellow. Her session concerned artificial photosynthesis and alternative energy sources. Sun

Unusual Structures of Ferrocenylcopper Complexes Discovered by the Jäkle Group

CU_IMG Intriguing metal-metal interactions have been identified by Prof. Jäkle and his coworkers in structures determined for ferrocenylcopper complexes prepared in their laboratory. As they note in their Angewandte Chemie communication, the results provide rare structural insights into the reactivity of metallocenes and organocopper complexes.

Huixin He's Group Prepares Nanoparticles for use as Potential Anti-Cancer Agents

Prof. He , T. J. Thomas (from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), and a team coworkers developed procedures to prepare nanoparticles containing anti-sense oligonucleotides, and showed that the particles are transported into breast-cancer cells. Read more in their Nanotechnology article or this news account. Anti-Cancer Particle

Prof. Piotrowiak and Coworkers Probe the Inhomogenity of Electron Injection Rates in Dye-Sensitized TiO2

NANO_IMG In a recent J. Phys. Chem. B article, Prof. Piotrowiak's group and their collaborators at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven showed how the complexities of electron-injection rates in titanium dioxide films could derive from differences in the behavior of individual nanoparticles detected using time-correlated single photon counting.

Jäkle Group Prepares New Fluorescent Polymers

Prof. Jäkle and his coworkers developed a new class of fluorescent polymers containing Lewis-acidic boron sites. As described in their J. Am. Chem. Soc. article, the photophysical properties are modulated by interactions with Lewis bases, making the polymers well-suited for sensor applications. POLYMER

Prof. He and Coworkers Discover Stabilizing Power of DNA-wrapped Carbon Nanotubes

Composite_IMG Prof. He's research group found that DNA/nanotube/polyaniline composites are stabilized through reduction of the polymer component during fabrication. The novel materials are expected to show greatly improved perfomance in nanoscale devices. Read more in their J. Am. Chem. Soc. article.

Special Issue of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta Coedited by Prof. Mendelsohn

BBA Image Rich Mendelsohn coedited an issue of BBA devoted to vibrational microscopic imaging. The issue showcases advances in a rapidly growing field that follow from recent conferences at Rutgers-Newark and Heidelberg. A Mendelsohn-group article in the issue describes their use of vibrational microscopy to study molecular aspects of skin permeation.

Prof. Galoppini and Coworkers Demonstrate the Importance of ZnO Morphology in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Prof. Galoppini and her colleagues prepared metalloporphyrin-sensitized ZnO nanorods, and determined electron transport rates for the constructs in nanorod arrays and in colloidal films. Their recent J. Phys. Chem. article describes the utility of the sensitized nanorods in solar-cell fabrication. Zn Image

Spectroscopic Characterization of a Critical Coenzyme Tautomer by the Jordan Group

TDP Image Prof. Jordan's research group used UV-Vis and NMR spectroscopy to study a model system designed to mimic an iminopyrimidine tautomer of thiamin diphosphate (TDP). In a Biochemistry article they describe how the results support their recent work on TDP-enzymes identifying the tautomer as the key catalytic form of the coenzyme.
stucture Dorothy will conduct research at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm this summer with support from the the NSF Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Team (NIRT) grant awarded to Professors Elena Galoppini and Piotr Piotrowiak at Rutgers Newark, and Gerald Meyer at Johns Hopkins. Read more at nanotechwire.com and see the Rutgers news story.

Professor Jäkle Wins a Sloan Research Fellowship

Frieder Jäkle was awarded a 2006 Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Read more about the award and his research on multifunctional and polymeric Lewis acids in a recent news release and Newark Targum article. Jaekle

Huixin He's Group Positions DNA Strands on Silicon Chips

DNA_Chip Prof. He and her students recently published results demonstrating their method for aligning DNA on silicon chips. The group is now using arrays of DNA as polymerization templates to produce conducting nanowires for nanoscale electronic devices. Read more in their Langmuir article.