Pretending to be an Organic Chemist

I love the diversity of people I can collaborate with at the University of Edinburgh. People do all kinds of neat stuff. One person who is particularly fun to collaborate with is Steve Thomas. We co-supervise a student together – and that student has just done a great thing… Get me to publish a paper in an organic chemistry journal!

Congratulations to Kailong (Kevin) Zhu on his paper “Stable and Easily-handled Fe(III) Catalysts for Hydrosilylation of Ketones and Aldehydes” which is accepted for publication in the European Journal of Organic Chemistry. Well done Kevin!

Two New Book Chapters and One New Review

I think the process of writing a review is one of the most important for developing new ideas. It gives you a holistic view of a field, allows easy access to the nooks, crannies and interrelationships that create the platform for interesting future efforts. With that in mind…

Be on the lookout for our latest contributions to thinking about the interface between catalysis, sustainable chemistry and polymer science… We’ve contributed two book chapters (now accepted!) to two upcoming ACS Symposium Series volumes. The first is a chapter written by Ben Lake contributed to the upcoming “Controlled Radical Polymerization” book. His chapter is entitled “The Interplay of ATRP, OMRP and CCT in Iron-Mediated Controlled Radical Polymerization” and captures the work that we and others have done in this field. The second chapter is written by Jarret MacDonald for the upcoming “Green Polymer Chemistry: Biobased Materials and Biocatalysis” book. His chapter is entitled “Aluminum Salen and Salan Polymerisation Cataysts: From Monomer Scope to Macrostructure Control” and reviews the plethora of work on these important catalysts, and the range of monomers and macrostructures they can make. Well done guys!

For those applications-oriented whiz kids out there, also be on the lookout for our review article on sensors of oligonucleotides. David Ferrier, our team’s engineer/physicist/sensor-master extraordinaire, has penned the article “Micro- and Nano-structure Based Oligonucleotide Sensors” for the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics in collaboration with his engineering supervisor Phil Hands. Well done Dave!

Two New Papers

Happy New Year!

Congratulations are in order for three reasons:

(1) We survived another year and are all super excited for 2015. This semester brings a lot of travel, with Mike giving talks at Heriot-Watt and Lancaster (UK), Mainz and TUM (Germany), Ghent and Liege (Belgium) and three research centres in India. Coupled with the wife’s new job with Novartis in Dundee (and our pending house move), it will be a busy four months!

(2) Jarret’s paper has been published in Polymer Chemistry. Both he and I are really proud of this work – it reports the synthesis and characterisation of a series of ABA triblock copolymers. Variation of the mid-block with different substituted propiolactones has neat effects on the thermal properties of the end products. It is Open Access so the world can read it for free. Click here.

TOC Graphic

(3) Emily’s review on high refractive index polymers has been published in Polymer International. This is the first such review that has comprehensively captured the research in intrinsic HRIPs, and is an important foundation for future research in the area. Click here for access.


“Summer” “Barbecue”

It was as summer as it gets in Scotland. Sun, cool breeze, no rain. You could even wear shorts, if you were so inclined. A lovely night had by all. Team Chef Richie W and Sous Chef Kevin manned the barbecue. Even though Batman attended the party, he refused to engage in the group photo shenanigans to protect his secret identity. Everyone ate too much food.

Winners: Argentina, Netherlands, Hungry People.

Losers: Belgium, Costa Rica.