21 Jul 2013
Gold Recovery Goes Green
An environmentally benign sugar — alpha–cyclodextrin, which is derived from starch — acts as a highly selective sequestering agent for the gold salt, potassium tetrabromoaurate. The serendipitous discovery of this green method more...
25 Jan 2013
Science in Highly–Charged Stable Organic Radicals
The discovery of a new class of stable organic radicals, which can accept up to eight electrons and can be switched between diamagnetic and paramagnetic states, is the outcome of a multidisciplinary effort from Northwestern, more...
27 Aug 2012
Ferroelectricity in Nature
The discovery of a new class of organic ferroelectric materials, which exhibit switchable electrical polarization, is the outcome of a collaborative project with the Stupp more...
04 Nov 2013
Fluke Turns Gold Green
A chance discovery may have given the world a cheap and environmentally friendly process for mining gold – still one of the most environmentally destructive industries in the world. While searching for a three–dimensional extended cubic structure (CD–MOF), Dr Zhichang Liu obtained a shiny pale–brown precipitate – a complex between potassium tetrabromoaurate and alpha–cyclodextrin, which just happens to be extremely good at separating out this gold salt, even in the presence of other (precious) metals. The process is simple, selective, scalable and super cost efficient. All it requires is for more...
23 Sep 2013
Zhixue Scouts Out a Pot of Honey
After a brief sojourn as a senior research engineer in the defense industry in New Jersey, ex–postdoctoral scholar Zhixue Zhu (2009—2012) has moved back to Illinois to take up a position as a senior scientist/engineer at Honeywell in Des Plaines. During his time in the group at NU, Zhixue pulled off some remarkable synthetic feats, particularly in the area of large donor–acceptor oligorotaxanes. Congratulations Dr Zhu!