Chemistry Nexus

by WebElements: the periodic table on the web

Wondering why the most expensive diamond ever (the Oppenheimer Blue, £35 million) is blue – it is because of boron impurities, element 5 in the periodic table.

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May 19th, 2016

Posted In: Chemistry

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory reports that scientists at the US Brookhaven National Laboratory and the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center caused an individual carbon nanotube to emit light for the first time. This may have significance for many of the proposed applications for carbon nanotubes including in electronics and photonics.

The light emission is the result of a process called “electron-hole recombination.” By running an electric current through a carbon nanotube – a long, hollow cylindrical molecule that is only one and a half nanometers (a billionth of a meter) in diameter – negatively charged electrons in the nanotube molecule combine with positively charged “holes,” which are locations in the molecule where electrons are missing.

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December 13th, 2009

Posted In: Chemistry, Nanoscience and nanotechnology

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A NASA scientist has discovered sugar and several related organic compounds in two meteorites — providing the first evidence that another fundamental building block of life on Earth might have come from outer space.

Dr. George Cooper and coworkers from the NASA Ames Research Center found the sugary compounds in two carbon-rich (or carbonaceous) meteorites. Previously, researchers had found inside meteorites other organic, carbon-based compounds that play major roles in life on Earth, such as amino acids and carboxylic acids, but no sugars.

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December 10th, 2009

Posted In: Biological chemistry, Chemistry

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Nature reports that a new form of carbon was created when physicists at the Australian National University in bombarded a carbon target with a laser. As the carbon reached temperatures of around 10000 °C, it formed an intersecting web of carbon tubes called a ‘nanofoam’. This is said to be a fifth form of carbon known after graphite, diamond, buckminsterfullerenes (buckyballs), and nanotubes.

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December 9th, 2009

Posted In: Chemistry, Nanoscience and nanotechnology

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The Hubble telescope has identified oxygen and carbon in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet for the first time. The oxygen and carbon are evaporating from a “hot jupiter” planet HD 209458b, orbiting a star lying 150 light-years from Earth. HD 209458b is only 4.3 million miles from its Sun-like star, completing an orbit in less than 4 days.

This is not a sign of life!

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December 9th, 2009

Posted In: Atmospheric chemistry, Chemistry

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Mosaic_of_river_channel_and_ridge_area_on_Titan
Lands, rivers and methane springs: latest images of Titan. Titan’s atmosphere is mostly nitrogen but there is also methane and many other organic compounds.

This mosaic of three frames provides unprecedented detail of the high ridge area including the flow down into a major river channel from different sources.

Mosaic of river channel and ridge area on Titan. Credit: ESA/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona.

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December 8th, 2009

Posted In: Atmospheric chemistry, Chemistry, Environmental chemistry

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Workers in Russia and Los Alamos, USA report in Nature1 superconductivity in boron-doped diamond synthesized at high pressure (nearly 100,000 atmospheres) and temperature (2500-2800 K). Electrical resistivity, magnetic susceptibility, specific heat and field-dependent resistance measurements show that boron-doped diamond (carbon) is a bulk, type-II superconductor below the superconducting transition temperature Tc 4 K.

Boron has one less electron than carbon and, because of its small atomic radius, is relatively easily incorporated into diamond.

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May 9th, 2004

Posted In: Chemistry, Materials chemistry

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