From helical to planar chirality by on-surface chemistry

Scientists from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry CAS and Institute of Physics CAS succeeded in imaging chemical transformations of single molecules at the silver surface to demonstrate a chirality transfer in these reactions. Employing the newest methods of scanning probe microscopy they achieved an ultimate resolution in visualising chemical bonds between individual atoms to determine the exact molecular structure along with its chirality.

Significant results 2016-1
Transformation of individual molecules and their chirality on the silver surface
The picture shows a transformation of the optically pure 3D helical molecule (an optimised model) into planar 2D aromatics adsorbed on the silver surface (an experimental AFM image) that exhibits planar chirality.

Stetsovych O., Švec M., Vacek J., Vacek Chocholoušová J., Jančařík A., Rybáček J., Kosmider K., Stará I.G., Jelínek P., Starý I.:
From helical to planar chirality by on-surface chemistry.
Nature Chemistry 79: 213–218 (2017)

In cooperation with: Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Contacts: Dr. Ivo Starý [ivo.starý@uochb.cas.cz].

A non-exploding alkali metal drop on water: From blue solvated electrons to bursting molten hydroxide

Due to their reactivity electrons in water have only a very short lifetime of the order of µs. At the time of their discovery using flash photolysis it was predicted they could never be seen by a naked eye. This is not true. By careful manipulation researchers managed to keep the vigorous reaction of the sodium/potassium alloy just below explosion. For more than a 1 second electrons were massively released into water with their blue color clearly visible by a naked eye and spectrum recorded by optical spectrometer.