Assistant Professor of Chemistry Chad Risko published a Review article titled "Non-Covalent Intermolecular Interactions in Organic Electronic Materials: Implications for the Molecular Packing vs. Electronic Properties of Acenes" in the American Chemical Society's journal Chemistry of Materials. The manuscript describes how non-covalent interactions can lead to preferential molecular packing motifs of π-conjugated molecules, and provides an overview of the theoretical underpinnings of non-covalent interactions and the computational chemistry approaches used to understand them. Incorporating an understanding of these interactions into the design of organic semiconductors can assist in developing novel materials systems.
Liang and Graham publish in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces - The researchers demonstrated that surface modifying groups can be utilized to influence both film morphology and electrical conductivity in silver nanowire-polymer composites. This work shows that an adsorbed polymer on the silver nanowire surface can be displaced by thiols with varying end groups, and through choice of thiol end group the electrical and morphological properties of the composite, as well as the solvents utilized to disperse the silver nanowires, can be manipulated. Using this approach the authors demonstrate a one-step process for fabricating homogeneous composite transparent electrodes. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2015, 7 (39), pp 21652–21656.Link:
Asistant Professor Susan Odom and group members Aman Preet Kaur, Corrine Elliott, and Selin Ergun reported their results in protecting lithium-ion batteries from overcharge, a dangerous condition that can lead to catastrophic battery failure. The group prepared an organic compound that they incorporated into battery electrolyte, which prevents overcharge by shuttling excess current through the electrolyte through electron-transfer reactions as the electrode surfaces. The results were published in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society in a full paper titled "Overcharge Performance of 3,7-Bis(trifluoromethyl)-N-ethylphenothiazine at High Concentrations in Lithium-Ion Batteries." Citation: J. Electrochem. Soc., 2016, 163, A1-A7.
Research by graduate students Liz Pillar, Evie Zhou and assistant professor Marcelo Guzman was recently published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A. The study entitled “Heterogeneous Oxidation of Catechol” explores the interaction of atmospheric oxidants, such as gaseous ozone and hydroxyl radical, with oxy-aromatic hydrocarbon surfaces under variable relative humidity. The environmental chemistry group found that carboxylic acids and polyhydroxylated biphenyls and terphenyls products can be generated from organic species emitted during combustion processes. The implication of this finding is that heterogeneous reactions provide a channel for the generation of secondary oxidants (hydroxyl radicals, hydroperoxyl radicals, and hydrogen peroxide) during atmospheric processes. The
By Whitney Harder
(Oct. 19, 2015) — Capturing the attention of little minds and chem-enthusiasts across Lexington, the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry will once again host its Chemistry Demonstration Show at 7 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 23. The show will take place in Room 139 of the UK Chemistry-Physics Building, 505 Rose Street.
Chemistry students, faculty and staff will conduct interactive and exciting demonstrations that showcase chemistry. The event celebrates National Chemistry Week and Mole Day, which commemorates Avogadro's Number (6.02 x 1023), a basic measuring unit in chemistry. The theme for this year is "Chemistry Colors Our World."
Prof. Lai-Sheng Wang of Brown University will be presenting this year's Dawson Lecture: "From Planar Boron Clusters to Borophene & Borospherene." This annual lecture commemorates Professor Dawson's leadership in the Department and features speakers noted for the quality, depth and breadth of their research. This lecture is open to the public and will be held in Room 139 of the Chemistry-Physics Building from 4:00-5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 16th. A catered reception will follow in Room 114A&B.
(Oct. 9, 2015) — Robert Grossman, professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry, and Christopher L. Schardl, professor and chair of the UK Department of Plant Pathology, are collaborators on a $461,237 National Institutes of Health grant to study oxidizing enzymes.
Led by Pennsylvania State University’s J. Martin Bollinger, the project will reveal the structures and mechanisms of iron- and 2-(oxo)glutarate-dependent oxygenase enzymes from plants, fungi and soil bacteria.
According to Bollinger's project description, the biosynthetic machinery generating a
By Lori Johnson
Oftentimes, students find themselves struggling to pick a direction to take once they have received their degree. On October 2, 2015, the Chemistry Alumni Board helped to answer some common questions students may have about life after graduation during an informal luncheon with the chemistry graduate students. All graduate students were invited to attend and chat with some alumni board representatives about their respective fields and the paths they took to get there. There were four alumni board members in attendance: Peter Nickias ‘87, Amy Wong ‘94, Jeff Lomprey ‘93 and Hugh Huffman ‘72. Together these individuals represented the wide spectrum of options students may choose from upon entering the workforce.
A large portion of the discussion gravitated towards being a post-doc, and if that was necessary and valuable or if a young scientist could be
By Whitney Harder
(Sept. 22, 2015) — D. Allan Butterfield, professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry and Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA), has been awarded a $413,000, two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to study a new model of Parkinson's disease (PD).
PD is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disease in the United States and is manifested by movement abnormalities, postural instability, loss of smell (anosmia), deposition of the protein, alpha-synuclein, and in late stages, cognitive dysfunction. The brain is attacked by free radicals, many emanating from neuronal mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) to cause damage to proteins
By Whitney Harder
(Sept. 1, 2015) — Kim Woodrum, a senior lecturer in the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry, has been appointed as a committee member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Chemical Education Examinations Institute.
The committee is responsible for producing the 2017 General Chemistry Paired Questions Examination. This exam, and others prepared by the Examinations Institute, is used by many high school and undergraduate chemistry courses in the U.S.
"The appointment to this committee is a significant recognition of stature in the chemistry education community and is an important creative and professional activity. I am sure that you are pleased to have outstanding individuals such as Kim as a member of
By Whitney Harder
(Aug. 17, 2015) — A $6 million National Science Foundation grant will allow researchers at the University of Kentucky, Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, and University of Nebraska to develop unmanned aircraft systems, otherwise known as drone systems, to study atmospheric physics for improved precision agriculture and weather forecasting.
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are currently used in search and rescue, infrastructure inspection and in many other ways to gather information via cameras and specialty sensors. The four-university interdisciplinary team will develop small, affordable systems to measure wind, atmospheric chemistry, soil moisture, and thermodynamic parameters. Doing so will provide meteorologists with data needed to build better forecasting models.
The project, called CLOUD MAP for "Collaboration Leading
We are delighted to have three new faculty members joining the Department as Lecturers this fall. All three are exceptional individuals with diverse scientific interests and great enthusiasm for teaching. Dr. Lisa Blue earned her Ph.D. from UK (Atwood) and spent time in industry before returning. She will teach primarily within the General Chemistry program and also has experience in analytical chemistry. Dr. Joshua Owen is also a UK Ph.D graduate (Butterfield) and will teach in multiple parts of the academic program, from general chemistry to organic chemistry to biochemistry. Dr. Ashley Steelman recently earned her Ph.D. at the University of Alabama (Bonizzoni) working on dendrimer synthesis, characterization, and applications. Like her other colleagues, her range of subjects
By Guy Spriggs
(Aug. 5, 2015) — Started in the summer of 2012 as an intensive “boot camp” to help the University of Kentucky’s new students prepare for college-level calculus, the FastTrack program has become an integral part of efforts to help students transition to the college classroom and set them up for success in the College of Arts and Sciences.
The curriculum for FastTrack has expanded over the last four years, and now gives students an invaluable introduction to UK’s math, biology, chemistry, engineering, Spanish and WRD (Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies). A key part of the program’s continued growth is the recent addition of FOCUS (FastTrack Orientation for College Undergraduate Success), a component built around developing the non-academic skills students need to achieve in coursework.
By Terrance Wade
(Aug. 3, 2015) - The Department of Chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences will host a "Mathematics of Physical Chemistry Boot Camp" to prepare students for mathematical and numerical approaches they will encounter in class and in research.
Comprising two sessions, the free boot camp will take place from 8 a.m. to early afternoon Saturday, Aug. 22, and Saturday, Aug. 29.
By Whitney Harder
(July 17, 2015) — Summer: a time to catch up on neglected projects, reconnect with old friends and tackle that summer reading list. Whether it's an inspiring autobiography, the latest science fiction, or re-reading the classics, many are immersing themselves in a range of literature this season. For professors at the University of Kentucky, they are not only cracking open new books, but reflecting on those that have impacted their lives and careers in surprising ways.
Read below for the first in a series of professors reflecting on the books that shaped them.
J. C. Hubbard Professor of Chemistry
Quite a few books have resonated with me over the years. The earliest would be the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy by Tolkien. Beyond the story (which was of
By Chris Shoals
(July 1, 2015) — Student-athletes from all eight of Kentucky's spring sports teams combined to earn a total of 84 spots on the Southeastern Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll, Commissioner Greg Sankey announced on Tuesday.
UK's honorees included 22 baseball players, 14 softball players, 13 women’s track and field members, 13 men’s track and field members, eight women’s tennis players, four men’s tennis players, six men’s golfers and four women’s golfers. A total of 1,191 student-athletes from around the league earned spots on the honor roll, which is based on grades from the 2014 summer, 2014 fall and 2015 spring terms. In order to make the SEC Academic Honor Roll, a student-athlete must have a 3.0 grade-point average for the preceding academic year or his/her entire collegiate career, be at least a sophomore in academic standing, and meet
By Whitney Harder
(June 12, 2015) — The drive for miniaturization of devices is clear, as each new version of the iPhone, cameras, GPS systems, computers and so on becomes smaller and more powerful. Such miniaturization is possible thanks to advances in the microelectronics industry, yet this field could be revolutionized by moving from the micro to the “nano” scale by finding a way to use nanoparticles — particles between 1 and 100 nanometers in size.
To put that in perspective, consider that a nanometer is one millionth of a millimeter and approximately 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.
By Sarah Schuetze
They conduct lab research and teach classes, but they are neither faculty nor graduate students. Postdoctoral scholars, or postdocs, serve an important role at UK, a research institution. However, they are scattered across various departments and have not always had an opportunity to meet and share their work.
Professor Susan Odom in Chemistry said, “Most postdocs don’t have any kind of formal gatherings that are specifically targeted toward them.“ In 2014, Odom collaborated with Matt Casselman, a postdoc in Chemistry, to organize UK’s Society of Postdoctoral Scholars (SOPS). SOPS offers weekly activities like professional development workshops or research presentations.
On Friday, June
By Jenny Wells
(May 8, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today approved University Research Professorships for 2015-16 for four faculty members. The professorships carry a $40,000 award to support research. Funds for these annual awards are provided by the Office of the Vice President for Research.
Now in its 39th year, the University Research Professors program's purpose is to enhance and encourage scholarly research productivity, to provide an opportunity for concentrated research effort for selected faculty members, and to recognize outstanding research achievement by members of the faculty.
The 2015-16 University Research Professors are:
Lance E. De Long, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, has had a long and uninterrupted record of high quality research in the area of