What's Hot In Chemistry> 2010

Year: 2010

The Top Ten lists in Chemistry feature papers published during the last two years (excluding review articles) that were most cited in current journal articles indexed by Thomson Reuters during a recent two-month period. Papers are ranked according to the latest bimonthly citation count. The articles below are accompanied by expert discussion and analysis (including comments from the papers’ authors) written by one of four veteran scientist-journalists and longtime ScienceWatch.com contributors.


 

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010

Graphene Gold Rush: Papers And Potential Apps Abound

by John Emsley

Kostya NovoselovReports on the flat form of carbon known as graphene now account for nine reports in the current Top Ten in Chemistry. One such paper comes from a team led by graphene’s discoverers, Kostya Novoselov (pictured) and Andre Geim—recently announced as winners of the 2010 Nobel Prize is Physics for their graphene work. The paper reports a method for depositing a single-layer graphene film onto a slide, with the ultimate aim of creating conducting film for liquid crystal devices. This is just one of myriad applications currently being explored for graphene..
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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

Graphene, Platinum, and Polymers Go Mad for Power

by John Emsley

Papers examining graphene account for seven placements in the current Top Ten in Chemistry, including a report on the synthesis of water-soluble graphene capable of conducting electricity, thereby holding the promise of application in displays, transistors, chemical detectors, and other devices. Other chemistry reports pertaining to new forms of energy include reports on a palladium-platinum catalyst for fuel cells, and on benzodithazole polymers for use in solar cells.
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JULY/AUGUST 2010

Glittering Achievement in Gold-Nanoparticle Catalysis

by John Emsley

bottlesThe use of gold as a chemical catalyst continues to advance, notably in a recent report in which gold nanoparticles were used to oxidize styrene to benzaldehyde and styrene oxide. The researchers noted that the size of the nanoparticles significantly affected catalytic activity, with smaller particles proving more effective. Because selective oxidation reactions have industrial applications, such work is significant.
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MAY/JUNE 2010

Carbon Nanotubes Open Up to Graphene Ribbons

by John Emsley

Graphene nanoribbons.Studies of graphene continue to crowd the ranks of chemistry’s most-cited papers published in the last two years. Recent studies have centered on modifying carbon nanotubes into ultra-narrow ribbons of graphene. These nanoribbons, depending on their width, display either metallic conductivity or semiconductivity. Another highly cited chemistry paper describes enhancing thermoelectric performance in silicon nanowires.
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MARCH/APRIL 2010

Using Iridium to Illuminate N-Heterocyclic Carbenes

by John Emsley

Figure: Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis, from the Nolan 
              Group, Univ. of St. Andrews, Scotland, U.K.An international team of chemists recently reported progress in synthesizing and studying iridium complexes with N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligands. Such carbene complexes have attracted interest as catalysts for various reactions, including olefin metathesis, hydrogenation, and isomerization. Further understanding of this ligand family is expected contribute toward a sustainably green chemical industry.
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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010

For Solar-Cell Electrodes, A Graphene Film Festival

by John Emsley

Recent research on solar cells has seen the development of electrodes based on graphene. This material, which is transparent, electrically conducting, and potentially ultra-thin, offers several advantages over other compounds, including lower cost and sustainability. In addition to their applicability in solar cells, these qualities could propel the harnessing of graphene electrodes in a range of electronics in the future.
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