Australian Journal of Chemistry Australian Journal of Chemistry Society

Research Fronts

Seventh Asia-Pacific Conference of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry (APCTCC7)

The Seventh Asia-Pacific Conference of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry (APCTCC7) was held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, from 25 to 28 January 2016. The papers in this Research Front showcase the latest research in theoretical and computational chemistry, including cutting edge applications in drug discovery, materials science, sustainable resources, and nanotechnology.

35th Australasian Polymer Symposium

The 35th Australasian Polymer Symposium took place on the Gold Coast, Queensland, from 12 to 15 July 2015, and encompassed three-and-a-half days of stimulating presentations covering numerous areas of polymer science. Guest edited by Amanda Ellis and Greg Qiao, this Research Front presents six papers covering a range of topics.

5th Molecular Materials Meeting (M3) @ Singapore

This Research Front contains a selection of papers presented at the 5th Molecular Materials Meeting in Singapore (M3@Singapore) from 3 to 5 August 2015 that was organized by the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) of A*STAR, Singapore. The conference brought together leading researchers in the disciplines of chemistry, materials science, physics, biology, medicine, and engineering to discuss advances in molecular materials and cultivate cross-disciplinary research.

Natural Products Chemistry

Natural products chemistry is central to studies across multiple disciplines, such as medicinal chemistry, molecular biology, protein chemistry, and chemical ecology, and branches within those disciplines. It has evolved from the use of crude preparations of plant materials to the isolation of pure compounds of unknown structures. This research front contains a selection of papers that showcase current research in natural products chemistry.

SynthCon3

This Research Front presents a taste of the chemistry from SynthCon3, a meeting held in April 2015 at Fergusson's winery in the Yarra Valley. It showcases the latest developments in synthetic organic chemistry research conducted in university and industrial locations throughout Australasia.

2014 RACI National Congress

This Research Front contains a selection of papers authored by speakers at the National Congress of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute held in Adelaide, 7–12 December 2014, which integrated all areas of chemistry under one roof in the Adelaide Convention Centre.

RACI Research Awards 2014

As part of an agreement with the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) to highlight the recipients of RACI research awards and draw attention to their work, Australian Journal of Chemistry began publishing original accounts, reviews and articles by awardees in late 2014. This Research Front contains several contributions from the RACI award winners announced in Adelaide in December 2014.

Dedication to Richard Langler

This Research Front is a tribute to the life and work of Professor Richard Francis Langler who died on 3 February 2014 in Bedford, Nova Scotia. Rick was a dedicated and inspirational teacher, and a rigorous researcher and steadfast mentor, especially for undergraduate researchers at Mount Allison University. He was one of those rare professors who had an enormous impact on his students, scientifically and pedagogically driven by the most sincere passion for organic chemistry. Rick has published an impressive 129 papers over his academic career (35 in Australian Journal of Chemistry) and contributed to textbooks. Rick’s attention to scientific detail was complemented with his thorough, direct nature and dry sense of humour, and reflected in his ability to ask the pointed and important questions at any scientific gathering.

Dedication to Des Brown

This Research Front is dedicated to Desmond Joseph Brown, formerly of the John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU, whom we always referred to as ‘Des’. An honorary member of the RACI and an eminent organic chemist who influenced the careers of many chemists, Des was a graduate of the University of Sydney and was awarded PhD and DSc degrees by the University of London. His detailed obituary has been published in Chemistry in Australia, July 2014, pp. 28–29.

Fluorine Chemistry

Fluorine chemistry is a diverse area of research. Fluorinated molecules find application in many important disciplines within the Australian research landscape, such as pharmaceutical science, materials science, radiochemistry, protein science, and catalysis. This Research Front provides further evidence of the diversity of fluorine chemistry research in Australia.

International Year of Crystallography 2014

Crystallography is one of the most powerful analytical techniques in the chemist’s toolbox. It can determine the geometric structure of molecules with unrivalled precision, as well as give detailed information on the solid state packing arrangement of atoms and molecules. This information is key to understanding fundamental principles as diverse as the way a protein works or why a material is magnetic.

Molecular Magnetism

This special issue is dedicated to featuring the excellent research that is ongoing in the field. There are two Review articles, one dedicated to polyoxometalate-supported lanthanoid single-molecule magnets and the other focussed on two-dimensional coordination polymers with spin crossover functionality. The issue also contains several Focus and Research articles detailing the magnetic properties of novel molecular complexes, clusters, coordination polymers and solid state materials.

Physical Organic Chemistry

The selection of invited papers in this Research Front is just a snapshot of the variety of research that is currently being performed under the broad category ‘physical organic chemistry’. It is this diversity of science and the constant developments that will keep this field exciting in the future.

34th Australasian Polymer Symposium

This Research Front contains papers collected from the 34th Australasian Polymer Symposium (34APS) which was held in Darwin, Northern Territory, from 7 to 10 July 2013. These works illustrate both the multidisciplinary nature and the breadth and depth of contemporary polymer science and engineering that was discussed at this meeting.

Fragment-Based Drug Discovery

A two-day workshop ‘Fragment-Based Drug Design Down Under’ was held at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Parkville, in November 2012. This Research Front captures the spirit of this workshop and highlights some of the leading work undertaken in Australia in this rapidly developing area.

Third Molecular Materials Meeting (M3) @ Singapore

On 14–16 January 2013, the 3rd Molecular Materials Meeting (M3) @ Singapore was successfully held at Biopolis, a biomedical hub of Singapore hosting key research institutes of A*STAR and research and development laboratories of multinational corporations. This year, the M3 @ Singapore follows the past practice to publish a commemorative Research Front comprising selected papers presented at the conference.

SynthCon2

SynthCon is a biennial meeting of the synthetic organic chemistry community founded in 2011. In April 2013, SynthCon2 was held in the Yarra Valley with over 50 attendees from around Australia. This Research Front comprises a collection of papers that examine the chemistry of this meeting.

Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry

Deciphering the biological and clinical significance of the proteins is investigated by mass spectrometry in a relatively new field, named proteomics. Mass spectrometry is, however, also used in chemistry for many years. In this Research Front we try to show the potential use of mass spectrometry in chemical, environmental and biomedical research and also to illustrate the applications of mass spectrometry in proteomics.

Coordination Polymers

This Research Front, dedicated to Coordination Polymers (materials also known as metal-organic frameworks), comprises a selection of papers representing the current look of this rapidly growing field. These materials have crystalline porous structures with potential applications in areas such as gas storage, separations, catalysis, biomedicine, and sensing.

Beckwith Symposium

The papers collected for this Research Front are authored by friends of Professor Athel Beckwith who attended the Beckwith Memorial Symposium held in his honour in 2012. The introduction sets the symposium and the papers in context of Athel’s distinguished career and contributions to chemistry.

Flow Chemistry

The increasing use of flow chemistry techniques in both research and industry suggests that flow-based chemistry will have significant impact on chemical synthesis. This Research Front showcases some of the cutting edge research that is being conducted in this rapidly emerging field.

12th Eurasia Conference on Chemical Sciences (EuAsC2S-12)

This Research Front comprises a series of papers by authors from the 12th Eurasia Conference (EuAsC2S-12) on Chemical Sciences. While all previous conferences have been held in Asia or the Middle East, EuAsC2S-12 took place at the Hotel Corfu Chandris on the island of Corfu, Greece, from 16 to 21 April 2012 with the aim of encouraging and enhancing the participation of European scientists, thus helping to make the conferences more widely known.

Do We Know All About Ionic Liquids?

The 5th Australasian Symposium on Ionic Liquids was held in May 2012 in Clayton, Australia, and brought together internationally recognised researchers in a discipline that crosses borders incorporating theory, chemistry, and engineering. This Research Front, dedicated to ionic liquids, comprises a selection of papers representing the current look of this emerging field.

Dedication to Roger Bishop

This Research Front outlines Roger Bishop's leadership of research in crystal engineering and supramolecular chemistry, as celebrated at the Crystal Engineering symposium held at the University of New South Wales in November 2011 and in the special papers presented in this Research Front.

Second Molecular Materials Meeting (M3) @ Singapore

This Research Front comprises selected papers that were presented at the 2nd Molecular Materials Meeting in Singapore (M3@Singapore) from 9 to 11 January 2012 that was organized by the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) of A*STAR, Singapore. The conference brought together leading researchers in the disciplines of chemistry, materials science, physics, biology, medicine and engineering to discuss the advances in molecular materials and cultivate cross-disciplinary research.

Second International Collaborative and Cooperative Chemistry Symposium

This Research Front contains contributions in the areas of synthetic organic methodology, green chemistry, medicinal and biological chemistry, polymer and materials chemistry, and in-depth spectroscopy using magnetic circular dichroism, which were presented at the 2nd International Collaborative and Cooperative Chemistry Symposium (2nd ICCCS) from 30 October to 2 November 2011 at the University of Queensland.

33rd Australasian Polymer Symposium

This Research Front arose from the 33rd Australasian Polymer Symposium (33APS) held in Hobart, Tasmania, from 12 to 15 February 2012. The APS is the flagship meeting for polymer science in Australia and, over the years, the symposium has developed a strong reputation for bringing together the latest polymer research from top international and Australian polymer scientists. This Research Front includes some of the best contributions to 33APS.

Dedication to Allan White

This Research Front is dedicated to Allan White on the occasion of his 75th birthday. It celebrates his contribution to Australian chemistry through his achievements in inorganic chemistry, and his extensive collaborations.

Artificial Photosynthesis: Energy, Nanochemistry, and Governance

The introduction sets the papers collected for this Research Front which arose from the 2011 Lord Howe Island conference on Global Artificial Photosynthesis in the context of the scientific and governance challenges for a Global Solar Fuels project. This Research Front represents the first dedicated to such a theme and its significance is highlighted by the fact that 2012 was the United Nations’ Year of Sustainable Energy for All.

Physical and Biophysical Chemistry

This Research Front is aligned with the BIOPHYSCHEM2011 meeting, a joint conference of the Australian Society for Biophysics and the Physical Chemistry Division of the RACI, which was held at the University of Wollongong from 3 to 6 December 2011. Research across the physical chemistry and biophysics disciplines is strong and lively in Australia and the multidisciplinary nature of these studies is a feature, with links connecting basic biological science and applications to physical chemistry processes to nanotechnological applications, and vice versa.

Nanomedicine

This Research Front comprises papers describing research in the field of nanomedicine.

Organoboron Chemistry

This Research Front highlights research presented during the Boronic Acids Symposium held at Pacifichem 2010 in December 2010. Over 40 researchers from academia and industry presented talks and posters as part of the symposium and 11 Pacifichem participants share their work here.

Molecular Materials Meeting (M3@Singapore)

This research front contains a selection of papers presented at the Molecular Materials Meeting (M3) in Singapore. Inaugurated in January 2011, M3 was organized by Singapore's A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering. Focusing on understanding materials at the molecular level and harnessing their properties for innovative solutions to today's technological challenges, this conference brought out the ‘big ideas’ from its international participation of prominent scientists

N-Heterocyclic Carbenes

This Research Front offers a glimpse of N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs). Contributions include highlights on ‘amidic’ NHCs and ‘abnormal’ NHCs, a review on mesoionic triazolylidene ‘click’ carbene ligands, synthetic work related to nucleophilic carbene-catalyzed cycloaddition reactions, NHC-promoted Rauhut-Currier reactions, a gallium ‘isoelectronologue’ of heterocyclic carbenes, an ionic liquid-derived imidazol-2-ylidene and its metal complexes, an approach to hydrogen storage and activation by nucleophilic singlet carbenes, new reactions of rhodium complexes of six-membered ring NHCs, and NHCs on gold surfaces.

32nd APS

This Research Front presents papers from the 32nd Australasian Polymer Symposium, 13–16 February, 2011 at Coffs Harbour, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Molecular Modelling 2011

This Research Front comprises a selection of papers, contributed by attendees at the conference ‘Molecular Modelling – 2010: Advances in Biomolecular and Materials Modelling’ (MM2010) held in Melbourne, Australia from 28 November to 1 December, 2010 and represents a wide scope of molecular modelling research ‘from bio to nano’.

Nuclear Radiation

This Research Front on Marie Curie is introduced with a brief history of the discovery of natural and artificial radioactivity, which led to an understanding of the atom, the transmutation of elements, and the discovery of the neutron and the positron.

Women in Chemistry

2011 is the International Year of Chemistry. It marks a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well being of humankind. The year 2011 also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry being awarded to Madame Marie Curie. This Research Front is a fitting opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women to science.

The First International Collaborative and Cooperative Chemistry Symposium

The First International Collaborative and Cooperative Chemistry Symposium (1-ICCCS) took place on 15 and 16 November 2010 at the National University of Singapore. This is one of a number of symposia designed to foster collaborations in which chemists from Asia and the Asia-Pacific region are brought together to discuss recent advances in all fields of chemistry. Contributions from participants at the 1-ICCCS, the theme of which was Frontiers in Molecular Design and Synthesis, make up this Research Front.

Molecular Imaging

This Research Front comprises papers describing research in the field of molecular imaging.

Photoactive and Electroactive Dendrimers

In the past 20 years several emerging topics in Chemistry have stimulated the enthusiasm and creativity of researchers. One of them is certainly that of dendritic molecules. Originally, the interest about dendrimers was in the synthetic challenge represented by the construction of macromolecules with controlled structure following the idea of ‘branching branches’. With the successive development of reliable and convenient strategies for the preparation of dendrimers, the interest moved progressively from synthesis and structure to functions. This collection of papers will enable the readers to appreciate the progresses made on photoactive and electroactive dendrimers, and to glimpse some of the scientific challenges and applicative opportunities in this research area.

Biophysical Chemistry

The papers in this Research Front provide an overview of some of the work presented at the first Australian Biophysical Chemistry Workshop (6–10 April, 2010) at the University of Adelaide. It is hoped that this Research Front will demonstrate that the physical chemical approach has great potential for delivering fundamental information necessary for a deep understanding of biological systems and encourage further physical chemists to tackle the fascinating complexity of biology.

Heron 5

The 5th Heron Island Conference on Reactive Intermediates and Unusual Molecules: Synthesis and Mechanism (Heron5), organized by the authors, took place on Heron Island, the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia, 10–16 July, 2010. The 15 papers published in this Research Front capture the flavour of the meeting.

Metal-based Drugs

All the contributions in this Research Front on metal-based drugs are concerned with organometallic compounds and the papers reflect the diversity of the types of compounds being studied.

11th Pacific Polymer Conference

The 11th Pacific Polymer Conference brought together experts in all fields of polymer science. In this Research Front some of the recent advances presented at the meeting are highlighted.

Benzyne Chemistry

In this Research Front, the history of o-benzyne from its early beginnings as an unobservable reactive intermediate until its present status as a very well characterized but still theoretically challenging molecule with important applications in synthesis is reviewed. The m- and p-benzynes, tridehydrobenzenes, and benzdiynes are also known, and p-benzyne is a key intermediate in the action of a potent class of ene-diyne anti-tumour compounds.

Marine Natural Products

This Research Front comprises papers describing research in the field of marine natural products chemistry (MNP).

Heterocyclic Chemistry at the Southern Highlands Conference

With ever increasing sophistication in the tools for measurement and characterization of molecules and the growing understanding of biological systems at the molecular level, heterocyclic chemistry will expand in its relevance and will continue to provide exciting new challenges for chemists into the future. In this Research Front, some of the frontier research presented at the 2009 Southern Highlands Conference, 30 August–1 September 2009 is highlighted.

Crystal Engineering

This Research Front comprises papers describing research in crystal engineering as well as some showing a fascinating link to the field of ionic liquids.

Supramolecular Polymers

In the past few decades, supramolecular polymers have emerged as novel materials with a wide variety of different functions. This Research Front is focussed on several aspects of supramolecular polymers.

Molecular Modelling 2010

The conference ‘Molecular Modelling – 2010: Advances in Biomolecular and Materials Modelling’ (MM2010) was held in Melbourne, Australia from 28 November to 1 December, 2010. The meeting was organized by AMMA, the Association of Molecular Modellers of Australasia, the Asia/Pacific Chapter of the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society (MGMS), and was held at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS). This Research Front comprises a selection of papers, contributed by MM2010 attendees and representing a wide scope of molecular modelling research ‘from bio to nano’.

Molecular Logic

This Research Front comprises a series of papers intended to give a flavour of the exciting and rapidly growing research area of molecular logic. The study of the logic implications of the physico-chemical behaviour of molecules introduces new concepts in the field of chemistry and stimulates the ingenuity of researchers engaged in the bottom-up approach to nanodevices.

Forensic Chemistry

This Research Front comprises papers describing research in forensic chemistry, with a focus on illicit drugs and national security.

RAFT Chemistry

This Research Front on RAFT polymerization came about as a consequence of the symposium ‘Materials of The Future, Science of Today: Radical Polymerization – The Next Stage’, which took place in Melbourne, Australia from 15 to 17 February 2009, using the facilities of the University of Melbourne’s Bio21 Institute. For the most part, the Research Front comprises papers by speakers from that symposium.

Bioconjugate Chemistry

This Research Front is dedicated to Bioconjugate Chemistry, an interdisciplinary field concerned with developing efficient methods for the chemical modification of biological molecules which encompasses both in vitro and in vivo applications. The motivation for this Research Front emerged from the very successful Inaugural Australian Workshop on Bioconjugate Chemistry held at the University of New South Wales in March 2008.

Alan Sargeson

This Research Front is dedicated to Professor Alan M. Sargeson whose contributions to not only inorganic chemistry but Australian and international science were extraordinary. Over his career, Alan published more than 400 papers and more than 50 were published in Australian Journal of Chemistry. Alan passed away in December 2008.

Supramolecular Magnetic Materials

The papers in this Research Front provide a glimpse of current developments in the very broad field encompassed by the banner ‘Supramolecular Magnetic Materials’. Armed with increasingly sophisticated synthetic strategies and understandings of structure–property relationships within this area, as derived from this and other work, we can anticipate ever more impressive systems to emerge in future years. Several interesting research contributions that broadly span magnetic clusters and spin-crossover systems follow.

UQ-NUS Joint Symposium

This Research Front has captured the flavour of the University of Queensland–National University of Singapore (NUS) joint symposium (SAuCCCS-2) held in 2008 on the 15 and 16 December. A selection of papers are presented in the areas of organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organometallics, materials, nanotechnology, chemical education, medicinal chemistry, theoretical and computational chemistry, and surface chemistry.

30th Australasian Polymer Symposium

The 30th Australasian Polymer Symposium was held in December 2008. This special ‘polymer’ issue of Australian Journal of Chemistry contains a compilation of papers from the keynote and invited speakers, showing the depth and vibrancy of the science presented at the meeting.

ORGANIC-08

The 23rd RACI Organic Division Conference, ORGANIC-08, was held at Wrest Point, Hobart, Tasmania, from 7 to 12 December 2008. Topics covered exemplified the diversity of our discipline, and included natural products chemistry and synthesis, new synthetic methods and catalysis, bioorganic and medicinal chemistry, physical and mechanistic chemistry, and supramolecular chemistry and nanotechnology.

Carbohydrates and Other Sticky Topics

This Research Front comprises papers revealing the importance of carbohydrates in various cellular processes, and the important contributions to this field by Robert Vyent Stick.

Ionic Liquids — Latest Advances

The third in the series of the very successful Australasian Symposia on Ionic Liquids (ASIL-3) was held on 15–16 May 2008 at Clayton, Australia. The breadth of subjects presented in ASIL-3 reflects the diversity of the subject, with topics ranging from batteries to biopolymers, pharmaceuticals to corrosion inhibition. A selected subset of these is presented in this Research Front.

Microwave-assisted Organic and Polymer Synthesis

The first ACS symposium on Microwave-Assisted Chemistry: Organic and Polymer Synthesis was held as part of the ACS National meeting in Philadelphia, in August 2008. The symposium brought together scientists interested in the use of microwave irradiation from a variety of disciplines such as organic chemistry, green chemistry, polymer science, and nanoscience. The papers presented in this Research Front provide just a glance of the multitude of opportunities and advantages that can be achieved by the use of microwave irradiation in chemistry.

Photochemistry

This Research Front comprises papers describing research in the field of photochemistry.

Organoborons

Given the growing interest and the expanding new chemistry of organoboron compounds, it is quite timely that this field is highlighted in this Research Front which includes papers in several currently active areas of research. As new features of organoboron compounds continue to be uncovered, and as new applications continue to be developed, the interest in this area of research will continue to expand in several fields of science.

Colloids and Interface Science

This Research Front comprises a selection of papers from the Australian Colloid and Interface Symposium (ACIS), which was held at Coogee Beach, Sydney from 4 to 8 February 2007. The ACIS 2007 program highlighted current research in colloid and interface science from both fundamental and technological viewpoints, as well as highlighting some of the exciting new areas in which the discipline is having a substantial impact.

Nanomaterials

The first Australian national nanoscience and nanotechnology conference, ICONN 2006, was held at the Convention Centre, Brisbane, in July 2006. The papers published in this Research Front represent some of the highlights of the Nanomaterials Symposium at ICONN 2006.

Click Chemistry

The papers in this Research Front address many of the key features of click chemistry and present some of the myriad synthetic possibilities. Concrete examples are provided in an insightful review by Evans which provides further evidence for the rapid adoption of these principles by the materials synthesis community.

Bionanochemistry

This Research Front comprises papers focussing on research in bionanochemistry.

Ionic Liquids: The Fundamental Issues

Ionic liquids challenge conventional descriptions of fluids in a variety of ways. In the past, it has been common to oversimplify their behaviour and to ignore the complexity that was possible, given the burgeoning range of ionic liquids available. Here we discuss what is meant by the term ‘ionic liquid’ and some of the key fundamental issues in understanding their properties. This Research Front collects together a variety of papers that constructively challenge, investigate, and extend our understanding of the field of ionic liquids.

Complexity in Chemistry

This Research Front comprises papers revealing that complex systems display the key properties of emergence and self-organization.

The Emergence of RAFT Polymerization

Radical polymerization is one of the most widely used processes for the commercial production of high molecular weight polymers. The last ten years has seen the emergence of effective techniques for implementing radical polymerization characteristics associated with living polymerization. This Research Front highlights some of this research into RAFT Polymerization.

Single Crystal to Single Crystal Transformations

The past decade has witnessed escalating interest in solid-state phase transitions that involve significant changes in structure without appreciable loss of crystal mosaicity–single crystal to single crystal (SC-SC) transformation. The two most active areas of interest with regard to SC-SC transformations are the development of porous materials and solventless topochemical reactions. Recent new results representing the current state-of-the-art with regard to both of these topics are reported in this Research Front.

Scanning Probe Microscopies

From direct atom manipulation and nano-fabrication, to single molecule sensing and probing energy landscapes, the tools of the nanotech age are here. Scanned probe microscopies (SPM) offer opportunities to directly interact with matter in native environments and their evolution shows no signs of slowing.

Liquid Beam Mass Spectrometry

The growing versatility of liquid beam injection as a tool for studying a wide variety of physical and chemical phenomena, ranging from characterizing local molecular structures and energy transfer at liquid–vacuum interfaces to bio-analytical mass spectrometry is illustrated in the studies showcased in this Research Front.

Ionic Liquids - the Neglected Issues

There has been an explosion of interest in ionic liquids in the last five years that has resulted in the discovery of a vast number of new ionic liquids with a wide range of interesting applications. Although ionic liquids are invariably described as highly stable green solvents, thorough investigations quantifying their purity, stability, biodegradability, and toxicity have lagged behind the pace of other research in the area. This Research Front addresses these key issues and summarizes the approaches that have been developed for recycling ionic liquids.