RUHR EXPLORES SOLVATION SCIENCE

RUHR EXPLORES SOLVATION SCIENCE

We shape a new scientific discipline, inspire the scientists of tomorrow, and enable future technologies

WE ARE RESOLV

WE ARE RESOLV

Over 200 scientists from about 50 research groups in 7 institutions

ZEMOS: Home of Solvation Science @RUB

ZEMOS: Home of Solvation Science @RUB

The first research building for Solvation Science in the world. Hosts over 100 scientists, it's home to 6 disciplines.

WHAT is RESOLV?

The Cluster of Excellence RESOLV is a joint research project of about fifty research groups from seven institutions in the German Ruhr area. Since 2012, we use cutting-edge experimental and computational techniques to understand the role of solvents at the molecular detail in the most diverse chemical processes. For example, we investigate the influence of water in vital biological processes as well as the effects of solvents on synthesis and catalytic reactions. Our research lays the foundations for major advances in key green and medical technologies. RESOLV is funded with 28 Mio. EUR by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Find out more

Quick links

FACTS &
FIGURES

GRADUATE
SCHOOL

TECHNOLOGY
TRANSFER

International
network

GENDER
EQUALITY

Latest News or browse all

Posted on
Stereographic photograph (1903) of the captured Man-eater of Calcutta in the Calcutta zoo. The tiger had earlier claimed 200 human victims.

#Asktheauthor: How carbon atoms cross energy barriers (and tigers don't)

3 Questions to RESOLV scientist Wolfram Sander about his recent Angewandte Chemie publication on heavy atom tunneling.

1. What is the new discovery that you made?

In our experiments we found that the molecule Monodeuterated 1,5-dimethyl-semi-bullvalene undergoes rearrangement from a less stable to a more stable configuration at temperatures as low as 3 K (-271 oC) despite an activation barrier of 4.8 kcal/mol. We ascribe these results to carbon atom tunneling, a very rare quantum mechanical effect. Our experiments confirm an earlier theoretical prediction for this beaviour of the dimethylsemibullvalene. 

2. What is its significance? 

We found another example (of the few out there) that carbon atoms can behave like waves, not only like particles. Therefore, they can overcome an energetic barrier even if they don’t have enough energy to cross that barrier - this is called tunneling. Imagine a tiger leaving a cage without jumping over the fence, since the fence is too high for it. Fortunately, the tunneling probability depends strongly on the mass of the tunneling particle, and the probability for a tiger to tunnel is negligibly small (although not zero). This is well known to happen for electrons and hydrogen atoms, but it has been rarely proven for relatively heavy atoms like carbon.

The phenomenon of tunneling is of fundamental importance in physics and chemistry. For example electron tunneling is the basis for a very important imaging technology like the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM). And hydrogen tunneling contributes to numerous reactions in chemistry and biology.  

3. Is this related to Solvation Science?

Yes. Tunneling is very much influenced by solvents, but it is totally unknown how.

Link to RUB press release

Link to original publication

Posted on
Stereographic photograph (1903) of the captured Man-eater of Calcutta in the Calcutta zoo. The tiger had earlier claimed 200 human victims.

#Asktheauthor: How carbon atoms cross energy barriers (and tigers don't)

3 Questions to RESOLV scientist Wolfram Sander about his recent Angewandte Chemie publication on heavy atom tunneling.

1. What is the new discovery that you made?

In our experiments we found that the molecule Monodeuterated 1,5-dimethyl-semi-bullvalene undergoes rearrangement from a less stable to a more stable configuration at temperatures as low as 3 K (-271 oC) despite an activation barrier of 4.8 kcal/mol. We ascribe these results to carbon atom tunneling, a very rare quantum mechanical effect. Our experiments confirm an earlier theoretical prediction for this beaviour of the dimethylsemibullvalene. 

2. What is its significance? 

We found another example (of the few out there) that carbon atoms can behave like waves, not only like particles. Therefore, they can overcome an energetic barrier even if they don’t have enough energy to cross that barrier - this is called tunneling. Imagine a tiger leaving a cage without jumping over the fence, since the fence is too high for it. Fortunately, the tunneling probability depends strongly on the mass of the tunneling particle, and the probability for a tiger to tunnel is negligibly small (although not zero). This is well known to happen for electrons and hydrogen atoms, but it has been rarely proven for relatively heavy atoms like carbon.

The phenomenon of tunneling is of fundamental importance in physics and chemistry. For example electron tunneling is the basis for a very important imaging technology like the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM). And hydrogen tunneling contributes to numerous reactions in chemistry and biology.  

3. Is this related to Solvation Science?

Yes. Tunneling is very much influenced by solvents, but it is totally unknown how.

Link to RUB press release

Link to original publication

Our scientific fields

Research Area A

Understanding and Exploiting Solvation in Chemical Processes

 

Read more

Research Area B

Connecting Solvation Dynamics with Biomolecular Function

 

Read more

Research Area C

Ion Solvation
and Charge Transfer at Interfaces

 

Read more

Video: The solvent of life

Water. It’s the most abundant substance on Earth´s surface and in our bodies. But is water a passive spectator in the animated scene of bio-chemical reactions inside our cells? RESOLV scientists investigate the important role that water plays in the most diverse processes, bringing solvation science into the spotlight.

More videos from RESOLV 

Recent Events or browse all

Upcoming Events

Posted on
Stereographic photograph (1903) of the captured Man-eater of Calcutta in the Calcutta zoo. The tiger had earlier claimed 200 human victims.

#Asktheauthor: How carbon atoms cross energy barriers (and tigers don't)

3 Questions to RESOLV scientist Wolfram Sander about his recent Angewandte Chemie publication on heavy atom tunneling.

1. What is the new discovery that you made?

In our experiments we found that the molecule Monodeuterated 1,5-dimethyl-semi-bullvalene undergoes rearrangement from a less stable to a more stable configuration at temperatures as low as 3 K (-271 oC) despite an activation barrier of 4.8 kcal/mol. We ascribe these results to carbon atom tunneling, a very rare quantum mechanical effect. Our experiments confirm an earlier theoretical prediction for this beaviour of the dimethylsemibullvalene. 

2. What is its significance? 

We found another example (of the few out there) that carbon atoms can behave like waves, not only like particles. Therefore, they can overcome an energetic barrier even if they don’t have enough energy to cross that barrier - this is called tunneling. Imagine a tiger leaving a cage without jumping over the fence, since the fence is too high for it. Fortunately, the tunneling probability depends strongly on the mass of the tunneling particle, and the probability for a tiger to tunnel is negligibly small (although not zero). This is well known to happen for electrons and hydrogen atoms, but it has been rarely proven for relatively heavy atoms like carbon.

The phenomenon of tunneling is of fundamental importance in physics and chemistry. For example electron tunneling is the basis for a very important imaging technology like the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM). And hydrogen tunneling contributes to numerous reactions in chemistry and biology.  

3. Is this related to Solvation Science?

Yes. Tunneling is very much influenced by solvents, but it is totally unknown how.

Link to RUB press release

Link to original publication

gss summer school

The Graduate School Solvation Science hosts an annual Summer School at the Ruhr University Bochum. The school always takes place during Whitsuntide and is an integral part of the GSS students' training during their doctoral studies. The fourth GSS Summer School took place from the 6th to the 9th of June, 2017.

International speakers, suggested by the students themselves, are invited to give keynote talks on their research in the field of Solvation Science. The Advanced Laboratory Modules give the students an excellent opportunity to learn new and interesting experimental and theoretical techniques within a specific research topic of their own choice. In 2017 the program of the Summer School comprised a career day, in addition.

Find out more

Publications highlight

T. Schleif, J. Mieres-Perez, S. Henkel, M. Ertelt, W. T. Borden, W. Sander
The Cope Rearrangement of 1,5-Dimethylsemibullvalene-2(4)-d1: Experimental Evidence for Heavy-Atom Tunneling
Angew. Chem. 129 (2017), 10886
DOI: 10.1002/ange.201704787 

K. F. Pfister, S. Baader, M. Baader, S. Berndt, L. J. GoossenBiofuel by isomerizing metathesis of rapeseed oil esters with (bio)ethylene for use in contemporary dieses engines
Science Advances  3 (2017),  e1602624
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602624

C. Schuabb, N. Kumar, S. Pataraia, D. Marx, R. Winter
Pressure modulates the self-cleavage step of the hairpin ribozyme
Nature Communications 8 (2017), 14661
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14661

 

find out more