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).

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Soumya Radhakrishnan at NASA-JPL.
Figure 1. Benzhydryl cation in water ice (Water-ice turns yellow).
Scheme 1: 1a = Benzhydryl radical, 2a = Benzhydryl cation

Solvation Science in outer space conditions helps to understand the origin of life

Easy photoionization of organic radicals in interstellar ice analogues studied in laboratory.

1. Research Summary

My PhD research's aim was to understand the fate of the organic matter in interstellar ices due to the cosmic rays in space. We could demonstrate the easy photoionization of the organic radicals and polyaromatic hydrocarbon (pyrene) studied, since the ionization potential of the compounds is greatly reduced by the water-ice matrix. In light of this and other studies reported earlier, it is safe to conclude that organic chemistry in ice environment is strongly mediated by ionization-whether it is in Earth's cryosphere or in our solar system or in the interstellar space. For this study, we have created interstellar ice analogues, doped them with organic molecules like the polyaromatic hydrocarbon pyrene, radicals (benzhydryl radical, tropyl radical) and subjected them to UV irradiation under laboratory conditions. The common ice analogues studied are H2O ice and varying mixtures of H2O/CO2 ice. Photoionization of these radicals/PAHs in water-ice matrix various UV lights and electron sources prdouces the respective cations and are identified by IR and UV-vis spectroscopy.

 

2. Significance of the research

Prerequisites for the evolution of life on Earth are the coexistence of organic matter and water, and the presence of energy minerals. Astrochemistry research in the past few decades shows that all these conditions may be traced back to primordial interstellar ice grains. These ice grains are micron-sized agglomerates that form the dense molecular clouds that collapse into protostars, protoplanetary disks and ultimately generate solar systems like ours, with planets, moons and asteroids. Interstellar ice grains contain minerals, water, organic molecules like carbon monoxide polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and are constantly subjected to energy from irradiation by cosmic rays in outer space. In our research we have mainly mimicked the conditions of outer space under the laboratory environment, to understand how interstellar ice analogues (H2O ice, H2O/CO2 etc.) containing organics form and change upon photoionization.

 

3. Relation to Solvation Science

We studied the effect of solvation by water on the photoionization of reactive intermediates found in the universe like the radicals and PAHs in presence of water-ice. We also addressed some of the important questions as to how water aides in solvating the ions and electrons formed upon irradiating the organics in ice.1 To this end, matrix isolation technique was used. The technique involves the isolation of reactive species in an unreactive host matrix at low temperatures (3-10 K). These experiments were jointly performed at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany (RUB) and NASA JET Propulsion Laboratory, USA (NASA-JPL). The benzhydryl radical (reactive species, organic matter) was trapped in water ice matrix and was exposed to various light sources (see Scheme 1) to reversibly form the cation as the major product. The water ice helps in stabilizing the cation and the electron formed. All the changes to the reactive intermediates and water ice were monitored using Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy.


Literature

(1) Radhakrishnan, S; Mieres-Perez, J.; Gudipati, M. S.; Sander, W., Photoinduced Reversible Electron Transfer Between the Benzhydryl Radical and Bezhydryl Cation in Amorphous Water-Ice. J. Phys. Chem. A 2017, 121 (34), 6405-6412.
(2) Jewitt, D.; Luu, J., Discovery of the candidate kuiper belt object 1992 gb(1). Nature 1993, 362, 730-732.
(3) Mcnaughton, N. J.; Pillinger, C. T., Comets and the origin of life. Nature 1980, 288, 540-540
(4) Brou, M.; Morbidelli, A.; Bottke, W. F.; Rozehnal, J.; Vokrouhlicky, D.; Nesvorny, D., Constraining the cometary flux through the asteroid belt during the late heavy bombardment. Astron. Astrophys. 2013, 551, A117.
(5) Napier, W. M., Evidence for cometary bombardment episodes. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 2006, 366, 977-982.
(6) Shoemaker, E. M., Asteroid and comet bombardment of the earth. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 1983, 11, 461-494.
(7) Radhakrishnan, S., Matrix isolation and solvation studies of reactive intermediates, 2018, doctoral thesis, Ruhr University Bochum

————————————————————————————————————————————

About the author

Soumya Radhakrishnan from Kerala, India, earned her PhD from RUB in July 2018 under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Wolfram Sander. Part of her research was carried out at the Science Division of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA under the supervision of Dr. Murthy S. Gudipati. She is now a postdoc at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Posted on
Soumya Radhakrishnan at NASA-JPL.
Figure 1. Benzhydryl cation in water ice (Water-ice turns yellow).
Scheme 1: 1a = Benzhydryl radical, 2a = Benzhydryl cation

Solvation Science in outer space conditions helps to understand the origin of life

Easy photoionization of organic radicals in interstellar ice analogues studied in laboratory.

1. Research Summary

My PhD research's aim was to understand the fate of the organic matter in interstellar ices due to the cosmic rays in space. We could demonstrate the easy photoionization of the organic radicals and polyaromatic hydrocarbon (pyrene) studied, since the ionization potential of the compounds is greatly reduced by the water-ice matrix. In light of this and other studies reported earlier, it is safe to conclude that organic chemistry in ice environment is strongly mediated by ionization-whether it is in Earth's cryosphere or in our solar system or in the interstellar space. For this study, we have created interstellar ice analogues, doped them with organic molecules like the polyaromatic hydrocarbon pyrene, radicals (benzhydryl radical, tropyl radical) and subjected them to UV irradiation under laboratory conditions. The common ice analogues studied are H2O ice and varying mixtures of H2O/CO2 ice. Photoionization of these radicals/PAHs in water-ice matrix various UV lights and electron sources prdouces the respective cations and are identified by IR and UV-vis spectroscopy.

 

2. Significance of the research

Prerequisites for the evolution of life on Earth are the coexistence of organic matter and water, and the presence of energy minerals. Astrochemistry research in the past few decades shows that all these conditions may be traced back to primordial interstellar ice grains. These ice grains are micron-sized agglomerates that form the dense molecular clouds that collapse into protostars, protoplanetary disks and ultimately generate solar systems like ours, with planets, moons and asteroids. Interstellar ice grains contain minerals, water, organic molecules like carbon monoxide polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and are constantly subjected to energy from irradiation by cosmic rays in outer space. In our research we have mainly mimicked the conditions of outer space under the laboratory environment, to understand how interstellar ice analogues (H2O ice, H2O/CO2 etc.) containing organics form and change upon photoionization.

 

3. Relation to Solvation Science

We studied the effect of solvation by water on the photoionization of reactive intermediates found in the universe like the radicals and PAHs in presence of water-ice. We also addressed some of the important questions as to how water aides in solvating the ions and electrons formed upon irradiating the organics in ice.1 To this end, matrix isolation technique was used. The technique involves the isolation of reactive species in an unreactive host matrix at low temperatures (3-10 K). These experiments were jointly performed at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany (RUB) and NASA JET Propulsion Laboratory, USA (NASA-JPL). The benzhydryl radical (reactive species, organic matter) was trapped in water ice matrix and was exposed to various light sources (see Scheme 1) to reversibly form the cation as the major product. The water ice helps in stabilizing the cation and the electron formed. All the changes to the reactive intermediates and water ice were monitored using Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy.


Literature

(1) Radhakrishnan, S; Mieres-Perez, J.; Gudipati, M. S.; Sander, W., Photoinduced Reversible Electron Transfer Between the Benzhydryl Radical and Bezhydryl Cation in Amorphous Water-Ice. J. Phys. Chem. A 2017, 121 (34), 6405-6412.
(2) Jewitt, D.; Luu, J., Discovery of the candidate kuiper belt object 1992 gb(1). Nature 1993, 362, 730-732.
(3) Mcnaughton, N. J.; Pillinger, C. T., Comets and the origin of life. Nature 1980, 288, 540-540
(4) Brou, M.; Morbidelli, A.; Bottke, W. F.; Rozehnal, J.; Vokrouhlicky, D.; Nesvorny, D., Constraining the cometary flux through the asteroid belt during the late heavy bombardment. Astron. Astrophys. 2013, 551, A117.
(5) Napier, W. M., Evidence for cometary bombardment episodes. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 2006, 366, 977-982.
(6) Shoemaker, E. M., Asteroid and comet bombardment of the earth. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 1983, 11, 461-494.
(7) Radhakrishnan, S., Matrix isolation and solvation studies of reactive intermediates, 2018, doctoral thesis, Ruhr University Bochum

————————————————————————————————————————————

About the author

Soumya Radhakrishnan from Kerala, India, earned her PhD from RUB in July 2018 under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Wolfram Sander. Part of her research was carried out at the Science Division of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA under the supervision of Dr. Murthy S. Gudipati. She is now a postdoc at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Our scientific fields

Research Area A

Understanding and Exploiting Solvation in Chemical Processes

 

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Research Area B

Connecting Solvation Dynamics with Biomolecular Function

 

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Research Area C

Ion Solvation
and Charge Transfer at Interfaces

 

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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 

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Soumya Radhakrishnan at NASA-JPL.
Figure 1. Benzhydryl cation in water ice (Water-ice turns yellow).
Scheme 1: 1a = Benzhydryl radical, 2a = Benzhydryl cation

Solvation Science in outer space conditions helps to understand the origin of life

Easy photoionization of organic radicals in interstellar ice analogues studied in laboratory.

1. Research Summary

My PhD research's aim was to understand the fate of the organic matter in interstellar ices due to the cosmic rays in space. We could demonstrate the easy photoionization of the organic radicals and polyaromatic hydrocarbon (pyrene) studied, since the ionization potential of the compounds is greatly reduced by the water-ice matrix. In light of this and other studies reported earlier, it is safe to conclude that organic chemistry in ice environment is strongly mediated by ionization-whether it is in Earth's cryosphere or in our solar system or in the interstellar space. For this study, we have created interstellar ice analogues, doped them with organic molecules like the polyaromatic hydrocarbon pyrene, radicals (benzhydryl radical, tropyl radical) and subjected them to UV irradiation under laboratory conditions. The common ice analogues studied are H2O ice and varying mixtures of H2O/CO2 ice. Photoionization of these radicals/PAHs in water-ice matrix various UV lights and electron sources prdouces the respective cations and are identified by IR and UV-vis spectroscopy.

 

2. Significance of the research

Prerequisites for the evolution of life on Earth are the coexistence of organic matter and water, and the presence of energy minerals. Astrochemistry research in the past few decades shows that all these conditions may be traced back to primordial interstellar ice grains. These ice grains are micron-sized agglomerates that form the dense molecular clouds that collapse into protostars, protoplanetary disks and ultimately generate solar systems like ours, with planets, moons and asteroids. Interstellar ice grains contain minerals, water, organic molecules like carbon monoxide polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and are constantly subjected to energy from irradiation by cosmic rays in outer space. In our research we have mainly mimicked the conditions of outer space under the laboratory environment, to understand how interstellar ice analogues (H2O ice, H2O/CO2 etc.) containing organics form and change upon photoionization.

 

3. Relation to Solvation Science

We studied the effect of solvation by water on the photoionization of reactive intermediates found in the universe like the radicals and PAHs in presence of water-ice. We also addressed some of the important questions as to how water aides in solvating the ions and electrons formed upon irradiating the organics in ice.1 To this end, matrix isolation technique was used. The technique involves the isolation of reactive species in an unreactive host matrix at low temperatures (3-10 K). These experiments were jointly performed at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany (RUB) and NASA JET Propulsion Laboratory, USA (NASA-JPL). The benzhydryl radical (reactive species, organic matter) was trapped in water ice matrix and was exposed to various light sources (see Scheme 1) to reversibly form the cation as the major product. The water ice helps in stabilizing the cation and the electron formed. All the changes to the reactive intermediates and water ice were monitored using Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy.


Literature

(1) Radhakrishnan, S; Mieres-Perez, J.; Gudipati, M. S.; Sander, W., Photoinduced Reversible Electron Transfer Between the Benzhydryl Radical and Bezhydryl Cation in Amorphous Water-Ice. J. Phys. Chem. A 2017, 121 (34), 6405-6412.
(2) Jewitt, D.; Luu, J., Discovery of the candidate kuiper belt object 1992 gb(1). Nature 1993, 362, 730-732.
(3) Mcnaughton, N. J.; Pillinger, C. T., Comets and the origin of life. Nature 1980, 288, 540-540
(4) Brou, M.; Morbidelli, A.; Bottke, W. F.; Rozehnal, J.; Vokrouhlicky, D.; Nesvorny, D., Constraining the cometary flux through the asteroid belt during the late heavy bombardment. Astron. Astrophys. 2013, 551, A117.
(5) Napier, W. M., Evidence for cometary bombardment episodes. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 2006, 366, 977-982.
(6) Shoemaker, E. M., Asteroid and comet bombardment of the earth. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 1983, 11, 461-494.
(7) Radhakrishnan, S., Matrix isolation and solvation studies of reactive intermediates, 2018, doctoral thesis, Ruhr University Bochum

————————————————————————————————————————————

About the author

Soumya Radhakrishnan from Kerala, India, earned her PhD from RUB in July 2018 under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Wolfram Sander. Part of her research was carried out at the Science Division of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA under the supervision of Dr. Murthy S. Gudipati. She is now a postdoc at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

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. This year's GSS Summer School took place from the 22nd to the 25th of May, 2018.

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. 

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Publications highlight

K Lucht, D Loose, M Ruschmeier, V Strotkötter, G Dyker, K Morgenstern
Hydrophilicity and Microsolvation of an Organic Molecule Resolved on the Submolecular Level by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, Angew. Chem. 57 (2018), 1266, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201711062

N Tsuji, JL Kennemur, T Buyck, S Lee, S Prévost, PSJ Kaib, D Bykov, C Farès, B List
Activation of olefins via asymmetric Brøsted acid, Science 359 (2018), 1501, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq0445

D Muñoz-santiburcio, M Farnesi Camellone, D Marx
Solvation-Induced Changes in the Mechanism of Alcohol Oxidation at Gold/Titania Nanocatalysts in the Aqueous Phase versus Gas Phase, Angew. Chem. 57 (2018), 3327, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201710791

KF Pfister, S Baader, M Baader, S Berndt, LJ Goossen
Biofuel 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

 

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