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Research Highlights

forever chemical imageForever Chemicals Achilles Heel

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are often called “forever chemicals” because they are resistant to degradation by biological and chemical mechanisms. Harsh conditions have been needed to decompose these toxic compounds. The method detailed in this article reveals that PFAS containing carboxylic acids may have a weakness.  Science 377, 839-845 (2022)

sixty years imageSixty Years of Surface-Specific Spectroscopy 

This article provides a glimpse into recent research that has used second-harmonic generation and vibrational sum-frequency generation  can be used to study surfaces and interfacial processes. This article describes the current state of research and where it may be headed in the future, including applications in hard surfaces and nanoparticles, biological systems and soft interfaces, and interfacial water spectroscopy. J. Phys. Chem. C 126, 14375–14379 (2022) 

coherent approachCoherent approach to two-dimensional heterolayered oxychalcogenides using molten hydroxides

Hetrerolayered structures are created by two or more layers of differing composition and can show exceptional physical properties. Discovering routes to create new compounds is important because at this time most of these compounds have been unintentionally discovered. There is no generic method to provide the ability to stack differing layers to form a two-dimensional compound due to a current lack of understanding of how these materials are created. This research discusses an unconventional approach to providing a pathway to the use of heterolayered structures instead of traditional solid-state chemistry methods. Nat. Synth 1, 729–737 (2022)

water structure imageWater Structure in the Electrical Double Layer and the Contributions to the Total Interfacial Potential at Different Surface Charge Densities

All charged surface aqueous solutions are guided by an electrical double layer, but even advanced spectroscopic techniques cannot clarify the structure of water molecules.  The research presents observations of the individual Stern layer and diffuse layer OH stretching spectra at the silica/water interface in the presence of NaCI over a wide pH range using multiple methods. The findings show that a purely Guoy-Chapman (Stern) view fails to explain the electrical double layer of these interfaces accurately. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 144, 16338–16349 (2022)

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