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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C528824/1
Title: Beyond the Boundary: Adventurous Synthetic Chemistry
Principal Investigator: Bartlett, Professor PN
Other Investigators:
Weller, Professor M Brown, Professor T
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 June 2005 Ends: 31 May 2007 Value (£): 248,972
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Synthetic Methodology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Many of the greatest scientific developments derive from sudden changes and advances in the underlying chemistry leading to new compounds and materials. Examples can be taken from the synthesis of the first polymers, high temperature superconductors, buckminsterfullerenes to the discovery of the the first syntheticantibiotics, catalysts for the petrochemical industry and liquid crystals. Undertaking speculative chemistry leading to new compounds allows to a greater understanding of what might be possible with available set of elements in the Periodic Table but also leads to materials with a wealth of useful properties. This project will undertake such adventurous research with a number of aims. These include work towards replacing the silicon chips in computers with individual organic molecules so that further minaturisation of these devices could be achieved, making elemental silver behave like chlorine in its chemistry, devising new compounds that would be highly active and efficient in catalytic convertors and making compounds that can be used to selectively synthesise left and right handed molecules. If these targets are to achieved we will have to move outside the current boundaries of chemical thinking and produce materials and molecules that do not currently exist. This will be done by applying chemical methods at the forefront of the subject - for example constructing large, complex molecules where different portions perform different functions but the two areas still interact with each other. We will also use extreme methods of producing such compounds such as very high pressures ( equivalent to those deep inside the earth's crust) or chemistry on the nano-scale where molecules are constructed in the desired form in channels 1000 times smaller than the human hair. In the short term we will see whether such chemistry is at all practical - in the long term, if successful, we would be making the discoveries that would underpin anything from a three-dimensional molecular computer to the perfect catalyst that produces a desired product compound in a 100% yield.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk