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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 1


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Newsletter
of
NORTH EAST INDIA RESEARCH FORUM

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/northeast_india_research/

http://www.geocities.com/ne_india_research_forum/index.html

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 2


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

EDITORIAL society want to correlate it with the God’s angry


with us. All of us with scientific out look know
that an Earth quake is just Mother Earth
I am really felt blessed and gratified to be a part stretching herself a little bit. It has always been
of this wonderful forum, the North East India happening. It is just that in India, if the smallest
Research Forum and it is my great pleasure to thing happens, 100000 people die. It is because
avail privilege to write something from editorial of population density. In other parts of the world,
board in this issue of N. E. Quest. an earthquake would not be a major issue.
First of all, I would like to thank, Dr. Arindam Everyday there are tremors Japan but casuality is
Adhikari on behalf of all members of North East less because they have taken necessary
Research Group who is the founder of this precaution and care about how to build their
wonderful forum. In the first issue, in his buildings, how to live there, how to be conscious
inspiring editorial column he wrote very honestly about this. We have not done anything; we are a
and sincerely, how this idea came to his mind country that’s still in God’s hands. Unless we
and how much he had to do before launching it. take it into our hands we will be a total mess.
Obviously, the NE Quest is a wonderful gift This is only one example and we can cite
from him to all of us. thousand of such examples from different parts
People like, Dr. Arindam should be ideal for all of our NE region where superstition or lack of
of us as they have the quality to think out of the scientific out look is still major issue of concern.
box for the well being of the society curving out The present time most stressing and pressing
a particular social issue and focussing it in a global issue like global warming only could
higher level with right objectives and resolve through change in looking of every
perspectives connecting with up-to-date country into it with a scientific mind. So, I am,
information, knowledge, experiences and like all of you expecting to use of science not
emotional intellectuals. So, they are our leader, only for personal growth or growth of some
people’s leader. As he clearly stated in his small groups of people but to reach the whole
editorial the objective of the forum is to connect human society. Of course, if some one(s) of this
the researchers from North East India so that the forum inspired and benefited to grow at
greater advantages of sciences could reach the individual level to reach some one like Newton
social causes of this scientifically backward part or Einstein, we would have really a ground to be
of India. Unquestionably, hailing from this happy and proud out of it. But, as social being
wonderful part of India, we could comprehend we should think for our fellow being at our level
better the problems of this regions and it is our best. Therefore, the North East India Research
duty as well as responsibility to solve our Forum should widen its objectives and work in
problems ourselves at our level. What I feel, the future so that it could reach every individual of
first and foremost duty of the scientific the society for its better and greater objective and
community to change our attitude with the help perspective of life.
of science so that we can evolve out as not only I am giving more stress in attitude, as I
wonderful citizen of India but also beautiful thoroughly believe like all of you that right
human being of the world. For that, every one of attitude is the key to get famous, success and
us needs to have a scientific attitude to see our happiness in the society. People with great
problem and the approach to solve them in a education and absolutely brilliant brains can fail
scientific way. Science education at all levels in life because of their wrong attitude. Attitude
only can make aware people to see their affects not only our own performance; it also has
problems scientifically. It needs a great profound effect on the attitude of people around
awareness programs to reach every one of the us. We all inherit a temperament, which is sum
society. So, it is an uphill task for all of us and total of our feelings and reactions. It dictates how
personally, I feel, it is the right initiation, right we behave and is reflected in our over all
beginning to do things right collectively. Surely, personality. So, to make a positive change all
we can expect its ripple effect in the coming around us we should work on our temperament
years soon. first. That’s why Amy Tan rightly says, “If you
I would like to cite one example from Sadguru can’t change your fate, change your attitude”.
Jaggi Vasudev’s preach over unscientific ritual
in our society how attitude is important for social
change. When the Gujarat earthquake happened, -Tankeswar Nath
about 100000 people died. Some of from our

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 3


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

CONTENTS
1. THE FORUM 5
2. SCIENCE, R&D News 6
3. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: Organic Chemistry 7
4. NORTH EAST INDIANS MADE US PROUD 8
5. EVENT AND NEWS FROM NORTH EAST INDIA 9
6. NORTH EAST INDIA RESEARCH FORUM MEMBERS
IN NEWS, AWARDS / FELLOWSHIP RECEIVED BY MEMBERS 11
7. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ATTENDED
BY MEMBERS OF THE FORUM 11
8. VISIT BY MEMBERS 11
9. INSTRUMENT OF THE ISSUE – QCM 12
10. ARTICLES SECTION
a) Ceria Based Mixed Oxides: Emerging Materials for Auto Exhaust Catalyst Formulation
Mr. Pranjal Saikia 14
b) COAL: The most abundant natural fuel
Mr. Binoy Kumar Saikia 16
c) Ionic Liquids: An Invitation to Innovate
Dr. Diganta Sarma 18
d) Crystal Polymorphism
Mr. Bipul Sarma 22
e) Octadecanuclear Manganese Single-Molecule Magnet: Synthesis and Magnetic
Properties of [MnII4MnIII14(O)14(OAc)18(hmp)4(hmpH)2(H2O)2]
Dr. Akhilesh Kumar Gupta 26
f) Rain Drop Size Distribution and Radar Observation of precipitating system
Mr. Mahen Konwar 29
g) Challenges in the Plant Biotechnology
Ms .Nabanita Bhattacharyya 31
11. ABSTRACT OF PhD THESIS/ RESEARCH WORK
a) Ph. D. thesis abstract of Dr. Pompi Hazarika 34
(Biofunctionalized gold nanoparticles: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications)
b) Ph. D. thesis abstract of Dr. Sasanka Deka 41
(Studies on the Magnetic and Electrical properties of Nanosized Transition
Metal Oxides and Ferrites)
12. EVENTS FROM HISTORY OF SCIENCE 43
13. INFORMATION ABOUT MEMBERS 44
14. HIGHER STUDY ABROAD ( Country of this Issue: Italy) 45
15. THROUGH THE LENSE OF FORUM MEMBERS 46

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 4


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

THE FORUM
North East India Research Forum was • Selection of name for Newsletter
created on 13th November 2004. There were total 36 proposals submitted
by members of the forum for the
1. How we are growing. Newsletter. The name proposed by Mr.
At the beginning, it was a march hardly Abhishek Choudhury, N. E. QUEST
with few members and today the forum received the maximum number of votes
comprised of a force of more than 140 and hence it is accepted as the name of
researchers. the Newsletter.

2. Discussions held in the forum • How often should we publish our


• Necessity of directory of all the newsletter '' N. E. Quest'' ?
members of the forum. 1. Every 3 months = 61%
• Possibility of organising conference in 2. Every 6 months = 38%
the N E India. 3. Once a year = 0%
• Taking initiation on setting up of South
East Asian Scientific Institute. 4. Future activities
• On selection of Best paper award. Proper planning and consequent
implementation always play an important
3. Poll conducted and results. role in every aspect. Some of the
• North East India is lacking behind the topics/activities/suggestions which were
rest of the country due to- being discussed, time to time in the forum
1. Geographical constrain =0% will get top priorities in our future activities.
2. Bad leadership = 40% Those are mentioned here,
3. Lack of work culture = 36% • Preparing complete online database of
4. Corruption = 18% N.E. researchers with details.
5. Apathy from Central Govt. = 4% • Organising conference in the N.E.
region-proposed by Dr. Utpal Bora.
• Which area of science is going to • Research collaboration among forum
dominate by creating a great impact on members.
society in next decade? • Motivate student to opt for science
1. Nanoscience & nanotechnology = education.
22% • Help master’s students in doing projects
2. Biotechnology = 11% in different organisation-proposed by
3. Nanobiotechnology = 38% Mr. Khirud Gogoi.
4. Chemical Engineering = 0% • Supporting schools in rural areas by
5. Medicine = 11% different ways.
6. Others = 16% • Best paper awards.
7. None = 0%
To run the forum smoothly, to make it more
• Kindly let us know your view regarding organised and to speed up activities,
the following topic. What activities of formation of a committee/team is essential.
this group you like most ? The combined discussion of the moderators
1. Research articles= 33% and senior members make the forum feel the
2. Information about vacancy/positions importance of Advisors, co-ordinator,
available=10% volunteer, webmasters etc. Of course it
3. Way to have a contact with all needs more discussion and will be approved
members =29% by poll.
4. Scientific discussions = 14%
5. Others = 2%

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 5


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

SCIENCE, R&D NEWS developed by Hitachi Inc., Japan analyzes


Life Sciences slight changes in the brain's blood flow and
• Researchers at the Hebrew University translates brain motion into electric signals.
of Jerusalem has developed a method for The technology could one day replace
increasing plants' tolerance to salt stress and remote controls and keyboards and perhaps
thus preventing stunted growth and even help disabled people operate electric
plant death. The method has significant wheelchairs, beds or artificial limbs. Initial
consequences for dealing with soil uses would be helping people with
salinization, which is an acute problem for a paralyzing diseases communicate even after
wide range of crops in different regions of they have lost all control of their muscles. A
the world. The work by Prof. Alex Levine key advantage here is that sensors don't have
and his Ph.D. student Yehoram Leshem, of to physically enter the brain.
the Department of Plant and Environmental • A researcher at the Bio-design Institute
Sciences at the Alexander Silberman at Arizona State University has used
Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew molecular biology tricks to create synthetic
University -- published in a recent article in proteins with improved stability and
the Proceedings of the National Academy of functions in comparison with the ones that
Sciences (PNAS) in the U.S. -- not only has occurred naturally. John Chaput, the lead
opened new insights into a basic researcher, claims to have evolved several
understanding of plant responses to salt new proteins in a fraction of the three billion
stress, but also points the way to new years it took nature. The new findings have
applicative pathways for plant breeders to led to some surprisingly new lessons on how
improve salt tolerance in a broad spectrum to optimize proteins that have never existed
of agricultural crops. It thus represents a in nature before, in a process they call
significant step forward that can bring great ‘synthetic evolution.’ . Chaput said
economic and social benefit to many nations that the test tube derived protein was not
of the world. only stable, but could bind its target
• A high-tech leaf sensors invented at the molecule ATP twice as tight as naturally
University of Colorado-Boulder allow evolved ones. The researchers say that they
thirsty corn and potato crops to signal now have a technology potential with which
farmers of their thirst and indicate how they can improve the stability and function
much water they need. The technology, of any of the nature’s proteins. The
which has been optioned to Agri House Inc., study has been published in the journal
a Berthoud, Colo., high-tech company, PLoS ONE.(ANI)
includes a sensor less than a tenth the size of • Prof. Mordechai “Moti” Liscovitch
a postage stamp that can be clipped to plant and graduate student Oran Erster of the
leaves, said Research Associate Hans-Dieter Weizmann Institute’s Biological Regulation
Seelig, who invented the device. When the Department, together with Dr. Miri
leaves lose enough water to contract to a Eisenstein of Chemical Research Support,
critical width, the sensor can wirelessly have recently developed a unique “switch”
signal computers. This device is very that can control the activity of any protein,
precise, and will allow a plant to receive just raising it several-fold or stopping it almost
the right amount of water. If a plant can tell completely. The method provides
a water valve when to open and when to researchers with a simple and effective tool
close, farmers are going to save a lot of for exploring the function of unknown
money." proteins, and in the future the new technique
• A new technology in Japan could let may find many additional uses. The switch
you control electronic devices without has a genetic component and a chemical
lifting a finger simply by reading brain component: Using genetic engineering, the
activity. The "brain-machine interface" scientists insert a short segment of amino
acids into the amino acid sequence making

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 6


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

up the protein. This segment is capable of RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: Organic


binding strongly and selectively to a Chemistry
particular chemical drug, which affects the • Total synthesis of complex Natural
activity level of the engineered protein by Product without using protecting group :
increasing or reducing it. When the drug is Use of protecting group is almost an
no longer applied, or when it is removed unavoidable part in complex natural product
from the system, the protein returns to its synthesis. In a landmark achievement in the
natural activity level. The method could be history of organic synthesis Baran and co-
used one day in gene therapy. It may be workers synthesised four complex
possible to replace damaged proteins that cyanobacterial alkaloids without using any
cause severe diseases with genetically protecting group. Although some protecting
engineered proteins, and to control these group free total syntheses have been
proteins’ activity levels in a precise manner performed over the last century, the present
by giving appropriate doses of the drug. synthesis displays much more complex
Another potential future application is in molecular architectures. In this elegant
agricultural genetic engineering. The approach the reactivity of isonitrile group
method might make it possible, for example, has been utilised to establish the molecular
to create genetically engineered plants in skeleton. (Ref: Baran, P. S.; Maimore, T. J.;
which the precise timing of fruit ripening Richter, J. M. Nature 2007, 446, 404)
would be controlled using a substance that • Radical Catalysis: In recent years the
increases the activity of proteins responsible area of organocatalysts is becoming
for ripening.( ebiologynews.com/2186.html). increasingly important. So far these
processes have involved only charged
Computer Sciences intermediates. As a beginning of a new
IBM creates world's most powerful amino catalytic concept recently MacMillan
computer: The first supercomputer et al described a general strategy for
capable of crunching through a thousand organocatalysts using radical intermediate.
trillion mathematical operations every The researchers chose several reactions to
second has been announced by IBM. This is demonstrate the generality of this concept,
roughly equivalent to the combined all resulted in C-C bond formation adjacent
processing power of a 2.4-kilometre-high to a carbonyl group. (Ref: Beeson, T. D.;
pile of laptop computers. Blue Gene/P will Mastracchio, A.; Hong, J.-B.; Ashton, K.;
be capable of a peak performance of 3000 MacMillan, D. W. C. Science 2007 316,
trillion calculations, or floating point 582)
operations, per second (3 petaflops). But its • Regioseletive one-pot protection of
sustained performance is expected to level carbohydrates: In chemical synthesis of
out at around 1 petaflop. Each processing oligosaccharides often problems are
chip inside the machines contains 4 unique associated with regioselective protection of
processor cores. There are 32 of these polyhydroxyls. In a new approach to solve
processors in every circuit board, and 32 this problem Hung et al developed a
circuit boards in every rack. With a total of combinatorial and highly regioselective
216 racks, the full machine features 884,736 method that can be use to protect individual
unique processor cores. The first Blue hydroxy group of a monosaccharide. This
Gene/P machine will be installed at the US approach can be used to install an
Department of Energy's Argonne National orthogonal protecting group pattern in a
Laboratory in Chicago, US, later in 2007. It single reaction vessel. (Ref: Wang, C.-C.;
will be used primarily to perform nuclear Lee, J.-C.; Luo, S, -Y.; Kulkarni, S.S.;
weapons simulations at that laboratory. Haung, V.-W.; Lee, C.-C.; Chang, K.-L;
Other systems will then be installed in Hung, S.-. Nature 2007, 446, 896).
Germany, the UK and elsewhere in the US. ( Compiled by Dr. Joshodeep Boruwa,
University of Konstanz )

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 7


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

NORTH EAST INDIANS MADE US Extracellular Matrix Biology, Institute of


PROUD Biosciences and Technology, The Texas
A&M University System Health Science
1. Prof. Dulal Borthakur is at Department Center; US. He got his Ph. D. degree in
of Molecular Biosciences and Biochemistry from NEHU in 1989. He was
Bioengineering (MBBE) University of the first one to be awarded a PhD degree
Hawaii – Manoa, USA. Basically from from the Department of Biochemistry. His
Assam, he did his BS from Assam research interest involves investigation of
Agricultural University, India(1975), MS genes and proteins unique to repair blood
from Punjab Agricultural University, vessels, tissue, and blood brain barriers
India(1977) and PhD from University of (BBB), in order to develop new therapeutic
East Anglia, England (1987). He received approaches for traumatic brain injury.

3. Dr. Lallukhum Fimate, Director of the


Regional Institute of Medical Sciences,
Imphal. since 2003. Dr. Lallukhum
Fimate was born on 1st March 1950, in
Parbung Village of Manipur, India.

Prof. Dulal Borthakur

several international awards which include


'North American Colleges and Teachers of
Agriculture Teaching award of Merit' Prof. Lallukhum Fimate
(2004), CTAHR (College of Tropical
Agriculture and Human Resources, Despite having his education in the most
University of Hawaii at Manoa) Excellence deplorable of circumstances, he rose to
in Teaching' Award (2004). He was member the position of the Head of Department
of the Editorial Board, Applied and of Forensic Medicine in a leading
Environmental Microbiology (2001-2006); Medical College of India, and is now
assistant Editor, World Journal of rated as one of the finest forensic
Microbiology & Biotechnology, Kluwer
scientists of the world. Dr. Fimate was
Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The
Netherlands (1999-2004). also President of the Indian Academy of
Forensic Medicine. Dr Fimate is one of
2. Dr. Kishore K.Wary has been working the country’s most outstanding medical
as a assistant professor in the University of doctors and has appeared in the Indo-
Illinois at Chicago Dept. of Pharmacology, Arab Who’s Who of Man of
Illinois, United States. He also worked as Achievement and Asia’s Who’s Who of
assistant Professor, at Center for Man of Achievement. He is also the
editor of the Practical Forensic Medicine
and Toxicology (Guidelines for Forensic
Medicine and Toxicology work in India
by IAFM) published by the Indian
Academy of Forensic Medicine and has
authored a book in Hmar titled “Thihna
Dr. Kishore K.Wary Rapthlak”.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 8


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

4. Dr. Gunadhar S Okram is working as EVENTS AND NEWS FROM


scientist in the Low Temperature Laboratory NORTH EAST INDIA
of UGC-DAE Consortium for Scientific
Research, Indore, Madhya Pradesh India. • N.E. Indian scientists have patented two
Originally from Manipur, he received his new tea-based products -- a pill and a
Ph.D. degree in Physics from IIT, Mumbai. fizzy drink they hope will give
consumers the same pleasure as
drinking a freshly brewed cuppa. A
four member team based in the Tocklai
Experimental Station, Jorhat has
developed pills of tea. This pill is
absolutely safe and can be chewed or
placed under the tongue, besides drinking
in the conventional manner by dipping the
Dr. Gunadhor Singh Okram
tablet in a cup of hot water. The tea tablets
will be able to freshen and cheer up a
His area of research is condensed matter
person with nearly the same feeling as
experimental, low temperature physics,
having a hot cup of brewed tea.
material science thermoelectricity,
The drink "Tea cola´´, will come in two
functional materials including conducting,
varieties -- green and black. The drink is
semiconductor and insulating nano
made from pure natural tea extracts having
materials/polymers.
a lot of medicinal properties in them. The
"Tea cola," meanwhile, will come in two
varieties -- green and black. The products
were developed two years ago. With the
patents rights granted, the scientists are
hoping to launch the products on the
----------------------0------------------------ world market soon. Firms from Britain,
Australia and Iran have approached the
Tocklai Station about selling the products,
- Any intelligent fool can make things one of the leading scientists Dr. Mridul
bigger, more complex, and more Hazarika said(www.sciencenewsdaily.org)
violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and
a lot of courage -- to move in the • Dhekia contains high protein levels:
opposite direction study: Dhekia (Diplazium esculantum),
the fern that is used as a leafy vegetable
- Imagination is more important than by the people of the Northeast, contains
knowledge high amount of protein at a ratio much
higher than any meat protein consumed by
by Albert Einstein the people. Research work conducted by
Prof AK Handique and his team at the
laboratory of Gauhati University (GU)
----------------------0------------------------ Biotechnology Department has revealed
that the tender dhekia leaves has 33.27 per
cent protein. This makes it the second
highest protein-containing food plant, next
only to soyabeen, which has 43.2 per cent
protein, says Prof Handique, a former
Head of that Department. This reflects the
superiority of dhekia for nutritional

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 9


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

purposes. Moreover, being low in • Gauhati University recognition to


digestible carbohydrate, it may be ideal NEDFi centre at Khetri: The research
for diabetic patients, adds Prof Handique. scholars who want to do their academic
research on medicinal and aromatic plants
• Biotech park to be set up in Guwahati : (MAP) can now opt for the NEDFi
Government of Assam is planning to Research and Development Centre,
establish first Biotechnology park in Khetri. Gauhati University has recognized
Guwahati. The new Biotech Park to come the centre for PhD level research on the
up near the Indian Institute of Technology topic on which the centre’s scientists can
in North Guwahati will have medicinal provide their expertise. Conducting
plants, herbal medicines, plant genetics, research on the medicinal and aromatic
micro propagation, traditional medicines, plants along with the plants for producing
agro-technology, petroleum bio- bio-diesel like jatropha and pongania, this
technology, bio-fuels, genomics and centre works towards commercializsing
information technology based on drug these valuable plants and providing
discovery. It will also have incubation technical assistance to the entrepreneurs of
centres to encourage entrepreneurship the North East region. The centre was
development in various areas like crop established in July 2001, got recognition
sciences, food processing, horticulture, from the Gauhati University for its good
floriculture, sericulture and animal lab facilities, library facilities and field
husbandry. (Assam Tribune 19th April). work capacity. To help the scholars in
their studies, it has state of the art quality
• NE forum mooted for developing control laboratory and a well-stocked
medicinal plants : Health experts, library and it also maintains a Herbal
scientists and researchers of eight Garden with as many as 80 indigenous
Northeastern States are chalking out an plant species and other herbs, the sources
action plan to formulate a common added. (Assam Tribune April 13)
platform for all medicinal and aromatic
plant growers, traders, and researchers in • RSC exhibition on nanotechnology in
the region. The action plan was tabled at July 3rd week: To acquaint the people of
the end of the two day National workshop the region about the concept of
on (Manipur on April 12) conservation nanotechnology, the Regional Science
and commercialization of medicinal & Centre here is organizing an exhibition on
aromatic plants in the North East India this technologies. The exhibition will be
The North East region lying in the Indo- the first of its kind in the North East will
Burma bio-diversity hotspots ranks eighth be held in the third week of July will
amongst the 34 biodiversity hotspots of highlight the application of nano-
the world. The basic motive of technology in every day life. The
establishing the boards is to institute an exhibition is an attempt to create
agency to streamline the medicinal plants awareness about the latest technology. The
sector, to achieve high quality commercial exhibition with its models like, ‘Amazing
productions, value added products, visuals’, ‘journey into a nano world’, ‘why
drawing up of policies, strategies for do properties change at the nano level,’
conservation, proper harvesting through properties at nano level’, ‘nanotechnology
financial assistance as medicinal plants are in sports’, ‘medical applications’, ‘nano-
not only a resource of affordable health textiles’ etc will explore some of the
care, medicinal items but also a source of impacts of nano-technology on society.
income. (Assam Tribune, 19th April) The exhibition will also highlight the
Indian research institutes which are
conducting research on nanotechnology.
(Assam Tribune 11th July 2007)

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 10


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

NORTH EAST INDIA RESEARCH Cell Penetrating Peptide-Pna


FORUM MEMBERS IN NEWS, Conjugates By Chemoselective Click
AWARDS / FELLOWSHIP Chemistry".
RECEIVED BY MEMBERS 3. Dr. Arindam Adhikari presented two
papers entitled ‘’AFM mapping of
conducting polymers in anticorrosion
1. Dr. Diganta Sharma joins for his post
coatings’’ and ‘’ Effect of surface
doctoral research the research group of
roughness of conducting polypyrrole
Prof. Yoshiaki Kiso, in the Department
thin film electrodes on electro-catalytic
of Medicinal Chemistry, Kyoto
oxidation of methanol’’ at 13th
Pharmaceutical University, Kyoto,
Intenational Conference on Surface
Japan. Currently, he is working on
Science(ICSS-13), International
“Synthesis and structure activity
Conference on Nanoscience and
relationship study of peptidomimetic
Technology (ICN+T 2007), 17th
coronavirus protease inhibitors.”. He did
International Vacuum Congress(IVC-
his Ph.D. in the National Chemical
17) in Stockholm held during 2-6 July
Laboratory, Pune, India.
2007.
2. Dr. Manash Ranjan Das joins Institute
d'Electronique de Microélctronique et de
Nanotechnologie (IEMN) Biointerface VISIT BY MEMBERS
Group-Interdisciplinary Research
Institute at Universite des Sciences et 1. Mr. Pankaj Bharali visited Ruhr
Technologies de Lille, France for his University of Bochum (RUB), Germany
post doctoral research on 21st of May under a bilateral collaborative project
2007. He did his doctoral research in funded by jointly by DST, India and DAAD,
Regional Research Laboratory, Jorhat, Germany during February to April 2006. He
India. was in the industrial chemistry department.
3. Dr. Sasanka deka joins National http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/. During his
Nanotechnology Laboratory of INFM visit to RUB, he had the opportunity to visit
DistrettoTecnologico–ISUFI,Lecce, HASYLAB (Hamburg Synchrotron
Italy for his post doctoral research in the Laboratory) under DESY (Deutsche
month of April. He carried out his Ph.D. Synchrotron Labor) in Hamburg. In
research in the National Chemical HASYLAB synchrotron radiations are
Laboratory, Pune, India. produced by accelerators and used for
techniques where synchrotron radiation is
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE useful, such as, XRD, XRF, EXAFS, XPS,
..etc.(http://www-hasylab.desy.de/ )
ATTENDED BY MEMBERS OF
THE FORUM
2. Mr. Pranjal Saikia visited Germany in
accordance with a ongoing DST-DAAD
1. Dr. Diganta Sharma attended 7th
sponsored two-year project titled "Design
Tetrahedron Symposium, Challenges in
and characterization of novel nanosized
Organic Chemistry, (Organizer:
metal oxide catalysts" to carry out some
Elsevier) at Kyoto Research Park,
experiments on CO oxidation reaction,
Kyoto, Japan during 25-26th May, 2006.
temperature programmed study, EXAFS
2. Mr. Khirud gogoi attended a
measurements and surface analysis by XPS-
symposium organised by Biochemical
ISS. He visited Ruhr-Universität, Bochum,
Society on "Cell Penetrating Peptides
Germany for three months (from 1st
Meeting" held at University Of
November 2006 to 31st January 2007).
Wolverhampton, Telford, United
There he worked under two very renowned
Kingdom on 9th-11th May 2007. He
Professors of Technichie Chemie (Industrial
Presented a paper entitled "Synthesis Of

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 11


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Chemistry) Department, Prof. Martin INSTRUMENT OF THE ISSUE


Muhler and Prof. Wolfgang Grünert. His
line of work was: Design and QCM (Quartz Crystal Microbalance)
Characterization of Novel Nanosized Metal
Oxide Catalysts for Catalytic Applications. The Quartz Crystal Microbalance
He also had the opportunity to visit DESY (QCM) is an extremely sensitive mass
LAB, Hamburg to perform EXAFS sensor, capable of measuring mass changes
measurements with Synchrotron-based in the nanogram range. It measures mass by
radiation. measuring the change in frequency of a
3. Dr. Ashim Thakur is visiting at piezoelectric quartz crystal when it is
Department of Chemistry and Chemical disturbed by the addition of a small mass
Biology, The State University of New such as a virus or any other tiny object
Jersey, Rutgers, New Jersey, as a short term intended to be measured. It can work under
post doctoral research associate (May to vacuum or liquid environment thus making
July, 3 months). He is working in the area of it useful to determine the properties of
nano cage container molecules. polymers and adhesion of proteins. It is a
very helpful method to sense adsorption
4. Dr. Pordeep Phukan, reader at the processes at solid/gas or solid/liquid
Chemistry Department of Gauhati interfaces. Frequency measurements are
University is visiting University of easily made to high precision, hence, it is
Tuebingen, Germany starting 1st of July easy to measure small masses. Correlation
2007 for three months. His area of research between mass and frequency is achieved by
is catalysis. means of the Sauerbrey equation. In addition
to measuring the frequency, the dissipation
-------------------0---------------------- is often measured to help analysis. The
dissipation is a dimensionless quantity
inversely related to the resonance frequency
and decay time constant.
-India is the cradle of the human race,
the birthplace of human speech, the
mother of history, grandmother of
legend, and great grand mother of
tradition. Our most valuable and most
instructive materials in the history of
man are treasured up in India only.

- by Mark Twain

(American Author 1835-1910)

Image of a typical QCM-D


-------------------0----------------------
A very common use of quartz
crystal microbalances is as a thickness
monitor in thin film technology, mostly
under vacuum. There the QCM sensor head
is placed near to the sample and deposited as
well. The ratio of the amount of deposition
on the sample to that on the sensor is called

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 12


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

the 'tooling factor'. One way to determine becomes invalid. A film that is "soft"
the tooling factor is to move the sensor head (viscoelastic) will not fully couple to the
between the sample position and the oscillation of the crystal, hence the
measurement position; the ratio between the Sauerbrey relation will underestimate the
deposition rates in the two positions gives mass at the surface. A soft film dampens the
the estimated tooling factor. Another way is crystal's oscillation. The damping or,
to use a laboratory technique such as scratch dissipation (D), of the crystal's
tests or white light interference to measure oscillation reveals the the film's softness
the actual thickness deposited on the sample (viscoelasticity). D is defined as
after the deposition is over; the ratio of this
thickness to what the sensor measured is the
estimated tooling factor.

A QCM consists of a thin quartz


disc sandwiched between a pair of where Elost is the energy lost (dissipated)
electrodes. Due to the piezoelectric during one oscillation cycle and Estored is the
properties of quartz, it is possible to excite total energy stored in the oscillator.
the crystal to oscillation by applying an AC
voltage across its electrodes. The dissipation of the crystal is
measured by recording the response of a
The resonance frequency (f) of the freely oscillating crystal that has been
crystal depends on the total oscillating mass, vibrated at its resonance frequency. This
including water coupled to the oscillation. also gives the opportunity to jump between
When a thin film is attached to the sensor the fundamental frequency and overtones
crystal, the frequency decreases. If the film (e.g. 15, 25 and 35 MHz). By measuring at
is thin and rigid the decrease in frequency is multiple frequencies and applying a
proportional to the mass of the film. In this viscoelastic model (the so called Voight
way, the QCM operates as a very sensitive model) the adhering film can be
balance. The mass of the adhering layer is characterized in detail; viscosity, elasticity
calculated by using the Sauerbrey relation: and correct thickness may be extracted even
for soft films when certain assumptions are
made.

The Electrochemical QCM can be


applied for analytical as well as mechanistic
C = 17.7 ng Hz-1 cm-2 for a 5 MHz quartz and kinetic studies of electrochemical
crystal. processes accompanied by mass transfer
n = 1,3,5,7 is the overtone number. across the electrode-electrolyte solution
interface or visco-elasticity changes
It is also possible to get an estimation of the allowing thus investigation of membranes,
thickness (d) of the adhering layer: batteries, corrosion resistance investigation,
electrochemical deposition, underpotential
deposition, electroplating, adsorption of
different substances and adsorption of
biomolecules in particular, electrosorption,
electropolymerization, layered
where ρeff is the effective density of the nanostructures, self-assembled monolayers,
adhering layer. drug delivery, ion exchange, ion dynamics
in conducting solids, chemical sensor and
In most situations the adsorbed film biosensor development, sol-gel
is not rigid and the Sauerbrey relation transformations within surface films, etc.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 13


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ARTICLES SECTION

Ceria Based Mixed Oxides:


Emerging Materials for
Auto Exhaust Catalyst Formulation

Mr. Pranjal Saikia


Fig.1. Crystal structure of ceria
Cerium (rare earth) is the most abundant
member of lanthanide series. The easily
accessible tetravalent ceric ion (Ce4+) is applications are: a) elevated oxygen
unique among the lanthanide elements. transport capacity by forming labile oxygen
Though known as rare earth, it is rated as the vacancies and b) the redox couple Ce3+/Ce4+
25th most abundant element in the earth crust with the ability of ceria to shift between
among all the periodic elements. The CeO2 and Ce2O3.
naturally occurring element cerium is made Despite the wider spread applications,
up of the isotopes 136Ce; 138Ce; 140Ce and pure ceria is poorly thermostable and
142
Ce. A radioactive alpha emitter 142Ce has undergoes rapid sintering under high
a half-life of 5 X 1015 years. Ceria (CeO2) is temperature conditions, which leads to
an interesting oxide with unique properties deactivation of catalysts. Therefore several
namely its ability to shift easily between attempts to overcome the problem were
reduced and oxidized states and to made and are still a matter of interest. One
accommodate variable levels of bulk and such approach is the substitution of another
surface oxygen vacancies. These metal or metal oxide into the ceria lattice,
characteristics make it suitable for use as a thereby facilitating the formation of mixed
support as well as a catalyst in processes oxides. The mixed metal oxides play a very
wherein reaction conditions fluctuate important role in many areas of chemistry,
between oxidizing and reducing physics, material science and geochemistry.
environments. Due to several reasons, the chemical
Ceria crystallizes in a cubic fluorite behavior of mixed metal oxides also differs
(space group Fm3m) crystal structure in its from single metal oxides. The combination
most stable phase having each metal cation of two metals in an oxide can lead to novel
surrounded by eight oxygen atoms (Fig. 1). structural and electronic properties of the
CeO2 is widely used in the formulations final oxide, consequently favouring its
of the so-called three-way catalysts (TWCs) catalytic activity and selectivity. In some
used for the simultaneous removal of CO, cases, cations in a mixed metal oxide can
NO and hydrocarbons from automotive also cooperatively catalyze different steps of
exhaust engines. Other significant a chemical process. At a structural level, a
applications of cerium oxide based materials dopant facilitates defect formation within
include use in oxygen permeation membrane the oxide host by generating stress into the
systems, fuel cell processes, catalytic wet lattice. As a result, metal-metal or metal-
oxidation, exhaust combustion catalysts and oxygen-metal interactions in mixed metal
deNOX catalysis. The driving forces that oxides lead to perturbed electronic states
make CeO2 promising for these compared to single metal oxides. Till date,

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ceria-zirconia mixed oxide system has and uptake phenomenon in ceria-zirconia


gained highest exploitation. Interesting system can be simply depicted as shown in
study with other dopants like hafnia, terbia, Fig. 2.
titania, gadolinia, praseodymia etc. can be
found in literature. Supported ceria-based
mixed metal oxides are even more
interesting as they bear very high surface
area. The most widely used support
materials are silica, alumina and titania. Due
to enhanced reactivity, mainly ceria based
noble metal catalysts were finding uses in
various catalytic applications. But regarding
lower cost and thereby possibility for higher
catalytic load, transition metal based ceria
catalysts are also being investigated now a
days. Fig. 2. Schematic presentation of the oxygen
Particle size, phase modification, storage and release property of ceria
structural defects and chemical non- zirconia mixed oxide
stoichiometry influence the redox and
catalytic properties of ceria and its It is good for us that India is among the
composite oxides. Particle size reduction top bearers of cerium. Looking at the
accompanies increment of surface area, success of ceria based materials and their
which provides a large number of more ubiquitous presence in today’s TWC
reactive edge sites. If particle size is reduced formulations, together with the absence of
below 100 nm, the material becomes nano any serious competition to ceria as the OSC
phasic. In this situation, the densities of material of choice for automotive
defects increase. These defects may be grain applications, the overall outlook is that
boundaries, interphase boundaries, ceria-containing materials will continue to
dislocation etc. This increase in defect be a major component of automotive
density is responsible for enhancement of exhaust catalysts. Special uses of oxygen
active sites, which in turn provides fast storage materials will likely emerge in
kinetics of catalytic activity. As a result response to lower emissions standards and
interest to make nanosized materials other increased fuel economy requirements.
than conventional ones is going on Considering the worldwide interest towards
increasingly day by day. the environmental issues, researchers from
The excellent oxygen storage capacity all over the world have been presenting
(OSC) is an inherent property of ceria in the interesting results with ceria based materials.
cubic fluorite structure. The addition of New researchers from our region may also
ZrO2 further improves the OSC. It is to be give attention in this regard.
noted that though the term OSC simply
reflects oxygen storage capacity, actually it Short Bio data of the author: Pranjal Saikia
is meant for oxygen storage and release was born in Na-ali Dhekiajuli, Jorhat,
capacities at a time. As cited above, ceria- Assam. He graduated from Dibrugarh
zirconia mixed oxides are used for oxygen University (1999) and completed his
storage/release in three-way catalysts for Masters in Chemistry from Gauhati
automotive exhaust treatment. These devices University (2002). A recipient of CSIR-NET
make use of the ability of ceria to release research fellowship, he has been pursuing
oxygen by forming oxygen vacancies under his doctoral research at I & P C Division,
reducing conditions and, conversely, to store Indian Institute of Chemical Technology
oxygen by filling oxygen vacancies under (IICT), Hyderabad under Dr. B.M. Reddy,
oxidizing conditions. The oxygen release Deputy Director, IICT. Before coming to

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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

IICT, he worked in various research projects COAL: The most abundant natural fuel
in Tea Research Association, Tocklai, Jorhat
and Materials Science Division, RRL,
Jorhat. He also served IIT, Guwahati as a
TA for a very short period. Recently, he
visited Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany
for three months in connection with a DST-
DAAD collaborative program. He has
already published six papers in highly
reputed international journals and three Mr. Binoy Kumar Saikia
papers in the proceedings of international
conferences. His research interest is Energy is vital to human
synthesis and characterization of novel development. Coal is one of the world’s
nano-sized multicomponent mixed metal most important sources of energy, fueling
oxides for catalytic applications. almost 40 % of electricity worldwide. In
Email: pranjal_iict@rediffmail.com many countries this figure is much higher.
psjorhat@yahoo.co.uk Poland relies on coal for over 94 % of its
electricity; South Africa for 92 %, China for
----------------------0----------------------- 77 % and Australia for 76 %. Coal has
played this important role for countries not
only providing electricity, but also an
-Indian thought is an extraordinary essential fuel for steel and cement
mass of material which for detail and production, and other industries activities.
variety has hardly any equal in any Coal is located worldwide. It can be
other part of the world. There is hardly found on every continent in over 70
any height of spiritual insight or countries, with the biggest reservoir in the
rational philosophy attained in the USA, Russia, China and India. Coal reserves
world that has not its parallel in the in India are plentiful but of low quality.
vast stretch that lies between the early India has 10 % of the world’s coal, at over
Vedic seers and the modern naiyAyikas. 92 % billion tones. At current rates of
production, India has enough coal for the
next 217 years. Most of the Indian coal are
high ash bituminous coal and located in
Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal and Assam.
Jharkhand has the highest reserve of 35.4
billion tones in India. The bulk of coal
production in the organized sector in Assam
comes from Makum coalfields, Margherita,
Assam. Out of 259.37 million tonnes of
proved coal reserves of Assam, Makum
By Dr. S. Radhakrishnan coalfields alone have 249.65 million tonnes
of proved reserves. The Assam Railways
and Trading Company have first started the
(September 5, 1888 – April 17, 1975), was a
coal mining activities in the Makum
philosopher and statesman.
coalfields. The first colliery started was
Ledo Colliery in 1882. The other collieries
The first Vice President of India (1952-
are Baragolai, Tipong, Jeypore, Tikak and
1962) and the second President of India
Tirap, where mining has been carried out.
(1962-1967). His birthday is celebrated in
This coalfield is the most important in the
India as Teacher's Day in his honour.
Northeastern India from the standpoint of
resources of coal and infrastructure

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facilities, which accounts for majority Coal liquefaction, where coal can
production of coal due to well-developed act as a substitute for crude oil. There are
mines. two methods of liquefaction: direct coal
The World Coal Institute in liquefaction-where coal is converted to
conjunction with the International Energy liquid fuel in a single process and indirect
Agency (IEA) hosted an international coal liquefaction-where coal is first gasified
workshop in New Delhi on 16-17 May 2006 and then converted to liquid.
on the theme “Coal for Sustainable Energy”. Coal is used as an energy source in
The aim of the workshop was to open a cement production. Large amount of energy
dialogue between industry and government, are required to produce cement. Klins
and between experts from developed and usually burn coal in the form of powder and
developing countries on the role of coal in consume around 450 g of coal for about 900
clean and climate change. In several key g of cement produced. Coal is likely to
messages released from the workshop, the remain an important input for the global
major one was that coal industry is the main cement industry for many years to come.
driver of social and economic development Other uses of coal include alimuna
and plays key role in conforming the great refineries, paper manufactures, and some
challenges of the 21st century-global chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
poverty, energy security and sustainable Several chemical products can be produced
development. from the by-products of coal. Refined coal
The International Energy Agency tar is used in the manufacture of chemical
(IEA) states that coal will remain the such as creosote oil, naphthalene, phenol
dominant fuel in India’s energy scenario and benzene. Ammonia gas recovered from
through to 2030. The power sector will be coke ovens is used to manufacture ammonia
the main driver of India’s coal consumption- salts, nitric acid and agricultural fertilizers.
currently around 68 % of India’s electricity Thousand of different products have coal or
is generated from coal. India is the sixth coal by products as components: soap,
largest electricity generating country in the aspirins, solvents, dye, plastics and fibers
world. IEA projects that biomass and waste, such as rayon and nylon.
the main fuel in the primary energy mix in Coal is also an essential ingredient
2002 will increasingly be displaced by coal. in the production of specialist products viz.
India has a large number of existing coal- activated carbon, carbon fiber, silicon metal.
fired power generating plants mostly While coal makes an important
constructed by Bharat Heavy Electrical contribution to economic and social
Limited and National Thermal Power development worldwide, its environment
Corporation. In April 2006, India became impacts have been a challenge. Coal mining
the first country to join USA on the raises a number of environmental challenges
government steering committee for the viz. land disturbances, mine subsidence,
Future Gen Project. It is an initiative to build water pollution (acid mine drainage), dust &
and operate the world’s first coal-based noise pollution. Technologies have to be
power plant that removes and stores CO2 developed and deployed to minimize these
while producing electricity. disturbances. Clean Coal Technologies
Thus, the importance of coal in our (CCT) are a range of technologies options,
future years is remarkable. Some of the which improve the environmental
important uses of this natural resource are performance of coal. Some of the
listed below for the readers: technologies are: Rehabilitation of land,
Coal is essential for iron and steel Trapping of Coal Bed Methane (CBM),
production. Some 64 % of steel production Coal cleaning, Electrostatic Precipitation &
worldwide comes from iron made in blast Fabric Filters (ESPF), Flue Gas
furnaces, which use coal. Desulphurization (FGD), Fluidized Bed
Combustion (FBC) to reduce NOx & SOx

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emissions, Carbon capture & Storage (CCS) Ionic Liquids: An Invitation to Innovate
etc. In CCS, the CO2 is injected into earth’s
subsurface. These technologies reduce
emissions, reduce waste and increase the
amount of energy gained from tonne of coal.
Research and development is
focusing on increasingly innovative ways of
generating energy. One important option for
the longer term is the move towards
hydrogen-based energy systems, in which Dr. Diganta Sarma
hydrogen is used to produce electricity from
fuel cells. Fuel cells use electrochemical Introduction
reactions between hydrogen and oxygen Chemistry is dominated by the study
instead of combustion process to produce of species in solution. Although any liquid
electricity. Hydrogen does not occur may be used as a solvent, relatively few are
naturally in usable quantities. Coal is prime in general use. However, as the introduction
candidate to provide hydrogen via coal of cleaner technologies has become a major
gasification. Europe, Japan, USA and New concern throughout both industry and
Zealand are considering coal as an option to academia, the search for alternatives to the
produce hydrogen. most damaging solvents has become a high
Alleviating poverty, priority. Solvents are high on the list of
maintaining secure supplies of energy and damaging chemicals for two simple reasons:
protecting the natural environment are some (i) they are used in huge amounts and (ii)
of the biggest challenges facing our world they are usually volatile liquids that are
today. The production of coal is linked to difficult to contain. Today’s environmental
each of these challenges. concerns demand clean reaction processes
that do not use harmful organic solvents and
Reference: World Coal Institute News minimize chemical waste. In view of
Letters environmental pollution caused by the use of
volatile organic solvents, there is a greater
Short biodata of the author: Mr Binoy K need to replace them by environmentally
Saikia passed M Sc in Inorganic Chemistry benign solvents. In this regard, ionic liquids
from Cotton College (Gauhati University) in have emerged as important substitutes for
2000. He then joined in North East Institute several organic reactions.
of Sciences & Technology, Jorhat-785006,
India on January 2002 as a Project Assistant What are Ionic Liquids ?
and completed his research work on X-ray Ionic liquids are salts composed
diffraction and spectroscopic investigation wholly of ions (organic cation and organic
of Assam coal. Presently he is engaged as a or inorganic anion). The ions are poorly
Technical staff in the Department of coordinated, which results in these solvents
Chemical Sciences, Tezpur University, being liquid below 100°C, or even at room
Tezpur-784028, India from March 2005. His temperature which are known as room
areas of research interest are X-ray temperature ionic liquids. At least one ion
diffraction, FT-IR spectroscopy, coal has a delocalized charge and one component
chemistry, acid mine drainage, water & soil is organic, which prevents the formation of a
pollution. stable crystal lattice. Examples of some
common cations and anions that are used to
------------------------0------------------------------
synthesize ionic liquids are listed in Fig. 1.
The Pollution Prevention Act of
1990 in the United States established a
national policy to prevent or reduce

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pollution at its source whenever feasible. The design of energy efficient


The Pollution Prevention Act also provided processes.
an opportunity to expand beyond traditional The best form of waste disposal,
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aiming not to create it in the first place.
programs and devise creative strategies to
protect human health and the environment. Are they Green Solvents ?
Green chemistry is the use of chemistry for Many ionic liquids have been
pollution prevention. More specifically, developed for specific synthetic problems.
green chemistry is the design of chemical For this reason, ionic liquids have been
products and processes that reduce or termed “designer solvents”. Ionic liquids are
eliminate the use and generation of considered green solvents in substituting
hazardous substances. Green chemistry is a many volatile organic solvents as they
highly effective approach to pollution possess some special properties like:
prevention because it applies innovative (1) They are relatively nonvolatile
scientific solutions to real-world and hence do not produce atmospheric
environmental situations. The 12 principles volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and can
of green chemistry, originally published by be used in low-pressure (vacuum)
Paul Anastas and John Warner provide a environments.
road map for chemists to implement green (2) They are nonflammable.
chemistry. Promoting this new approach to (3) They possess good solvating
pollution prevention through the power for a wide variety of organic and
environmentally conscious design of inorganic compounds.
chemical products and processes is the focus (4) They can be considered both as a
of EPA's Green Chemistry Program, an polar and a non-coordinating solvent.
initiative under the EPA's Design for the (5) They are the most complex and
Environment Program. The principles cover versatile of solvents in that they have the
such concepts as: ability to interact via hydrogen bonding, π–
π, n–π, dispersive, dipolar, electrostatic, and
hydrophobic interactions.
(6) They can be immiscible with
nonpolar organic solvents and/or water.
(7) They have physicochemical
properties that can be altered / controlled by
judicious selection of the cation and / or
anion.
(8) Since ionic liquids can be
synthesized by metathesis reaction, a range
of task specific ionic liquids can be
synthesized.
(9) Most importantly they can be
recycled for a number of times without loss
of activity.

Synthesis
There are two basic methods for the
The design of processes to preparation of ionic liquids: metathesis of a
maximise the amount of raw material that halide salt with, for instance, a silver, group
ends up in the product. 1 metal or ammonium salt of the desired
The use of safe, environmentally anion and acid-base neutralization reactions.
benign solvents where possible.

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The overall lattice energies of ionic


solids thus depend on (i) the product of the
net ion charges, (ii) ion-ion separation, and
CH3 CH3 (iii) packing efficiency of the ions (reflected
N N
NaBF4
N
in the Madelung constant, M). Thus, low-
C4H9Br BF4
Br
melting salts should be most preferred when
N N N
the charges on the ions are ±1 and when the
CH3 C4H9 C4H9 sizes of the ions are large, thus ensuring that
the inter-ion separation (r) is also large. In
Applications addition, large ions permit charge
Ionic liquids enjoy a plethora of delocalization, further reducing overall
applications in various domains of physical charge density.
and chemical sciences. For example, they Melting points of organic salts have
are used as “solvents” for organic, an important relationship to the symmetry of
organometallic syntheses and catalysis, as organic cations. Increasing symmetry in the
electrolytes in electrochemistry, in fuel and ions increases melting points, by permitting
solar cells, as lubricants, as a stationary more efficient ion-ion packing in the crystal
phase for chromatography, as matrices for cell. A change from spherical or high-
mass spectrometry, supports for the symmetry ions such as Na+ or [NMe4]+ to
immobilization of enzymes, in separation lower-symmetry ions such as imidazolium
technologies, as liquid crystals, templates cations distorts the Coulombic charge
for the synthesis of mesoporous, nano- distribution. In addition, cations such as the
materials and ordered films, materials for imidazolium cations contain alkyl groups
embalming and tissue preservation, etc. that do not participate in charge
delocalization.
Physicochemical properties 2. Viscosity: The viscosity of ionic
Ionic liquids possess a unique array liquids is normally higher than that of
of physico-chemical properties that make common molecular solvents. Ionic liquid
them suitable in numerous task-specific viscosities at room temperature range from a
applications in which conventional solvents low of around 10 cP to values in excess of
are non-applicable or insufficiently 500 cP. There are several factors affecting
effective. Such properties include: ionic liquid viscosities such as temperature,
1. Melting Point: The solid-liquid ion sizes, impurities etc.
transition temperatures of ionic liquids can a) Effect of temperature- Viscosities
be below ambient and as low as 100°C. The of ionic liquids decrease with the increase in
structure of an ionic liquid has a direct temperature. For example, the viscosity of 1-
impact upon its properties, in particular the butyl-3-methyl imidazolium
melting point and liquidus ranges. The hexafluorophosphate [BMIM][PF6]
charge, size and distribution of charge on the decreases by about 27 % as the temperature
respective ions are the main factors that changes from 293 K to 298 K.
influence the melting points of the salts. The (b) Effect of impurities- Small
dominant force in ionic liquids is Coulombic amount of impurities can have a large effect
attraction between ions. The Coulombic on the viscosities of ionic liquids. A recent
attraction term is given by equation 1: study indicates that the chloride impurities
in the ionic liquids increase the viscosity,
Ec = Mz+z- / 4πεor (1) while the presence of water or other co-
solvents decreases the viscosity. The
Where z+ and z- are the ion charges increase of viscosity with increasing
and r is the inter-ion separation. concentration of chloride in [BMIM][BF4] is
related to an increase in the cohesive forces

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via hydrogen bonding between the chloride liquids in the range of the short- to medium-
and the protons of the imidazolium ring. chain alcohols.
(c) Effect of ion sizes- Within a Since measurement of dielectric
series of non-haloaluminate ionic liquids constant requires a non-conducting medium,
containing the same cation, a change in the it is not possible in the case of ionic liquids.
anion clearly affects the viscosity. The Therefore, the polarity scales for ionic
general order of increasing viscosity with liquids have been suggested by using
respect to the anion is: [(CF3SO2)2N]- < various methods such as absorption spectra,
[BF4]- < [CF3CO2]- < [CF3SO3]- < fluorescence spectra, refractive index,
[(C2H5SO2) 2N]- < [C3F7CO2]- < [CH3CO2]- organic reactions as probe etc.
< [CH3SO3]- < [C4F9SO3]-. Obviously, this
trend does not exactly correlate with anion Conclusion
size. This may be due to some other The chemistry of room-temperature
properties such as their ability to form weak ionic liquids is at an incredibly exciting
hydrogen bonds with the cation. The stage in its development. No longer mere
viscosities of ionic liquids are also affected curiosities, ionic liquids are beginning to be
by the identity of the organic cation. For used as solvents for a wide range of
ionic liquids with the same anion, the trend synthetic procedures. The advent of systems
is that larger alkyl substituents on the that are easy to handle will allow those
imidazolium cation give rise to more viscous without specialist knowledge of the field to
fluids. use them for the first time. From the over
3. Conductivity: Since ionic liquids increasing popularity of ionic liquids it
are composed entirely of ions, they are seems that one day will come when ionic
expected to possess very high conductivities. liquids totally replace the conventional
Conductivity of ionic liquids is mostly of the volatile organic solvents, and I hope the day
order of 10-1 Sm-1 at ambient temperatures, is not so far.
less conductive than concentrated aqueous
electrolytes. Short biodata of the author: Dr.
The explanation for this observation Diganta Sarma was born (September,
was based on the reduction of available 1978) and brought up in a small village
charge carriers due to ion pairing and/or ion Naharani of Golaghat District, Assam.
aggregation and to the reduced ion mobility
After completing his M.Sc. degree
due to the large ion size. Parameters such as
viscosity and density of liquid, ion size and
(2000) from the Department of
degree of dissociation affect the Chemistry, Gauhati University, he went
conductivity. So it is rather difficult to to Tezpur University to work in a MNES
estimate the contribution of each parameter sponsored project for one year, then he
to the conductivity of an ionic liquid. moved over to RRL Jorhat to work in a
However, proportionality between the DBT sponsored project in the Natural
conductivity and inverse of the viscosity has Product Chemistry Division where he
been observed for several liquids in a wide worked for almost eight months. He then
temperature range. came to National Chemical Laboratory,
4. Polarity: Different combinations Pune to pursue his Ph.D. degree. During
of anions and cations produce solvents with
this period he attended one international
different polarities. No ionic liquids have
shown themselves to be “super-polar”;
symposium (7th Tetrahedron
regardless of the method used to assess their Symposium, Challenges in Organic
polarities, ionic liquids come within the Chemistry, Organizer: Elsevier) at
range of molecular solvents. Most general Kyoto Research Park, Kyoto, Japan
measures of overall polarity place ionic during 25-26th May, 2006. After
submitting his Ph.D. thesis to Pune

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University (February, 2007), he Crystal Polymorphism


immediately joined the research group of
Prof. Yoshiaki Kiso, in the Department
of Medicinal Chemistry, Kyoto
Pharmaceutical University, Kyoto,
Japan. Currently, he is working on
“Synthesis and structure activity
relationship study of peptidomimetic
coronavirus protease inhibitors.” Mr. Bipul Sarma
E-mail: dsarma22@yahoo.co.in
Background, Definition and Importance:
Crystal polymorphism is one
---------------------0---------------------- manifestation of structural diversity which is
in every aspect of nature. A crystal is a solid
in which the constituent atoms, molecules,
or ions are packed in a regularly ordered,
repeating pattern extending in all three
spatial dimensions. The word crystal
- All power is within you. You can do originates from the Greek word “Krystallos”
anything and everything. Believe in meaning clear ice. ‘Polymorphism’ word
that. Do not believe that you are weak; originally comes from Greek literature (poly
do not believe that you are half-crazy = many, morph = form). Mitscherlich (1822)
lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. first documented the polymorphism in
Stand up and express the divinity context of crystallography. He noticed
within you. number of compound (e.g. arsenate and
phosphate) can exist in different crystal
- Do not look back upon what has been structure. Ostwald worked on the relative
done. Go ahead! stability of different crystal structure of
same compound. Buerger and McCrone
- Fear is death, fear is sin, fear is hell, worked on the fundamental property change
fear is unrighteousness, fear is wrong like melting point, solubility with different
life. All the negative thoughts and ideas crystal form for same chemical substance
that are in the world have proceeded made the subject the polymorphism a major
from this evil spirit of fear. up lift.
Chronology in historical
development of polymorphism is as follows:
-Work on with the intrepidity of a lion
1822 Mitscherlich identified
but at the same time with the
different crystal structure for
tenderness of a flower.
arsenate and phosphate.
1844 Amici discovered
By Swami Vivekananda (1863- 1902)
polarizing microscope for
visual characterization of
solids.
1876 Millard considered
geometrical and structural
---------------------0---------------------- basis in growing different
form of same substances.
1891 Lahman observed phase
transformation in crystal
form.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 22


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

1897 Ostwald famous ‘Rule of clear and elusive in literature till today.
Steps’ on relative stability McCrone defined polymorph as “a solid
of polymorph. crystalline phase of a given compound
1906-19 Summarization of organic resulting from the possibility of at least two
crystal polymorphism in crystalline arrangements of the molecules of
Groth’s five volume that compound in the solid state”. Burger
collection. tried to simplify it as “if these (solids
1926 Tamman’s work on composed of only one component) can exist
thermodynamic stability and in different crystal lattices, then we speak of
relationship of different polymorphism”. In modern language crystal
polymorphic modification described as ‘supermolecule par excellence’
1937 Bloom and Buerger pointed by Dunitz. In his view polymorphic
out about the fundamental modification are ‘superisomer’ and
property change and its polymorphism is a kind of
importance for polymorph. ‘superisomerism’1. Scheme 1 describes the
1956-69 McCrone work on understanding of polymorphism
pharmaceutical importance
for drug polymorphism.
1973 Corradini coined the term
conformational
polymorphism.
Polymorphism arises due to
torsional degree of freedom
of molecular conformers.
1989 Bavin pointed that
metastable polymorph can
used for tabletting and
stable one for suspensions.
1998 Unexpected formation of
stable and less soluble
polymorph of Ritonavir
Scheme 1
(Norvir) in Abbott
laboratory highlights the
Polymorphism in organic solids is
significance of polymorph
of fundamental importance as its ability to
screening for drug before
alter physical and chemical properties in
marketting.
different structures, such as melting point,
2002 ‘Polymorphism in
density, compressibility, solubility,
molecular crystal’ by
hardness, dipole moment and bioavailability.
Bernstein provides valuable
Polymorphism has received particular
update on polymorphism
attention in the recent literature because of
and emerged as a growing
its importance in drug substances and
subject.
pharmaceutical formulations. Molecular
recognition, crystal nucleation,
“Allotrope” first introduced by
crystallization, and the phase relationship
Berzelius which describes the existence of
between solid can be inferred from study of
different crystal structures for same element.
polymorphism. These studies represent
Allotrope and polymorph are closely related.
special opportunities to analyze structure–
Polymorphism is used in general to refer the
property relationships because the
structural diversity of compound whereas
conformation, hydrogen bonding and lattice
allotropy is the structural diversity of
energy of the same molecule in different
element. Definition of polymorphism is not

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 23


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

crystalline environments may be compared Polymorphs are classified into


in polymorphic structures. One of the categories, such as concomitant polymorphs,
challenges in crystal engineering is our configurational polymorphs, conformational
ability to understand and control isomorphs, conformational polymorphs or
polymorphism. To avoid undesired form of tautomeric polymorphs based on structural
a drug molecule we need to understand the similarity, visual inspection and occurance.
origin of polymorphism and control of Conformational and concomitant
crystallization process. Patent associated polymorphs are more common. When
with Ranitidine hydrochloride and formation polymorphs crystallize simultaneously in the
of less soluble stable polymorph of same flask under identical crystal growth
Ritonavir during manufacturing highlighted conditions from the same solvent; they are
the significance of polymorph selection and termed as concomitant polymorphs. This
screening before marketing. Getting the phenomenon occurs when there are many
right polymorph is not only important for in metastable forms with almost similar
drugs and pharmaceuticals but also for energies that crystallize together.
speciality chemicals like explosives, dyes, Conformational polymorphism can be
pigments, flavors and confectionery defined as the existence of different
products. For example, oxotitanium conformers of the same molecule in
phthalocyanine exists in four polymorphic different polymorphic modifications.
forms. Among the four forms, one form is Conformationally flexible molecules have
used as photosensitive charge generation greater scope for their polymorphic
material and the other forms are inactive. occurrence because of greater degree of
Current approaches for discovery and freedom than rigid molecule. The existence
selection of polymorphic forms include of different conformers of the same
methods, such as varying solvent of molecule in the same crystal structure
crystallization, temperature, sublimation and represents conformational isomorphism. Yu
melt crystallization2, extent of and co-workers showed that 5-Methyl-2-[(2-
supersaturation, soluble additives, epitaxial nitrophenyl) amino]-3-thiophenacarbonitrile
growth, laser induced nucleation, (ROY, Red, Orange, Yellow), has a record
crystallization in capillaries, confinement number of seven polymorphs.
within porous materials, functionalized Crystallization process can be
polymer heteronuclei cross nucleation, in- considered as two-steps viz. nucleation, or
situ flash cooling are also used recently to multiple selection processes on different
control over polymorphism and producing length and timescales, and crystal growth,
new polymorph. A wide range of involving subsequent growth of nascent
crystallization conditions to generate new nuclei. Nucleation is the primary stage of
polymorph known as high-throughput crystallization. Crystal growth from those
crystallization which has become very nuclei or crystallization starts after that.
popular in pharma industry. This approach Various group studied on crystal growth
enables to speed up pharmaceutical aspect as it is in macroscopic scale. But
development and capture solid form there was very less study reported on the
diversity of pharmaceutical substances. nucleation. Figure 1 shows the changes in
Different group carried out database free energy for thermodynamic (stable) and
analyses to estimate the percentage of kinetic (usually metastable) crystals.
compounds that are polymorphic reported in
Cambridge Structural Database (CSD). It
was found that about 4-5% of organic
compounds, 5.5% organometallics, and
2.1% of coordination compounds are shown
to exhibit polymorphism 3.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 24


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

--------------------0-------------------

-Always do right. This will gratify some


people and astonish the rest.

-Clothes make the man. Naked people


have little or no influence on society.

-Do something every day that you don't


want to do; this is the golden rule for
acquiring the habit of doing your duty
without pain.
Figure 1

References:
1. J. Bernstein, Polymorphism in Molecular
Crystals, Clarendon, Oxford, 2002.
2. B. Sarma, S. Roy, A. Nangia, Chem.
Commun,. 2006, 4918.
3. Cambridge Structural Database (CSD),
version 5.27, ConQuest 1.9, January 2007
update, www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk.
Mark Twain
Born: November 30th , 1835
Short Biodata of the author: Bipul Sarma Died: April 21st, 1910
(born in Nalbari district, Assam) received
his bachelor degree in chemistry from B.
Barooah College, Guwahati and did master
degree from Cotton College (Gauhati
University) in 2003. After qualifying CSIR- -Don't go around saying the world
JRF, he joined in a DST sponsored project owes you a living. The world owes you
under the supervision of Prof. J. B. Baruah nothing. It was here first.
in IIT-Guwahati. Then he moved to School
of Chemistry, University of Hyderabad and -Education: that which reveals to the
joined as a Ph. D. research Scholar under the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the
supervision of Prof. Ashwini Nangia in July, vast limits of their knowledge.
2004. Presently he is working in the area of
organic more precisely crystal engineering -Always acknowledge a fault. This will
and polymorphism in organic molecules throw those in authority off their guard
including drug and synthesis. and give you an opportunity to commit
more.
--------------------0-------------------

--------------------0-------------------

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 25


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Octadecanuclear Manganese Single- loop due to very slow magnetic relaxation


below their blocking temperature as well as
Molecule Magnet: Synthesis and
steps in the hysteresis loop assigned to the
Magnetic Properties of presence of quantum tunneling of the
magnetization.1 Since the dodecanulear
[MnII4MnIII14(O)14(OAc)18(hmp)4(hmpH)2(
manganese cluster with the composition
H2O)2] [Mn12O12(O2CMe)16(H2O)4] (Mn12ac) had
been discovered as an single-molecule
magnet,2,3 many efforts have been made to
achieve larger cluster compounds showing
SMM behaviors. Especially, manganese
carboxylate cluster chemistry has proved to
be a rich source of a variety of polynuclear
species.4 Specific examples of SMMs except
Dr. Akhilesh Kumar Gupta Mn12ac include the tetranuclear cubane
[MnIVMnIII3O3X]6+ core5 and
New MnII4MnIII14 cluster complex [Fe4(sae)4(MeOH)4] (sae = 2-salicylidene-
[Mn18O14(O2CMe)18(hmp)4 (hmpH)2(H2O)2] amino-1-ethanol),6 the octanuclear Fe(III)
(1) was synthesized from the one pot cluster [Fe8O2(OH)12(tacn)6]8+ (tacn =
reaction of Mn(OAc)2⋅4H2O, 2- tetraazacyclononane),7 and the tetranuclear
hydroxymethylpyridine (hmpH), AcOH and butterfly complex [V4O2(O2CR)7(L)2]n+
NBu4MnO4 in CH2Cl2, and dispays strong (L=bipyridine or picolinate).8 Recently, a
intramolecular antiferromagnetic coupling in new family of Manganese-based SMMs,
dc magnetization measurements and such as [Mn7(OH)3Cl3(hmp)9]2+ and
temperature dependenct out-of-phase [Mn12O8X4(O2CPh)8L8], has been designed
susceptibility signals in ac magnetization by using of hmp- bridging ligand (hmpH =
measurements, suggesting compound 1 as a 2-hydroxymethylpyridine).9,10 We herein
new example of single-molecule magnet. report a new octadecanuclear mixed-valent
Mn-based SMM of formula
[Mn18O14(O2CMe)18(hmp)4(hmpH)2(H2O)2]
(1).
Treatment of a stirred slurry of
Mn(acetate)2⋅4H2O (200 mg), hmpH (0.4
mL) and acetic acid (2 mL) in 20 mL of
methylene chloride with solid Bun4NMnO4
(290 mg) resulted in a dark brown solution.
After 1 h, the solvent was removed in vacuo
X-ray Structure of and the residue was recrystallized from
[Mn18O14(O2CMe)18(hmp)4(hmpH)2(H2O)2] CH2Cl2-Et2O to give dark brown crystalline
(1) solid of 1⋅6CH2Cl2 in a yield of ca. 25 %. A
single crystal suitable for X-ray
The synthesis of a magnetic molecule crystallography was grown by diffusion of
having unusually large spin value and large hexane into the CH2Cl2 solution.
negative anisotropy value is an area of
intensive current research, because it is the An ORTEP diagram of 1† with atom
prerequisite for developing the emerging labeling scheme is displayed in Figure 1.
class of single-molecule magnets (SMMs). The centrosymmetric complex 1 consists of
SMMs, nanometer-size single-domain [Mn18(µ3-O)10(µ4-O)4] core with peripheral
magnetic clusters, have been found to chelation provided by eighteen acetate
display intramolecular magnetic hysteresis ligands and six hmp- ligands, and two

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 26


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

terminal water molecules. On the basis of


Jahn-Teller distortions and bond valence
sum calculations, the seven manganese
atoms (Mn1~Mn7) in a crystallographically
asymmetric unit were assigned to MnIII and
Mn8 and Mn9 to MnII. The elongated axial
MnIII-O distances (2.144(4) ~ 2.456(4) Å)
are significantly longer than the other bonds
(1.854(3) ~ 1.977(4) Å). The MnII-O bond
distances are in a range from 2.104(4) Å to (a)
2.267(3) Å. As shown in the side view, ten
manganeses atoms from Mn1 to Mn5 and
their symmetry related partners are almost
co-planar and comprise a central planar
Mn10(µ3-O)6] unit. This planar [Mn10(µ3-O)6]
unit was also observed in the other Mn18
cluster
[Mn18O16(O2CPh)22(phthalate)2(H2O)4]4-.11
Two MnIII ions (Mn6, Mn7) are located
above and below the [Mn10(µ3-O)6] plane
and bridged by oxygen atoms to form a (b)
distorted cubane [Mn4(Ooxide)3(Ocarboxylate)]
unit (Mn3, Mn4, Mn6, Mn7). The distance Fig. 1. (a) ORTEP diagram of 1 with atom
(3.610(1) Å) between two MnII ions is quite numbering scheme. Selected distances (Å):
longer than the other Mn-Mn distances Mn(1) ⋅⋅⋅ Mn(1’) 2.823(2), Mn(1) ⋅⋅⋅ Mn(2)
(2.810(1) ~ 3.211(1) Å). The octahedral 2.810(1), Mn(3) ⋅⋅⋅ Mn(4) 3.082(1), Mn(3) ⋅⋅⋅
geometry around Mn(8) is severely distorted Mn(6) 2.818(1), Mn(3) ⋅⋅⋅ Mn(7) 3.210(1),
such that the trans N1-Mn-O6 angle Mn(4) ⋅⋅⋅ Mn(5) 3.059(1), Mn(4) ⋅⋅⋅ Mn(6)
becomes 142.3(1) °. Charge considerations 2.940(1), Mn(4) ⋅⋅⋅ Mn(7) 3.211(1), Mn(4) ⋅⋅⋅
require protonation of two of oxygen Mn(8) 3.119 (1), Mn(5) ⋅⋅⋅ Mn(8) 3.203(1),
donating ligands. Careful examination of Mn(6) ⋅⋅⋅ Mn(7) 2.840(1), Mn(7) ⋅⋅⋅ Mn(8)
structural parameters reveals that O29 is 3.116(1), Mn(8) ⋅⋅⋅ Mn(9) 3.610(1). (b) A
protonated and quite close to O9 (2.622 Å) side view emphasizing the planarity of
due to H-bonding interactions. [Mn10O6] unit
Magnetic susceptibility experiments were
carried out on a powder sample 1 dried
under air. Under these conditions, TGA
experiment indicates ca. three CH2Cl2
molecules exist in a solid sample. The
magnetic susceptibility data as a function of
temperature, measured with an applied filed
of 1 KG by using a SQUID magnetometer
are displayed in Figure 2. χMT decreases
almost linearly from 44.6 emuK/mol at 298
K to 33.6 emuK/mol at 58 K. It is clear that
there are strong intramolecular
antiferromagnetic exchange interactions.

Fig. 2: Temp dependence of theχMT(•) and


1/χMT*() at 1000 Oe.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 27


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

χMT = 59.5 emuK/mol is expected for an all calculations. The final R(F) and wR(F2)
aggregate of noninteracting four S = 5/2 and were 0.0586 and 0.1348, respectively.
fourteen S = 2 . Below ~50K, χMT drops
faster down to 2.0 K (7.6 emuK/mol) References:
indicating the existence of antiferromagnetic 1. A. Caneschi, D. Gatteschi, C.
intermolecular interactions and/or zero-field Sangregorio, R. Sessoli, L. Sorace, A.
splitting effects. Magnetization data were Cornia, M. A. Novak, C. Paulsen, W.
collected in the ranges 40-50 kG and 2.0- Werndorfer J. Magn. Magn. Mater. 1999,
10.0 K and the reduce magnetization M/NµB 200, 182.
is plotted as a function of H/T in Figure 3. 2. T. Lis Acta Crystallogr. 1980, B36, 2042.
The split of isofield lines shows that the 3. R. Sessoli, D. Gatteschi, A. Canneschi,
zero-field splitting exists in the complex 1. M. A. Novak Nature 1993, 365, 141.
4. G. Aromi, S. M. J. Aubin, M. A. Bolcar,
G. Christou, H. J. Eppley, K. Folting, D.
N. Hendrickson, J. C. Huffman, R. C.
Squire, H.-L. Tsai, S. Wang, M. W.
Wemple Polyhdron, 1998, 17, 3005.
5. S. M. J. Aubin, S. Spagna, H. J. Eppley,
R. E. Sager, G. Christou, D. N.
Hendrickson Chem. Commun. 1998,
803.
6. H. Oshio, N. Hoshino, Y. Ito J. Am.
Chem. Soc. 2000, 122, 12602.
7. Bara, A.-L., P. Debrunner, D. Gatteschi,
Also carried out were ac susceptibility Ch. E. Schulz, R. Sessoli Europhys. Lett.
measurements for the powder sample 1 in a 1996, 35, 133.
5.0 G ac field oscillating at 250 – 1000 Hz 8. S. L. Castro, Z. M. Sun, C. M. Grant, J. C.
in the temperature range of 2.0 – 10 K. Bollinger, D. N. Hendrickson, G.
Preliminary results indicate that the out-of- Christou J. Am Chem. Soc. 1998, 120,
2365.
phase(χM” ) signals showed a frequency
9. M. A. Bolcar, S. M. J. Aubin, K. Folting,
dependence. As the frequency of the ac field
D. N. Hendrickson, G. Christou Chem.
is changed from 1000 to 250 Hz, the χM”
Commun. 1997, 1485.
peak shifted from 2.58 to 2.37 K. This ac
10. C. Boskovic, E. K. Brechin, W. E.
behavior establishes the complex 1 as a new
Streib, K. Folting, D. N. Hendrickson, G.
class of single-molecule magnet.
Christou Chem. Commun. 2001, 467.
11. R. C. Squire, S. M. J. Aubin, K. Folting,
Acknowledgements: This work was
W. E. Streib, D. N. Hendrickson, G.
supported by the NRL program of the
Christou; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl.
Ministry of Science and Technology, Korea.
1995, 34, 887.
Crystal data:
C78H108Cl12Mn18N6O58 (including six Short Bio-data of the author: Dr. Akhilesh
dichloromethanes), M = 3472.02, triclinic, Kumar Gupta is Senior Research Scientist at
space group P1, a = 14.411(1), b = Dept. of Chemistry, National Tsing Hua
University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, Republic of
15.177(1), c = 15.729(1) Å, α = 70.328(2), β
China continuing research on Photovoltaics
= 78.407(2), γ = 81.046(2) °, V = 3159.0(5)
as well as OLEDs material. He has
Å3, Z = 1, T = -100 °C., µ(MoKα) = 2.071 completed his PhD from North-Eastern Hill
mm-1. 17933 reflections measured, 13817 University, Shillong in the year 2000 and in
unique (Rint = 0.0282) which were used in the same year joined as post doctoral fellow
at IIT, Kanpur in the group of Prof.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 28


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

T.K.Chandrashekar (from June, 2000 to Rain Drop Size Distribution and Radar
July, 2001) and did research on Observation of precipitating system
photodynamic theraupeutic agent based on
expanded porphyrins at. He left for South
Korea in August 2001 and did post Dcotoral
studies at Department of Chemistry, Kongju
National University, Kongju, Chungnam
under supervision of Prof. Kim Jinkwon in
the field of single molecule magnets based
on 1 st series Transition Metals (From 2001-
2003), followed by joining the group of Mr. Mahen Konwar,
Prof. Won Kyung Seok at Department of
Chemistry, Dongguk University, Seoul, Almost in everybody’s life
South Korea (from 2003 –2005) to pursue individual enjoys rain either in their
further research on Samsung Korea project childhood days or later part of their life. One
based on ruthenium solar cell dye. After good shower can turn a leafless deserted tree
completing successfully he moved to into a beautiful green tree; full of life!! Rain
Department of Organic Chemistry and can bring out smile to the face of farmers
Centre for Molecular Devices, Royal who used to longing for rain to come or it
Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden can create beautiful poem in the mind of a
to do further research on solar cell based on poet!! Now a day’s one single heavy shower
both ruthenium and organic dye (from 2005- can even bring havoc to the city life that
2006). reflects the unplanned lifestyle that we are
(Email: akhileshkumargupta@yahoo.com ) heading for. Such is the importance of rain
in day to day life. Understanding of the rain
drop size distribution (RDSD) is very
important in the soil erosion, radio
---------------------0---------------------- communication, forecasting and in studying
the microphysics of rain phenomenon.
Everybody experiences that
-Do not keep company with a fool for as generally at the very initial stage of a rain
we can see he is a two-legged beast. event, very large rain drops are observed
Like an unseen thorn he pierces the then heavy rain that contain all types of rain
heart with his sharp words. drops (convective) followed by steady type
of rain (stratiform). The convective rain lasts
for lesser amount of time than that of
stratiform type of rain. The transition period
when convective type of rain is transformed
into stratiform type of rain is named as
“transition rain”. For better and complete
understanding of rain phenomenon RDSD is
the most widely term which is defined as the
number of drops per unit volume per unit
By Chanakya (Indian politician, strategist drop diameter. It is formulated as
and writer, 350 BC-275 BC)
N D0
N Di =
AWt ∆t
---------------------0---------------------- N
where Di is the number of drops
per unit volume, of diameter D and terminal
velocity
Wt , and N D0 is the number of

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 29


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

drops of diameter D collected on surface National Atmospheric Research Laboratory


area A during time interval ∆t [Battan, (NARL) at Gadanki, India.
1959]. For the first time Marshal and Palmer
in 1948, painstakingly measured rain drop
size distribution and parameterized, they
found that it follows an exponential shape
[Marshall and Palmer, 1948]. Different
RDSD models such as lognormal, gamma
and Weibull distributions are also used to Fig. 2 – Shows the HTI plot of SNR of a
study rain characteristics. Joss-Waldvodgel precipitating system at Gadanki
disdrometer and video disdrometer can
provide number of rain drops at different Readers can see the precipitating
drop size ranges. Figure 1 shows the system up to the height of 8 km that contains
exponential, lognormal and gamma RDSD the convective core at the initial stage, the
for different types of rain. For a tropical rain intensity during this period is very high.
station at Gadanki it is found that the In the later part the intense part of a bright
Gamma RDSD follows more closely to the band at the 00 isotherm level at ~ 4.5 km is
natural DSD and better estimator of rainfall visible (from ~ 0130 LT) which is known as
intensity R (mm hr-1) [Konwar et al. 2006]. stratiform type of rain. The presence of
bright band signifies the presence of melting
layer, from where the rain drops changes
from solid to liquid phase where diffusional
growth process dominates [Houze, 1997]. It
is to be mentioned that during convective
period rain drops coalescence themselves
and in that process break up also takes place.
When the coalescence and breakup process
take place at equal rate the shape of the
RDSD maintains a stable shape irrespective
of large change of rain rates. To take place
this process there must present strong
updraft (~ 8ms-1 between 2.5-5.5 km)
vertical air velocity, the obvious reason is
that the smaller drops have less terminal
Fig. 1 - Shows averaged number density velocity than that of the updraft motion and
spectra (solid line), exponential (dash line), will sustain for longer time, in this process
lognormal (long short dash line) and other drops will coalescence and bigger
gamma (dot line) RDSD for (a) 5 mm h-1, drops will form. Once the bigger drops will
and (b) 25 mm h-1 rainfall intensities exceed the strength of updraft motion they
will fall down and break up process may
Radar can provide the overhead take place [Atlas and Ulbrich, 2000]. The
information of a precipitating system. At 1.3 RDSD in figure 1 (a) contains mostly data of
GHz, due to the Rayleigh scattering, stratiform type of rain while Fig2(b)
returned power of the radar signal gives contains that of convective type of rain.
valuable information of the precipitating The understanding of precipitating
system. Figure 2 shows the height time system and estimation of rain fall intensity
intensity (HTI) plot of signal to noise ratio from radar and satellite are challenging
(SNR) of a precipitating system. This research area in modern day atmospheric
observation is obtained from Lower science. Globally many efforts are going on
Atmospheric Wind Profiler located at to understand the rain phenomenon by

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 30


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

networking radar systems. The Tropical Challenges in the Plant Biotechnology


Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) is a
joint mission between the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA, USA) and the National Space
Development Agency (NASDA Japan)
contains Precipitating Radar on board and
producing worthy data everyday.

Acknowledgement: The Author is indebted Ms. N. Bhattacharyya


to the Director, NARL for providing the
Radar and Disdrometer data. Fruitful Every human being depends
discussions with my colleagues are also primarily on agriculture for their food.
gratefully acknowledged. Traditionally agriculture was targeted
improving the production of plant derived
References: food in terms of both quality and quantity.
1. Atlas, D., C. W. Ulbrich, An Gradually it is implemented; a shift from the
Observationally Based Conceptual Model of production of low priced food and bulk
Warm Oceanic Convective Rain in the commodities to high priced specialized plant
Tropics, J. Appl. Meteor., 39, 2165-2181, derived products. Thus, the plant
2000. biotechnology has become popular and
2. Battan, L. J., Radar Observation of the essential towards mankind. The world
Atmosphere, The University of Chicago population is expected to reach 7 billion
Press, 1959. within next 25 years, over 10 billion in the
3. Houze,R.A. Jr., Stratiform precipitation year 2050, while agricultural production is
in regions of convection: A meteorological growing at the slower rate of about 1.8 %.
paradox? Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 78, About 12 % of the world’s land surface is
2179–2196, 1997. used to grow crops and the agricultural area
4. Konwar, M., D K Sarma, J. Das and S. required to support food production will
Sharma, Shape of rain drop size distribution probably reduce in coming years due to the
and classification of rain type at Gadanki, population growth. Food productivity and
Ind J Radio Space Phys, 35, 360-367,2006. security in the changing environment is
5. Marshall, J. S., and W. M. Palmer, The becoming the burning problems of
distribution of raindrops with size. J. agricultural which may also lead to a search
Meteor., 5, 165–166,1948. for alternative food sources. In this context
plan biotechnology is a promising field
which may lead to a successful solution.
Short biodata of the author: Mr. Mahen At present situation, the
Konwar received his M. Sc. degree in achievement and the development of plant
Physics from Gauhati University. He is biotechnology (table 1) is promising which
currently persuing his PhD degree from may cooperate to overcome the need of the
Jadavpur University, Kolkata & working as food supply with quality. Improvement of
a research scholar under research program classical breeding, generation of engineered
sponsored by Indian Space Research organisms and integration of
Organization at Kohima Science College, microorganisms into agricultural production
Nagaland. His research field is the study of systems is the major steps of the present day
convective precipitating system, rain drop plant biotechnology programmes. This will
size distribution and retrieval of rainfall enhance the target organisms on the growth
intensity by soft computation techniques. and development control (vegetative,
-----------------------0--------------------------- generative and reproduction/propagation),
protecting plants against the ever-increasing

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 31


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

threats of abiotic and biotic stress and cloths is also expected to emerge from
expanding the horizons by producing transgenic crops (Tyagi, 2000)..
specialty foods, biochemicals,
pharmaceuticals etc. Indian plant Are they safe?
biotechnology also has come of age Although, there are lots of foods
accomplishing research projects of national products, agricultural plants or organisms
and international importance (e.g. rice that have been modified by genetic
genome sequencing project). These manipulation e.g. genetically modified
biotechnological tools and its outcome have organisms (GMO) and foods. But, are they
immense potential and the same is evident 100% safe for human or for the
from the fact that currently over 130 million environment? It is a debatable question. It is
acres are planted under transgenic crops all already demonstrated that GM plants and the
over the world. The global market value of some other engineered organisms as
biotech crops was about 3.8 billion US presently being developed pose several
dollars in 1998 (Gupta, 2002). environmental risks. Most criticisms of
The potential to improve plant and genetic engineering focus on food safety and
animal productivity and their proper use in environmental impacts.
agriculture relies largely on newly Some of the key questions are:
developed DNA biotechnology and • What impact will GMOs have on the
molecular markers. These techniques enable health of those who eat them? Will some
the selection of successful genotypes, better individuals develop allergic reactions?
isolation and cloning of favourable traits and • "Bt corn," a common GMO, includes a
the creation of transgenic organisms of gene from Bacillus thuringienis which
importance to agriculture. In India, produces a pesticide that kills the
concerted efforts of several laboratories and European corn borer.
generous support of the Department of • StarLink is a variety of Bt corn that
Biotechnology and Indian Council of includes a protein (Cry9C) that does not
Agricultural Research along with the inputs break down as easily in the body, which
from the Rockefeller Foundation are increases the risk of allergic reactions in
beginning to pay dividends and pave way some people.
for future progress towards sustainable • GM wheat could cross with native
agriculture. grasses (gene flow) to alter the makeup
The "green revolution" for example, of the ecosystem and potentially create
increased wheat production 10-fold in India "super weeds" a possibility that has
and several other countries in South East raised concerns in the "Wheat Belt" of
Asia. Other than better production, biotech the United States and elsewhere.
crops have also developed that may
• There is a worry over the potential
influence not only on the modern agriculture
impact of some GMOs on nontarget
but also the community health. A new type
organisms.
of rice called "golden rice" is fortified
• It will soon be possible to engineer
through biotechnology with beta-carotene by
bacteria and viruses to produce deadly
engineered pathway for provitamin A
pathogens.
biosynthesis and iron-rich rice (Wu, 2005).
Such rice is expected to provide for vitamin
It is the time to rethink in this direction.
A and iron deficiency in millions of under-
Plant biotechnology and its outcome are
nourished children and women throughout
encouraging at present which might be
the world. Similarly, plants are being used to
environmentally safe also. Therefore, in the
produce vaccines and therapeutic agents like
current R&D programmes researchers
insulin, antibodies and drug biomolecules.
should focus on the better product
Production of plastics and novel Fibre for
development rather than just the publication

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 32


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

which in turn will make Plant Biotechnology Short Biodata of the Author: Ms. Nabanita
more relevant and responsive to the Bhattacharyya is working as a lecturer
society’s needs. Department of Botany, Nowgong College,
Assam. Her research area is Plant
Reference Physiology and Biochemistry. The title of
1. Tyagi A K, Plant Biotechnology for her Ph.D thesis is ‘Investigation on
Agriculture and Human Health. India physiological performances on Houttuynia
Chem 2000 October 6-8, 2000 cordata Thunb (Masandari)- with reference
2. Gupta PK, Molecular markers and QTL to its phytoremediation potential
analysis in crop plants Curr. Sci., 2002, in uncultivable land’
83, 113–114.
3. G Wu et al., Stepwise engineering to Email: msnbhattacharyya@yahoo.co.uk
produce high yields of very long-chain
polyunsaturated fatty acids in plants, ------------------------o-----------------------
Nat. Biotechnol. 2005, 12, 1013–1017.
4. http://www.struggle.ws/rbr/rbr5/biot
ech.html

Some rare pictures

This was how the Rocket Cone was transported to the Launch Pad at Thumba in the
beginning

The person on the left... He is our very own... Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam...The
present President of India

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 33


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

ABSTRACT OF PhD THESIS /RESEARCH WORK

Ph. D. thesis abstract of Dr. Pompi


Hazarika

Figure 1 Schematic representation of the


synthesis of mono and oligofunctional
DNA-AuNPs. Exemplified for the synthesis
Dr. Pompi Hazarika of heptafunctional conjugate. [1]

Title of Thesis: Biofunctionalized gold could be easily controlled by varying the


nanoparticles: Synthesis, Characterization relative amounts of the oligonucleotides
and Applications used during synthesis of the DNA-AuNPs. It
was observed that the surface coverage of
The main objective of this project AuNPs with oligonucleotides was dependent
was to develop novel biofunctionalized gold on oligonucleotide length as well as on
nanoparticle (AuNP) probes applicable in nanoparticle size.
the sensitive detection of biomolecules such Then DNA-directed self-assembly
as DNA and various proteins. They can be of DNA-AuNPs in solution was carried out.
also applied as structural building blocks for This illustrated that the extent of surface-
the assembly of supramolecular nanoparticle plasmon band shift upon nanoparticle
architectures. aggregation was dependent on the size of the
aggregates formed. This, in turn, was
Chapter1 Synthesis and characterization dependent on the concentration of linker
of DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles oligonucleotides used for the aggregation. In
(DNA-AuNPs) [1], [2] addition, the DNA-AuNPs were analyzed
A new class of DNA-AuNPs named through solid phase based hybridization
as oligofunctional conjugates, which contain assays. The study of the effect of surface
from two up to seven different types of coverage of AuNP with DNA on the
DNA oligonucleotides attached to the NP hybridization efficiency of difunctional
surface, was synthesized along with the conjugates revealed that the maximum
conventional monofunctional conjugate efficiency resulted with as low as 20%
containing only one type of DNA sequence surface coverage. The comparison of the
(Figure 1). Depending on the number of hybridization capabilities of various
DNA sequences they contain, the oligofunctional conjugates showed that all
oligofunctional conjugates were termed as the sequences in oligofunctional conjugates
di-, tri-, tetra-, penta-, hexa- and hepta- were functional, with almost unaltered
functional conjugates. hybridization capabilities as compared to the
Initially, the DNA surface coverage analogous monofunctional conjugates
on AuNPs was determined by means of a (Figure 2). In the case of oligofunctional
fluorescence-based assay to understand the conjugates, modification with up to seven
interaction of oligonucleotides with AuNPs. different DNA sequences led to the
Surface coverage studies revealed that the formation of a complex orthogonal coupling
number of oligonucleotides bound per system, in which individual oligomers could
be selectively addressed by highly specific
nucleic acid base pairing.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 34


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

presently available by chemical synthetic


methods was synthesized. Biochemical
methods, in particular, polymerase chain
reaction, enzymatic restriction and ligation
were used for the synthesis of the linker
(Figure 3a). The formation of the DNA
linker and the anticipated intermediate
products were analyzed using
Figure 2 Solid-phase hybridization of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE)
various DNA-AuNPs. [1] (Figure 3b).
To test the simultaneous binding of (a)
the two individual recognition sites within Plasmid
difunctional conjugates, they were employed
in the generation of surface bound particle Primers
layers. The use of difunctional conjugates PCR
for the particle layer formation prevented the
direct binding of one layer to any of the 1
a) BamHI Digestion
underlying layers. The advantage of
b) Dephosphorylation with CIP
oligofunctional conjugates compared to the 2
conventional monofunctional conjugates is
Ligation
that various recognition sites on the NPs in
oligofunctional conjugates can be 3
simultaneously tagged with a number of SphI Digestion
molecular and colloidal components. This
enables the bottom-up assembly of complex 4
biomolecule-functionalized nanoparticles. Ligation

(b)
bp M 1 2 3 4 5 M bp

500   500

200   200

100   100

Figure 3 (a) Schematic drawing of the 50   50


generation of surface-bound layers of
particles by DNA hybridization using mono-
and difunctional DNA-AuNPs. (b) Figure 3 (a) Schematic illustration of the
Absorbance measurements of the layer synthesis of the DNA linker. (b)
assembly. [1] Electrophoretic mobility of various products
on a 15% non-denaturing polyacrylamide
Chapter 2 Biochemical synthesis and gel. Lane 1: PCR product 1 (192 base pairs);
manipulation of a 70 nm DNA linker for lane 2: BamHI digested product 2 (185
the assembly of DNA-AuNPs [3] bases); lane 3: ligated product 3 (197 bases);
To study the organization of lane 4: SphI digested product 4 (190 bases);
nanoparticles into surface bound layers, a lane 5: ligated product 5, that is, the desired
DNA linker with dimension exceeding those DNA linker (202 bases); lanes M: 50-bp
DNA ladders. [3]

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 35


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The functionality of the linker was absorbance at 526 nm was observed (green
confirmed using a solid phase hybridization spectrum).
assay. The linker was then employed in the
DNA-directed assembly of AuNPs in (a)
solution, and the process was monitored
using atomic force microscopy (AFM).
AFM studies confirmed the formation of NP
assemblies with interparticle spacing
corresponding to the DNA linker used.

Chapter 3 Reversible switching of DNA-


AuNP aggregation [4]
The aggregation and redispersion of
DNA-AuNPs were studied at ambient
(b)
temperature using the concept of DNA
oligonucleotide strand displacement. The
reversible aggregation of DNA-AuNPs was
carried out by taking advantage of two
complementary fuelling oligonucleotides,
Fa and Fd (Figure 4). The base sequence of
Fa was comprised of three stretches, a’ and
b’, which were complementary to the AuNP
bound 12-mer oligomers 2a and 2b,
Figure 4 (a) Schematic drawing of the
respectively, as well as stretch c’, which
reversible aggregation of DNA-AuNPs. (b)
promoted the hybridization of Fa and Fd.
UV-Vis spectra of nanoparticle aggregation
The transformation cycle started with state I and dispersion. Notably, 2 equivalents of
in which the DNA-AuNPs were dispersed oligomer Fd4 (with respect to Fa4) were
and revealed a characteristic plasmon required to restore the original extinction of
absorption maximum at 526 nm (black the dispersed particles. [4]
spectrum). Upon addition of 32 molar
equivalents of oligomer Fa (corresponding
to the AuNPs) the particles aggregated (state To demonstrate the reversible
II), and consequently, the plasmon switching of nanoparticle aggregation, seven
absorption band was damped and shifted consecutive cycles of aggregation and
towards longer wavelengths (≈ 625 nm; red redispersion were carried out by adding
spectrum). In the next step, oligomer Fd fuelling oligomers Fa and Fd, respectively,
which was fully complementary to oligomer to the mixture of DNA-AuNPs. After each
Fa was added and incubated at 37 °C. Fd addition of either Fa or Fd, UV/Vis spectra
hybridized with Fa starting at the dangling of the samples were recorded, and the
extinctions at 526 and 700 nm were plotted
end stretch c’ of the duplex DNA
interconnecting the nanoparticles. This against the number of steps of Fa and Fd
process, schematically shown as an additions (Figure 5).
intermediate state III, led to the formation of
a waste duplex, the formation of which was
driven by the free energy reduction of the
system due to incremental base pairing.
Consequently, the redispersion of the
nanoparticles took place and an increase in

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 36


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the difunctional conjugate was used to


immobilize antibodies at the nanoparticle’s
surface and the other one was used for signal
amplification by means of DNA-directed
assembly of multiple layers of nanoparticles
(Figure 6a). A detection limit as low as 0.1
fmol of the antigen was obtained by using a
simple and convenient photometric method
(Figure 6b).
The use of difunctional conjugates
in this study allowed for carrying out the
Figure 5 Reversible switching of the
signal amplification step by simultaneous
nanoparticle aggregation. Notably, high
addition of all the necessary components.
extinctions at 526 and 700 nm indicate the
This enabled the reduction of time and costs
presence of dispersed and aggregated
of the immunoassay.
particles, respectively. [4]
The successful results clearly (a)
demonstrated the feasibility of using fueling
oligomers for reversible switching of
nanoparticle aggregation at physiologically
relevant conditions. This approach
represents a new concept which opens up a
novel route to generate nanomaterials with
programmable functionalities. (b)

Chapter 4 Detection of proteins (IgG) by


means of difunctional DNA-AuNPs [5]
The protein-functionalized AuNPs
have attracted much attention because of
their potential utility in the detection of
antigens, which are the specific biomarkers
in the diagnostics of diseases. A DDI based
approach was used for functionalization of
AuNPs with proteins and the hybrid Figure 6 (a) Employment of antibody/DNA-
conjugates containing both DNA and functionalized AuNPs as reagents in a
proteins were employed in protein detection. sandwich immunoassay. Anti-mouse IgG
The difunctional DNA-AuNP conjugates functionalized AuNPs D2-Au 6 were used to
containing two different oligomer sequences label the surface bound antigens mouse IgG.
were employed in the sensitive detection of In the next step a mixture of difunctional
IgG proteins. The optimal coating of DNA- conjugates D2-Au 2 and D2-Au 3 along with
AuNPs with antibody was obtained with 64 complementary linkers 8 and 9 were added
and 32 molar equivalents of the antibody to form multilayer of AuNPs. (b) Signal
conjugate for the monofunctional and intensities of the immunoassay obtained by
difunctional conjugates, respectively. UV-Vis spectroscopy. Grey bars: first layer
Initially, gel electrophoretic analysis was of particles with monofunctional conjugate,
carried out to confirm the specific White bars: first layer of particles with
immobilization of proteins on the difunctional conjugate, Black bars:
nanoparticle’s surface and the functionality multilayer of particles. [5]
of the two DNA binding sites in the
difunctional DNA-AuNPs. To carry out the
immunoassay, one of the two sequences of

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 37


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Chapter 5 Reversible binding of enhanced of EYFP conjugate (100%), at 528 nm,


yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) at against different incubation times. [6]
DNA-AuNPs [6]
To perform additional studies on the We then investigated whether the
functionality and behavior of proteins upon immobilized proteins could be restored from
binding to AuNPs, the fluorescent protein the gold nanoparticles (Figure 9). For this
EYFP was used to bind reversibly to instance, DNA modified NPs containing a 4
AuNPs. The binding of EYFP to AuNPs led nucleotide single-stranded overhang
to quenching of the protein’s fluorescence, appended to the coding sequence was
and this phenomenon was used as the hybridized with the DNA conjugate of
reporter of successful protein EYFP. It led to quenching of the EYFP’s
immobilization. fluorescence in the case of complementary
Two types of DNA-AuNPs were conjugates (light grey bars in samples a, b).
used for hybridization with complementary Following, displacement oligomers
DNA attached EYFP conjugate (Figure 7). complementary to the sequences attached to
A non-complementary conjugate was also AuNP were added. As shown in the figure
used as a control. Successful immobilization (dark grey bars), the restorage of the
of proteins on nanoparticles through specific fluorescence was clearly observable in the
Watson-Crick base pairing was confirmed case of complementary particles (samples a,
by gel electrophoresis. b), and this led to almost identical
fluorescence intensities as compared with
that of the control reaction containing the
non-complementary particles (sample c).
Then, to obtain fluorescence signals
comparable to the starting material, the
AuNPs in the solution were precipitated by
A B increasing the salt concentration.
Figure 7 Schematic representations of Fluorescence measurements confirmed that
hybrid conjugates formed by the after particle precipitation the signals were
functionalization of DNA-AuNPs with higher (white bars) than in the presence of
EYFP conjugate. [6] the dispersed particles (dark grey bars).
However, a complete restorage of the
The study of the time dependent original EYFP fluorescence was not
fluorescence measurement revealed that the observed in any of the samples. As an
conjugate where EYFP was located closer to alternative to the liberation of the EYFP, the
the gold nanoparticle’s surface as compared particle bound DNA was stripped off by
to the other system led to higher quenching treatment with mercaptoethanol (ME). As
of fluorescence (Figure 8). shown by the black bars, the addition of
mercaptoethanol led to almost complete
restorage of the initial EYFP fluorescence.

Figure 8 Plot of relative fluorescence of A


(dashed line), B (solid line) and control
Figure 9 Quenching and regeneration of the
(dotted line) with respect to the fluorescence
EYFP fluorescence. The relative

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 38


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fluorescence values at 528 nm are shown.


The light grey bars represent the (a)
Chemisorption
fluorescence of conjugate A (sample a), B
(sample b), or control (sample c). The dark
grey bars represent the increased
fluorescence of EYFP conjugate upon
addition of strand displacement oligomers. (b)
The white bars represent the further increase
in fluorescence upon increase of the NaCl Place exchange

concentration. The black bars represent the


fluorescence obtained after treatment with
ME. [6]
Thus, it was demonstrated that Figure 10 Coupling of thiolated-Rab6a
proteins could be reversibly bound to DNA- protein with (a) 25 nm citrate-stabilized gold
AuNPs under physiological conditions nanoparticle through chemisorption, (b)
without compromising their biological DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticle to
activity. The use of fluorescent proteins in form DNA-protein-NP conjugate through
this study also demonstrated, for the first ligand exchange reaction. [7]
time, that these biological fluorophores The protein-modified DNA-AuNPs
could be incorporated into nanoparticle- were characterized by agarose gel
based devices, thus leading to optically electrophoresis (Figure 11). The mobility of
coupled hybrid architectures. DNA-AuNP is shown in lane 1. The
addition of PEG linked Rab6a to DNA-
Chapter 6 Functionalization of AuNPs AuNP led to reduced mobility, thus
with GTPase Rab protein [7] indicating successful ligand exchange
We further studied the protein reaction (lane 2). The wild-type Rab6a (lane
functionalization of AuNPs using the 3) and the N-Cys-Rab6a (lane 4) without
GTPase Rab6a. To enable binding of the PEG-linker were used as controls, and
protein to AuNPs, Rab6a modified with a mixed with DNA-AuNPs. It was observed
poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) linker was that they could also bind to DNA-AuNPs by
used. The PEG linker acts as a spacer ligand exchange with the thiol groups of the
between the protein and a terminal thiol cysteine residues in the protein. However, in
group. The modified proteins can bind to these cases binding was less efficient than
AuNPs by chemisorption of the thiol group the binding of PEG linked Rab6a, as judged
attached through the PEG spacer. from the electrophoretic mobility. Thus,
The functionalization of AuNPs these results illustrated the advantage of
with GTPase protein Rab6a was studied by using a PEG spacer group to obtain
using two alternative approaches, based on nanoparticles bearing higher numbers of
either direct binding (Figure 10a) or ligand proteins.
exchange (Figure 10b). Both approaches led
to successful functionalization of
1 2 3 4
nanoparticles with proteins. However, the
conjugates obtained through the ligand
exchange approach with DNA-AuNPs were
considered advantageous due to their high
stability and bifunctionality.

Figure 11 Agarose gel of DNA-AuNPs with


and without proteins attached to them. [7]

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 39


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

The retention of the full biological School of Chemical Sciences and


activity of the nanoparticle-immobilized Pharmacy in the University of East
proteins was confirmed using a nucleotide Anglia, Norwich, UK, as a postdoctoral
exchange assay. The successful research associate.
functionalization of AuNPs with Rab6a
would open up novel routes towards the
application of such components to study the
functionality of Rab6a in vivo by using the ---------------------0----------------------
AuNP as a label.
-If A is success in life, then A equals x
References plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z
1. Niemeyer, C. M., Ceyhan, B., and is keeping your mouth shut.
Hazarika, P. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.,
2003, 42, 5766-5770. -Do not worry about your difficulties in
2. Hazarika, P., Giorgi, T., Reibner, M., Mathematics. I can assure you mine are
Ceyhan, B., and Niemeyer, C. M. in still greater.
Bioconjugation Protocols: Strategies
and Methods (Niemeyer, C. M., ed.), -Before God we are all equally wise and
Humana Press, Totowa, New Jersey, equally foolish.
2004, 283, 295-304.
3. Hazarika, P., Irrgang, J., Spengler, M.,
and Niemeyer, C. M. Adv. Funct.
Mater., 2007, 17, 437-442.
4. Hazarika, P., Ceyhan, B., and Niemeyer,
C. M. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2004, 43,
6469-6471.
5. Hazarika, P., Ceyhan, B., and Niemeyer,
C. M. Small, 2005, 1, 844-848.
6. Hazarika, P., Kukolka, F., and
Niemeyer, C. M. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Albert Einstein
2006, 45, 6827-6830. Born: March 14, 1879, Ulm, Germany
7. Becker, C. F. W., Marsac, Y., Hazarika, Died :April 18, 1955, Princeton, USA
P. Moser, J., Goody. R. S., and
Niemeyer, C. M. ChemBioChem, 2007, -I know not with what weapons World
8, 32-36. War III will be fought, but World War
IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
Short biodata of the author: Dr. Pompi
Hazarika was born in Assam in 1980. -Only two things are infinite, the
She obtained her B.Sc. degree from universe and human stupidity, and I'm
Biswanath College in 2000 and M.Sc. not sure about the former.
degree in Chemistry from Indian
Institute of Technology Guwahati in -Truth is what stands the test of
2002. Then she moved to Germany to experience.
pursue her Ph.D. under the supervision
of Prof. Christof M. Niemeyer at the
Department of Chemical Biology in the ---------------------0----------------------
University of Dortmund. In 2006, she
received her Ph.D. degree, and joined
the group of Prof. David Russell at the

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 40


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Ph. D. thesis abstract of Dr. Sasanka Deka nanocrystalline oxides. All the experimental
methods and characterization techniques
used are briefly discussed in the specific
sections.
Synthesis procedures and the
structural and magnetic properties of the
transition metal (Co, Ni, Mn and Fe) doped
nanocrystalline ZnO are discussed in the
Dr. Sasanka Deka third chapter. The nanocrystalline
materials having particle sizes in the range
Title of Thesis: Studies on the Magnetic and of 10-40 nm are synthesized by an
Electrical properties of Nanosized Transition autocombustion method. Optical and XPS
Metal Oxides and Ferrites studies showed that the Zn ions have been
replaced by divalent transition metal ions in
Nanosized magnetic materials have the tetrahedral site of the wurtzite structure
received great attention and importance of ZnO. Room temperature ferromagnetism
during the last decade. Nanomagnetic is observed after doping Co, Ni and Fe in
material is one of the hottest subjects of ZnO. However, the magnetic properties
present day research activities. The physical change drastically when the synthesize
properties of nanosized magnetic materials procedure is modified slightly. Mn doped
differ considerably from that of their bulk ZnO samples are found to be always
counterparts and the magnetic characteristics paramagnetic down to 12 K. The origin of
of many materials can be tuned by reducing the observed ferromagnetism is found to be
their size. The objectives of this research from metallic nanoclusters or secondary
work are the synthesis and studies on the ferromagnetic phases depending on the
structural and magnetic properties of some synthesis conditions and metal ions used.
selected transition metal oxides and ferrites The detailed studies on the
in nanocrystalline form. synthesis, characterization, and magnetic
The present research work has been properties of nanocrystalline NiZn ferrite,
carried out on transition metal doped zinc Ni0.5Zn0.5Fe2O4, are discussed in the fourth
oxide based diluted magnetic chapter. Narrow particle size distribution
semiconductors (DMSs), some ferrites and with high rate of reproducibility is achieved
magneto-polymer nanocomposite systems. by using a simple autocombustion method
The respective nanocrystalline oxides are for the synthesis. The TC of the
synthesized by a simple solution combustion nanocrystalline ferrite is increased to large
method and characterized using various values due to the unusual cation distribution
techniques. The results from the studies on in the nanosized ferrite. The nanosized
different materials are presented in this ferrite sintered using Bi2O3 and Ag as
thesis, consisting of six chapters. additives showed good microstructure, high
The first chapter is a brief density at low sintering temperatures, very
introduction to magnetism, and a review of high magnetic permeability and dielectric
the structural and magnetic properties of the constant values at room temperature.
different magnetic oxides such as ZnO based The fifth chapter deals with
diluted magnetic semiconductor materials, synthesis and studies on the structural and
ZnFe2O4, Ni0.5Zn0.5Fe2O4, γ-Fe2O3, magnetic properties of nanocrystalline
polymer/metal/ferrite nanocomposites and ZnFe2O4 and γ-Fe2O3. Single phase of
the Co/CoO/Co3O4 nanocomposites, studied superparamagnetic ZnFe2O4 obtained when
in the present research work. smaller amounts of glycine is used as the
The second chapter describes the fuel in the autocombustion reaction.
method employed for the synthesis of the However, Fe3O4 is found to be formed as a
secondary phase, when larger amounts of

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 41


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

glycine are used. Zn-doped γ-Fe2O3 is Liberto Manna. At present Dr. Deka is
synthesized by the same autocombustion working on size and shape control of II-VI
method. Zn-doping is found to stabilize the and III-V semiconductor materials using
maghemite phase and increases the colloidal synthesis method.
transformation temperature to the hematite
phase.
The sixth chapter deals with the
synthesis, characterization and preliminary ---------------------0----------------------
studies on some magnetic nanocomposites.
Ni/NiFe2O4 and Co/CoFe2O4
nanocomposites are synthesized under in -Truth is generally the best vindication
situ conditions by an autocombustion against slander
method. The composites are then blended
with PVDF polymer matrix. Moderate -Always bear in mind that your own
values of initial permeability and dielectric resolution to succeed is more important
constant are obtained for the than any one thing.
polymer/metal/ferrite nanocomposites,
comparable to that reported in the literature.
Co/CoO/Co3O4 nanocomposite is
synthesized using the same autocombustion
method. This nanocomposite could be
transformed to Co/CoO nanocomposite by
proper reduction at elevated temperatures.

Short biodata of Dr. Sasanka Deka: Dr.


Sasanka Deka, born in Guwahati, hails from
Biahata Chariali, Kamrup, Assam. He has Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)
completed his B.Sc. degree from B. Barooah
College, Guwahati in 1998 and Master (16th President of the United States of
degree from the department of Chemistry, America)
Gauhati University in 2000. After clearing
CSIR-UGC-NET he joined in the National
Chemical Laboratory, Pune as a research -Better to remain silent and be thought
fellow under the supervision of Dr. P. A. Joy a fool than to speak out and remove all
and obtained Ph.D. degree from the doubt.
University of Pune in 2007. The title of his
-Nearly all men can stand adversity,
thesis is ‘Studies on the Magnetic and
but if you want to test a man's
Electrical properties of Nanosized
character, give him power.
Transition metal oxides and Ferrites.’ He is
a recipient of national merit scholarship. His
primary interest of research areas are
materials science, nanomaterials, oxide
nanoparticles, magnetism and ---------------------0----------------------
semiconductor. He has 11 publications in
peer-reviewed international journals with
few more in the national journals, symposia
and conference proceedings. Currently he is
a postdoctoral fellow in National
Nanotechnology laboratory, Lecce, Italy.
The present supervisor of his work is Dr.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 42


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

EVENTS FROM HISTORY OF 1971: Development of Kevlar by S.K.


SCIENCE Wolek.
1977: Conducting polymer discovered by
This issue: Some important years in Hideki Shirawaka, Alan J. Heeger and Alan
G. MacDiarmid
the development of Polymers 1985: Development of Liquid crystal
polymers, one of the most important
1500: British explorers discovered ancient
discoveries in the field of polymer.
Mayan civilization in Central America. The
2000: Nobel prize in chemistry was given
Mayans are assumed to be among the first to
to Hideki Shirawaka, Alan J. Heeger and
find an application of polymers, as their
Alan G. MacDiarmid for the discovery and
children were fond of playing with balls
development of conducting polymers.
made from local rubber trees.
1839: Discovery of Vulcanization process
(Compiled by Dr. Rashmi Rekha Devi,
by Charles Goodyear
Scientist, DRDO, Kanpur, India)
1862: First man made plastic created by
Alexander Parkes known as Parkesine was
an organic material derived from cellulose
1868: John Wesley Hyatt invented ---------------------0----------------------
celluloid as a substitute for the ivory in
billiard balls, later celluloid became famous
as the first flexible photographic film used -A friend to all is a friend to none.
for still photography and motion pictures.
1907: Leo Bakeland fabricated Bakelite, -Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
the first fully synthetic resin to become
commercially successful. -The aim of the wise is not to secure
1917: Chemical structure of cellulose was pleasure, but to avoid pain.
established by M.Polanyi with the help of X-
ray crystallography. -The ultimate value of life depends upon
1920: Staudinger published his research awareness and the power of
paper on polymer and used successfully the contemplation rather than upon mere
Macromolecular concept. survival.
1930: Invention of polystyrene, one of the
most widely used polymer. -The wise man does not expose himself
1935: Reginald Gibson and Eric Fawcett needlessly to danger, since there are
discovered Low density polyethylene or few things for which he cares
LDPE sufficiently; but he is willing, in great
1936: Invention of Polymethyl crises, to give even his life - knowing
methacrylate took place, a popular plastic that under certain conditions it is not
mostly used for display and advertising worthwhile to live.
applications and for contact lenses.
1938: Production of Nylon by Wallace -Young people are in a condition like
Carothers of the Dupont company. permanent intoxication, because youth
1941: Polyethylene Terephthalate or PET is sweet and they are growing.
was invented by Whinfield and Dickson.
1950: Ziegler Natta Catalytic Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)
Polymerization was developed by Karl Greek philosopher
Ziegler (Germany) and Giulio Natta (Italy).
1953: Staudinger received Nobel Prize for
his contributions in chemistry. ---------------------0----------------------

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 43


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

INFORMATION ABOUT MEMBER etc. He was awarded senior research


1. Dr. Prakash Jyoti Saikia from Jorhat, fellowship (by CSIR, India) in the year
Assam did his B.Sc from Jagannath Barooah 2003. He received Best Poster presentation
College, Jorhat (Dibrugarh University) in award, for the poster presented in 4th
1995. He did his M.Sc from Dibrugarh IUPAC sponsored International Symposium
University (1996-1998 batch), India with on Radical Polymerization: Kinetics and
specialization in Physical Chemistry. He did Mechanism, SML ’06, Il Ciocco,
his Ph. D from Regional Research Castelvecchio Pascoli, ITALY, 3-9 Sep.,
Laboratory (CSIR), Jorhat, India (Degree 2006.
awarded by Dibrugarh University, Assam)
2. Mr. Khirud Gogoi (9th April, 1980) is
from Amguri, Jorhat, India. He did his B.
Sc. (Chemistry) from Govt. Science College,
Jorhat,( Dibrugarh University) First class
First (Top Ranked) in 2000. He did his M.
Sc.(Organic Chemistry) from Gauhati
University, Guwahati, , First Class First
(Top Ranked) in Gauhati University, 2003.
Dr. Prakash J. Saikia

with thesis entitled ‘Atom Transfer Radical


Polymerization of Alkyl (Meth)Acrylates
Having Pendent Alkyl Side Chains’ in the
year 2003. His PhD research advisors were
Dr. S. D. Baruah(Scientist EII, Petroleum &
Natural Gas Division Regional Research Mr. Khirud Gogoi
Laboratory (CSIR), Jorhat, India ) and Prof.
N. N. Dass (Director, Institute of Advanced At present he is carrying out research for his
Study in Science and Technology, Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry
Guwahati, India). Division, National Chemical Laboratory,
Pune, India (April 2003-till date.). He
Dr. Prakash J. Saikia is at present qualified CSIR-UGC JRF examinations two
working as a post doctoral fellow in the times held in 2002 (June and December) and
Department of Chemical Engineering, Inha GATE in 2003. His present position in NCL
University, Incheon, South Korea( is Senior Research Fellow (since 2005). His
September 2005 - ). Before joining Inha research interests are organic chemistry and
University he was working as postdoctoral chemical biology, research focused on
research fellow in the Université du Maine, Nucleic Acids modifications and their
Le Mans, France(January, 2004 – January, application in antisense therapeutics. His
2005). work was also featured in a Research
Highlight in Chemical Biology, 2006,
His area of research is: Controlled volume 6. Recently he attended a
Radical Polymerization (CRP) in the symposium organised by Biochemical
homogeneous and heterogeneous system, Society on "Cell Penetrating Peptides
Composite latexes particles and the particle Meeting" held at University Of
morphology, Reactive chain-end Wolverhampton, Telford, United Kingdom
functionalized polymers and stereo chemical on 9th-11th May 2007 where he Presented a
study of polymers, Structural investigation paper entitled "Synthesis Of Cell Penetrating
and thermal degradation kinetics of Peptide-Pna Conjugates By Chemoselective
polymers, polymer blends Rheological Click Chemistry".
properties of polymers, Oil-field chemicals

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 44


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

HIGHER STUDY ABROAD University of Brescia (www.unibs.it/)


Country of this issue: Italy University of Cagliari(www.unica.it/)
University of Calabria(www.unical.it/)
Information on study and research in Italy: University of Camerino (www.unicam.it/)
requirements, grants, universities, life in University of Cassino (www.unicas.it/)
Italy etc. you will find in the following University of Catania (www.unict.it/)
websites. University of Chieti (www.unich.it/)
www.study-in-italy.it/ University of Ferrara (www.unife.it/)
University of Florence (www.unifi.it/)
Universities In Italy University of Genoa (www.unige.it/)
University of Lecce (www.unile.it/)
Abdus Salam international centre for University of Macerata (www.unimc.it/)
theoretical physics (www.ictp.trieste.it/) University of Messina (www.unime.it/)
Basilicata University Potenza University of Milan (www.unimi.it/)
(www.unibas.it/) University of Milan – Bicocca
Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome (http://www.unimib.it/)
(www.unicampus.it/) University of Modena (www.casa.unimo.it/)
European University Institute University of Molise (www.unimol.it/)
(www.iue.it/) University of Naples Federico II
Higher School of University and Advanced (www.unina.it/)
Studies Pisa (www.sssup.it/)
International Higher School for Advanced University of Padua (www.unipd.it/)
Studies Trieste (www.sissa.it/) University of Palermo (www.unipa.it/)
Johns Hopkins University, SAIS Bologna University of Parma (www.unipr.it/)
Center (www.jhubc.it/) University of Pavia (www.unipv.it/)
Polytechnic Institute of Bari University of Perugia (www.unipg.it/)
(www.poliba.it/) University of Pisa (www.unipi.it/)
Polytechnic Institute of Milan University of Reggio Calabria
(www.polimi.it/) (www.unirc.it/)
Polytechnic Institute of Turin University of Roma "La Sapienza"
(www.polito.it/) (www.uniroma1.it/)
Pontifica Università Gregoriana University of Roma "Tor Vergata"
(www.unigre.it/) (www.uniroma2.it/)
Pontificia Università Lateranense University of Salerno (www.unisa.it/)
(www.pul.it/) University of Sannio (www.unisannio.it/)
Pontificia Università S. Tommaso University of Sassari (www.uniss.it/)
(www.angelicum.org/) University of Siena (www.unisi.it/)
Pontificio Ateneo Antonianum University of Teramo (www.unite.it/)
(www.antonianum.ofm.org/) University of Trento (www.unitn.it/)
Second University of Naples University of Trieste (www.univ.trieste.it/)
(www.unina2.it/) University of Turin (www.unito.it/)
Third University of Rome University of Udine (www.uniud.it/)
(www.uniroma3.it/) University of Urbino (www.uniurb.it/)
University Institute of Architecture Venice University of Venice (www.unive.it)
(www.iuav.unive.it/) University of Verona (www.univr.it/)
University of Ancona (www.unian.it/) Università Bocconi (www.uni-bocconi.it)
University of Aquila (www.univaq.it/) Università Pontificia Salesiana
University of Bari (www.uniba.it/) (www.unisal.it/)
University of Bergamo (www.unibg.it/) Viterbo State University (www.unitus.it/)
University of Bologna(www.unibo.it/) Yorker International University, Milano
(www.nyuniversity.net/)

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 45


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

THROUGH THE LENSE OF FORUM MEMBERS

By Dr. Joshodeep Boruwa By Mr. Mahen Konwar

Sediment of life
Meersburg, Germany

Konstanz Lake , Germany


Apekhya
By Dr. Arindam Adhikari

Freedom
Stockholm, Sweden

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 46


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

UPCOMING CONFERENCE
POLY-2007: Second Circular: Call for Papers
International Seminar on Frontiers in Polymer Science and Technology : POLY-2007
Date: 1-3 November, 2007
Venue: Administrative Staff College, Khanapara, Guwahati, Assam, India
Organizer: Prof. Sukumar Maiti Polymer Award Foundation, Kolkata, India
Collaborators: Tezpur University, Assam, India; Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India
Themes:
1. Novel polymer synthesis and characterization.
2. Polymer blends and polymer nanocomposites.
3. Bio-medical applications of polymers.
4. Polymers in electronics.
5. New catalysts for olefin polymerization.
6. Recycling of polymers and biodegradable polymers.
7. Pollution by polymers and polymer waste management.
Call for papers: Full papers may be sent in MS word document within 4-5 pages of A4 size paper together
with a print copy. The papers will be published in a special issue of Journal of Polymer Materials.

Prizes:
1. Foundation award 2007 for the best researcher in polymer science and technology in India. Selection
is in process. Contact: Prof. B. C. Ray, Jadavpur University ( bcrjuchem@yahoo.co.in).
2. S. N. Ghosh Memorial Award will be given to the young scientist (Under 32 years) for the best paper
presentation in the conference.
3. Conference prizes will be given to the young scientist (Under 32 years) for the best paper presentation
in the different themes of the conference.

Registration fee:
1. Delegates from Industry: Rs.2000/- , from Academic Institutions / R & D organizations: Rs.1000/-,
Students and research Scholars: Rs.250/-
from Foreign country : US$300
Payment (Demand Draft) should be made in favour of “Prof. Sukumar Maiti Polymer Award Foundation”
payable at Kolkata.
Cultural Program: Cultural program and local tour will be organized by the organizer
Travel Assistance: Few students and retired scientists/ teachers will be given travel assistance for which
separate request may be sent to the convenor on or before 11 September, 2007.
Last date for receiving abstract of the paper: 11 July, 2007; full paper: 11 August, 2007;
Registration fee: 11 September, 2007; Late registration fee : 10% extra
Patron: Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary, DST, New Delhi.
Advisors: Prof M. K. Choudhuri, Vice-chancellor, Tezpur University, Prof. D. Konwer,Dean, Tezpur
University, Prof. S. K. Sanyal, Vice-chancellor, Jadavpur University, Dr. S. Sivaram, Director, NCL, Pune
Convenor: Prof. S. K. Dolui, Tezpur University
Chairman: Prof. B. C. Ray, Jadavpur University

Address for correspondance:


1. Prof. S. K. Dolui, Convenor, POLY-2007 2. Prof. B. C Ray, Chairman, POLY-2007
Tezpur University, Napaam-784028 Dept. of Chemistry, Jadavpur University
Assam, India, E-mail: dolui@tezu.ernet.in Kolkata-700032, W.B., India
Tel: +913712-224641 (R), Mobile: +919435464389 E-mail: bcrjuchem@yahoo.co.in
Fax: 03712-267006 Mobile: +919433245758, Fax- 033-24137121,

3. Dr. S. U. Choudhury, Secretary, POLY-2007


Dept. of Chemistry, Cotton College, Guwahati, Assam
E-mail: suc_ccg@hotmail.com
Mobile:+919864179850

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 47


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Technical University of Denmark


Ph.D. position and Post-Doc position in cryptology
Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD position and a 1-year PostDoc position both starting
January 1, 2008, within the field of cryptology at the Department of Mathematics, Technical
University of Denmark (www.mat.dtu.dk). The topic of the project is cryptanalysis of
symmetric cryptographic primitives, in particular block ciphers, stream ciphers and hash
functions.

Further information can be obtained from Professor Lars R. Knudsen, Department of


Mathematics, DTU, phone: (+45) 4525 3048, e-mail: Knudsen (at) mat.dtu.dk.

To apply please read the full texts of the announcements for Postdoc and PhD.

Applications must be received no later than October 1st, 2007 at 12.00 (GMT+1.00)

------------------------------------------------0-----------------------------------------------

http://www.mrseiler.org/cartoons.html
(by Nick D Kim)

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 48


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Karolinska Institutet
is looking for a

Postdoctoral position RNA Structural Biochemistry -


funded by scholarship
Department / unit or Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
equivalent:
Form of employment: Temporary
Scope: Full-time
Time period: Two years
Description of the work The Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) at the Karolinska Institutet is
group/equivalent strongly focused on basic science conducting research in several areas of cell, molecular,
and its work/focus: and developmental biology. CMB is comprised of more than 20 independent research
groups organized in five themes: Molecular Cell Biology, Developmental and Stem Cell
Biology, Gene Regulation, Genome Structure and Integrity and Infection and Cancer.
The group of Martin Hällberg is the first group in the department to apply X-ray
crystallography as its main technique. Focus of study is tRNA processing, modification
and transport.

Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) must be recognisable to the correct aminoacyl-tRNA synthase,


by elongation factors and by elements on the ribosome to deliver their valued amino-
acid cargo to the growing peptide chain through the action of the ribosome. In all
kingdoms of life, mechanisms are in place to ensure the fidelity and efficiency of tRNA
function. We aim to understand the structural basis of tRNA maturation and transport by
studying the molecular structure of proteins - both with and without target RNA – that
are involved in processing, modification and nucle-cytoplasmatic transport of tRNA.

Please note that according to the rules for scholarship stipends at Karolinska Institutet a
scholarship for the pursuit of postdoc studies may be awarded to a foreign citizen who
has obtained a doctorate or the equivalent outside Sweden. The head of department
decides whether the education and scientific qualifications in question can be regarded
as equivalent to at least those of a Swedish doctorate. The basis of the assessment made
by the head of department must be clearly set out in the scholarship decision.
A scholarship for the pursuit of postdoc studies may be awarded for up to two years in
the five years following the public defence (or equivalent) of a doctoral thesis.

Area of Successful candidates will participate in all steps involved in structure determination of
responsibilities/duties: target proteins and target RNA/protein complexes.
Qualifications: Suitable candidates have a PhD in a relevant area, preferably in RNA Biochemistry,
Structural Biology or related subjects. General requirement to be eligible for this
position is a doctoral degree from a University outside Sweden.

Contact Martin Hällberg ; 08-524 866 30; Martin.Hallberg@ki.se


Application procedure: Please send your application by email. The application should contain a cover letter and
a CV with publication list. Names and emails of two referees should be also provided.
Please, use reference “Dnr 2966/2007”.
Application sent to: Karolinska Institutet
CMB
Martin Hällberg
Box 285
171 77 Stockholm
email: Martin.Hallberg@ki.se
Reference number: 2966/2007
Last date for applications: July 18 2007
Karolinska Institutet is one of the leading medical universities in Europe. Through research, education and
information, Karolinska Institutet contributes to improving human health. Each year, the Nobel Assembly at
Karolinska Institutet awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 49


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Job Advertisement 08/2007


The Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology –
Hans Knoell Institute – investigates the pathobiology of human-pathogenic
fungi and identifies targets for the development of novel natural product-based
antibiotics (www.hki-jena.de). Our Department Infection Biology invites
applications for a
Postdoctoral position (two years initially)
and a
PhD position
Successful candidates will investigate the immune evasion by pathogenic
microbes, in particular yeasts.

Requirements: Doctoral or Master/Diploma degree in biology, medicine or


life sciences for the Postdoc or the PhD positions, respectively. Experience in
standard techniques of molecular biology, biochemistry, complementology, as
well as microbiology are expected. Excellent knowledge and skills in infection
biology, microbial pathogenicity (bacteria, fungi), cellular microbiology and/or
yeast biology are advantageous.
Salary is paid according to German TV-L.
The Hans Knoell Institute is an equal opportunity employer.

For further informations please contact:


Prof. Dr. Peter F. Zipfel, phone +49 (0) 3641 656900, e-mail:
peter.zipfel@hki-jena.de. Please send your complete application including a
list of three potential referees indicating the job posting No. 08/2007 to
jobs@hki-jena.de
or to
Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology
Personnel Department
– Hans Knoell Institute –
Beutenbergstrasse 11a
07745 Jena
Germany
Please note: Printed applications will not be sent back!

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 50


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Postdoctoral position in insulin signaling and


modulation by nutritional approaches
Job Title: Postdoctoral position
Employer: University of Lleida
Location: Lleida, Spain
Date: Jul 02, 2007
Job Type: Contract

A PhD is sought with experience in cell biology comprising cell signaling


techniques, cell culture, experimental animal (ob/ob mice and similar) handling.
Position will be renewed, after external auditory, for a maximum of 3 year-lenght.

Experience in metabolomics, proteomics and nutritional sciences would be also


desirable, but formation is offered in those fields.

Further information is available at e-mail: manuel.portero@cmb.udl.cat or at


phone +34-973702408

Requirements:
Two letters of recommendation
Capabilities of team working in a larger group
A good background in cell biology and basic biochemistry
Skills for directing work and instructing fellows at a technical level
An established record of publications in related fields

Contact:
Manuel Portero-Otin
c/Montserrat Roig,2
Lleida, Spain 25008

Phone: 34 973702408

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 51


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Job Title: PhD student


Employer: Inst. of Pathology – TUDresden
Location: Dresden, Germany 01307
Date: Jul 11, 2007
Job Type: Full Time
In the autumn of 2007 we will start a new independent young research group as
part of the Emmy Noether program (DFG). We study the role of hypoxia during
tumor development and inflammatory diseases in vivo. Therefore, we have an
open position for a: - PhD student -

We offer:
• A 4 year position at PhD student level in an Emmy Noether excellence Team
(salary: BATO IIa/2).
• A stimulating work environment in one of the most exciting scientific cities in
Germany.

Our location is the Institute of Pathology, and we are part of the Faculty of
Medicine and the University Clinic `Carl Gustav Carus' at the University of
Technology Dresden (TUDresden). Our new research group is also strongly linked
to the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden.

For more information on our new group: http://www.tu-dresden.de/hypoxia


Life and work in Dresden: http://www.dresden.de/en/c_06.php

Send your application with CV and reference(s) to:


Dr. Ben Wielockx,
Unit for Hypoxia Signaling in Inflammation,
Institute of Pathology Medical faculty - TU Dresden
Schubertstrasse 15 - 01307 Dresden - Germany
e-mail: Ben.Wielockx@uniklinikum-dresden.de

Requirements:
Profile:
- Student with a master in biology, biomedical science, biotechnology or
equivalent.
- Background in immunology and molecular biology is recommended.
- You are willing to work with mice (experience is an advantage)
- You are practical, social and communicative.
- You have an excellent knowledge of English, both written and spoken.
- Knowledge of German is an advantage but not necessary.

Contact:
Ben Wielockx
Schubertstrasse 15
Dresden, Germany 01307

Phone: +49/3514583038

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 52


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Details about the Northeast India Research Forum

Date of creation of the forum : 13th November 2004


Area: Science and Technology
Total number of members till date: 142

Moderators:
1. Arindam Adhikari, Ph.D. 2. Jadab Sharma, Ph.D.
Institute of Surface Chemistry, Royal Email: js_in1@yahoo.co.in
Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Email: arindam_tsk@yahoo.com

3. Utpal Borah, Ph.D. 4. Ashim J. Thakur, Ph.D.


Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Japan Chemical Science Dept, Tezpur University,
Email: utbora@yahoo.co.in Tezpur, Assam
Email: ajtthax@yahoo.com

Editorial Team of NE Quest

1. Dhanapati Deka, Ph.D. 2. Tankeswar Nath, Ph.D.


Reader, School of Energy, Environment and Scientist, R&D, Biotechnology,
natural reseources, Tezpur University, Jubilant Organosys Ltd. Gajraula, UP, India
Assam Email: tankeswar_nath@jubl.com
Email: dhanapati@tezu.ernet.in (Volunteer editor of this Issue )

3. Manab Sharma, Ph.D. 4. Rashmi Rekha Devi, Ph.D


Dept of Chemistry, Technion-Israel Institute Scientist, Defence Material & Stores
of Technology, Israel. Research & Dev. Establishment, DRDO,
Email: mansharma123@yahoo.com Kanpur.
Email: devi_rashmi@yahoo.com
5. Joshodeep Boruwa, Ph.D. 6. Pankaj Bharali,
Fachbereich Chemie, L-940 Indian Institute of Chemical Technology,
Universitat Konstanz Hyderabad, India.
D-78457, Konstanz, Germany Email: pankaj_rrlj@yahoo.co.in

7. Pranjal Saikia 8. Áshim Thakur, Ph.D.


I&PC Division 9. Utpal Borah, Ph.D.
IICT, Hyderabad, India 10. Arindam Adhikari, Ph.D.
Email: psjorhat@yahoo.co.uk

Logo designed by: Cover page designed by: Anirban, Pune


Manab Sharma, Ph.D.
Email: mansharma123@yahoo.com

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/northeast_india_research/
http://www.geocities.com/ne_india_research_forum/

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007, 53