Anton Paar’s Award for Chemistry, 2016

2016-11-29 | Corporate

The 2016 Award for Chemistry goes to Ass.-Prof. Andreas Orthaber, PhD, for his scientific article "Cooperative Gold Nanoparticle Stabilization by Acetylenic Phosphaalkenes".

For Anton Paar it is very important to support research work in the field of science and technology. Every year we give two awards of 2000 euros each: one for physics and one for chemistry. An expert jury made up of members of the Society of Austrian Chemists (GÖCH) selects the winner of the Anton Paar Award for Chemistry.

The winner of this year's Anton Paar Award for Chemistry 2016, Andreas Orthaber, gives us insight into the subject of his awarded article "Cooperative Gold Nanoparticle Stabilization by Acetylenic Phosphaalkenes", published in the journal "Angewandte Chemie" (International Edition).

"Colloidal gold has already been used in the early 17th century as a pigment to dye glasses. The intense color of these nanoscaled particles originates from a resonance phenomenon of surface confined electrons and contributes to the wealth of optical and electronic properties of gold nanoparticles. Resulting applications can be found in medicinal diagnosis but also research towards their application in chemical catalysis are important activities. Specific molecules are required in order to stabilize these nano-objects, which in turn also opens new possible application areas. With our contributions in this active research field we could demonstrate that a cooperative interaction of stabilizing molecules originates from an acetylenic fragment - two triply bonded carbon atoms - and the phosphorus lone pair of a phosphaalkene - a double bond between carbon and phosphorus. These ligands greatly influence the properties of the nanoparticles but also experience the changes due to the nanoparticle proximity. Ultimately, we were able to show the flexible nature of these ligands enabling us to introduce novel ligands opening new avenues for functionalization and new applications.

This research area is highly interdisciplinary and we closely collaborate with colleagues from physics, chemistry, theoretical solid state physics and engineering to find new applications for these fascinating nano-objects. Our current efforts aim at using nanoparticles in the context of molecular electronics, i.e. using molecules and nanoparticles to mimic electronic circuitries."

Published in: A. Orthaber, H. Löfås, E. Öberg, A. Grigoriev, A. Wallner, S. H. M. Jafri, M.-P. Santoni, R. Ahuja, K. Leifer, H. Ottosson, S. Ott,: Angewandte Chemie, International Edition 2015, 54, 10634-10638.

Picture by GÖCH: Awardee Andreas Orthaber and Ronald Henzinger, Executive Director Division Research & Development (Anton Paar)