ISSUE 5: FEB 2011

Molecular claw grabs attention in US

Karim Ibrik, an undergraduate at Texas A&M University at Qatar, working under the guidance of Professor Dave Seapy and funded in part by a UREP grant from QNRF, has recently won an award in a poster competition at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Student Annual Conference in Utah, held from 5th-8th November 2010.

The poster, "Synthetic steps towards an azobenzene photo-controlled crown-ether-like claw", describes the ongoing work at TAMUQ to design and synthesize a molecular machine that has the potential to act as a molecular-level claw that can grab cations when photochemically stimulated to open and close.

Ibrik worked on this project for a year and presented the work in a poster competition where it attracted a great deal of attention and eventually led to judges presenting him with the second prize in the Science and Materials Category.

Work is continuing in Qatar to develop and refine the molecular claw further.

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