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Bash brothers of chemistry discover unusual material

The research group of Prof. Tomislav Friščić in McGill’s Department of Chemistry has made a name for itself in the little-known, but growing field of “mechanochemistry,” in which chemical transformations are produced by milling, grinding or shearing solid-state ingredients – brute force, in other words, rather than fancy liquid agents. “Your coffee maker grinds things,” and grinding molecules in the lab involves much the same principle, Friščić notes. Using mechanical force also has the significant advantage of avoiding the use of environmentally harmful bulk solvents.

Published: 23Mar2015

Building tailor-made DNA nanotubes step by step

Researchers at McGill University have developed a new, low-cost method to build DNA nanotubes block by block – a breakthrough that could help pave the way for scaffolds made from DNA strands to be used in applications such as optical and electronic devices or smart drug-delivery systems.

Published: 23Feb2015

Watching the hidden life of materials

Researchers at McGill University have succeeded in simultaneously observing the reorganizations of atomic positions and electron distribution during the transformation of the “smart material” vanadium dioxide (VO2) from a semiconductor into a metal – in a timeframe a trillion times faster than the blink of an eye.

Published: 27Oct2014