Congratulations to PhD students Inbal Oz and Rami Hador from the School of Chemistry for winning the Eran and Avital Rabani Award for groundbreaking work in Chemistry
Inbl Oz (Prof. Oded Hod and Abraham Nitzan's group, the Department of Physical Chemistry) and Rami Hador (Prof. Moshe Kol's Group, the Department of Organic Chemistry)
The quantum technological revolution of the 21st century promises unprecedented advances in our computation and technological capabilities, enabling the fabrication of nanometric machines and electronic molecular junctions. As our machines are scaled down into the quantum regime, it is crucial to understand how energy transfer occurs in such small systems, and how quantum mechanics affects their operation. While classical machines are described by the laws of thermodynamics, an extension of the thermodynamic description to nanoscale systems out of equilibrium, where dynamic quantum effects dominate, is still a challenge to be met.
Inbal’s Ph.D. research focuses on finding the correct definitions of thermodynamic quantities in quantum systems, and developing analytical descriptions combined with numerical platforms that will enable the study of non-equilibrium thermodynamics beyond the reach of current theories. Using the numerical platform, she explores interesting phenomena outside of the linear regime such as the loss of symmetry of the thermodynamic properties of the system.
describes alkoxo‐aluminum catalysts of chiral bipyrrolidine‐based salan ligands that follow the dual‐stereocontrol mechanism wherein a given combination of stereogeneities at the metal site and the proximal center of the last inserted lactidyl (“match”) is active towards lactide having a proximal stereogenic center of the opposite configuration, while the diastereomeric combination of stereogeneities (“mismatch”) is inactive towards any lactide. Polymerization of rac ‐LA by the enantiomerically pure catalysts was sluggish and gave stereoirregular poly(lactic acid) (PLA) because selective insertion to a match diastereomer gives a mismatch diastereomer. The racemic catalysts showed higher activity and led to highly heterotactic PLA following polymeryl exchange between two mismatched catalyst enantiomers. A succession of match diastereomers in selective meso ‐LA insertions led to syndiotactic PLAs reaching a syndiotacticity degree of α =0.96. This polymer featured a T m of 153 °C matching the highest reported value, and the highest crystallinity (ΔHm =56 J g−1) ever reported for syndiotactic PLA.