Post on 09-Feb-2017




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  • E N V I R O N M E N T

    EPA GETS A BRAND-NEW LAB Agency officially opens $273 million facility in North Carolina

    E PA REESEARCHERS FORMER-ly scattered among 13 different buildings are moving into a consolidated state-of-the-art laboratory facility that officially opened last week in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

    Withl.2miUionsqft,the $273 million facility is now the largest of EPA's dozen research sites across the U.S. It has 400 laboratories and office space for 2,000 people. Thus far, 1,600 EPA employees have moved into the campuslike setting.

    The laboratory houses scientists from EPAs Office of Research & Development as well as investigators who work for one of the agency's regulatory pro

    grams: the Office of Air & Radiation. "Work at the new facility includes research on air pollution, drinking water quality, risks to children from contaminants, and risk assessments of pesticides.

    ORD head J. Paul Gilman (see page 28) tells C&EN that bringing scientists into a single facility means that "the ability for cross-fertilization" of ideas among investigators "is spectacular."

    EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, along with several North Carolina dignitaries, dedicated the building on May 29. Whitman touted the environmental friendliness of the facility The new laboratory is 40% more energy efficient than comparable

    standard-design buildings. When it was built, 80% of the construction waste was recycled. Cafeteria scraps are composted as fertilizer for the grounds. And the parking area is 25% smaller than the initially planned size to encourage employees to carpool.

    "Through our partnerships with four federal agencies, three building companies, and two architectural firms," Whitman said, "we have built one of the largest 'green' buildings in the worlda model for others like it around the globe."

    EPA has had a presence in Re-searchTriangle Park for more than 30 years. It first rented space for its scientists there in 1971, shortly after the agency was formed in December 1970.-CHERYLH0GUE

    N A N O S C I E N C E

    SHRINK-WRAPPED -BEANPOLES Flexible insulating ligands twist around rigid molecular wires

    A NEW CLASS OF DOUBLE-helical molecules has been synthesized The molecules consist of two platinum atoms bridged by a rodlike chain of carbon atomsalong which electrons and charge can flowsurrounded by diphosphine ligands bearing flexible carbon double helices that insulate the rods.

    'The flexible sp3 carbon chains wind around the rigid sp carbon chain just like climbing beans wrap around a beanpole," explains John. A. Gladysz, chemistry professor at the Institute for Organic Chemistry University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany. Gladysz carried out the

    work with colleagues there and at the University of Utah [Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 41,1871 (2002)}.

    'The template effect of a beanpole was known to ancient agrarian societies but has never been exploited on a molecular scale," he continues.

    The group used two strategies to prepare the compounds. A "directed synthesis" employed a series of organometallic reactions, including an alkene metathesis step using a ruthenium catalyst. Then, in a self-assembly process, a Pt(C=C)Pt complex was treated with diphosphines {(Ar)2P-(CH2)14P(Ar)2, where Ar = aryl].

    The resulting molecules are


    unique in that there are no cova-lent or hydrogen bonds between the double-helix strands.

    "There are only van der Waals attractions between the strands," Gladysz tells C&EN. "The overall process is very much like the shrink-wrapping technique used in the manufacture of insulated circuit components."

    Oxford University chemistry lecturer Harry L. Anderson, an expert on insulated molecular wires, is impressed with the new compounds. "It is beautiful work and an interesting new approach to insulated molecular wires," he says. "It is remarkable that one can make structures like this so easily, and that they adopt helical conformations." MICHAEL FREEMANTLE

    EXHAUSTING Jerry N. Blancato, a physiologist (left), and research chemist David L. Dropkin explain their work on vehicle exhaust components to Whitman at the agency's new lab facility.

    DOUBLE HELIX Two methylene chains wind around linear tetrayne bridge


    (C 6 H 5 ) 2 P Pt P(C6H5)

    H T T P : / / P U B S . A C S . O R G / C E N C & E N / J U N E 3, 2 0 0 2 7