Recent Discoveries in Chemistry[1]



Head Discoverer


Nature of Discovery


L. Khryashtchev

(Helsinki University)

He prepared the first true organic compound with a noble gas. Minute amounts ofH-Kr-CC-H were made by focusing ultraviolet light on acetylene, H-CC-H. The latter was trapped inside a krypton matrix, just a few degrees above absolute zero.



(Kyoto University)

He made a fullerene derivative with a tailored mouth that traps hydrogen. This may have practical applications with regard to safety in a hydrogen based economy of the future.


Lester Andrews

(U of Virginia)

Bruce Bersten

(Ohio State University)



Andrews inadvertently synthesized compounds of noble gases and uranium. This happened after his research team was storing the compound CUO in solid neon at -270 oC. When they switched to noble gases of higher atomic numbers (Ar, Kr, Xe), the stored compoundís behaviour changed, suggesting that a reaction had taken. The findings were theoretically confirmed by Bersten.


Hans Gerd-Boyen

(U of Ulm, Germany)

They discovered a form of gold, Au55 which, unlike regular gold, cannot be attacked by atomic oxygen or ozone. Speculation: Au55 may be used as a catalyst for the conversion of CO into CO2.



Tianbo Liu

(Brookhaven National Laboratory)

He discovered that molybdenum blue is unlike other ionic compounds in that it does not form ions in solution. Instead it forms huge structures that resemble the surface of a blackberry.










[1] Source: "Book of the Year (2003): Mathematics and Physical Sciences" Britannica Online.