Issuu on Google+


A publication of the CIC | Une publication de l’ICC

MAY | MAI • 2007 • Vol. 59, No./no 5

Ta bl e o f C o n t e n t s | Ta bl e d e s m a t i è r e s

Ar ticles

Guest Column Chroniqueur invité . . . . . . 2 Beyond Biofuels Terry Daynard


Hemp Here at Home


Unravelling the Secrets of Spider Silk

Letters Lettres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

News Nouvelles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Patent Quest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Daphne C. Lainson, MCIC

Chemfusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Joe Schwarcz, MCIC

Marie-Ève Rousseau, MCIC, Sarah Bédard, Jean-François Rioux-Dubé, Thierry Lefèvre, and Michel Pézolet, FCIC


Carbon Nanotubes for Molecular Electronics


Sky-High Lab


CSC–Towards 2015

Chemical Shifts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Recognition Reconnaissance. . . . . . . . . 26

The National Research Council Canada improves hemp textile technology.

Tools are in place to meet challenges in molecular electronics using a true chemical approach. Janie Cabana, Fabienne Dragin, and Richard Martel

Events Événements . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Careers Carrières . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40


Editor-in-Chief/Rédactrice en chef Michelle Piquette Managing Editor/Directrice de la rédaction Heather Dana Munroe

Beyond Biofuels


ncreasing prices for petroleum and natural gas have had serious negative effects on the Ontario economy, especially for manufacturers of automobile parts, chemicals, and plastic materials. At the same time, agricultural and forest product producers have seen declines in the real prices for their output—the result of shifts in global supply and demand, and international trade distortions. The Ontario BioAuto Council, formed in mid-2006 by industry representatives from five sectors, sees opportunity in linking natural resource and manufacturing sectors—effectively turning a provincial challenge into an asset. A goal of the council is to go beyond biofuels to produce more sophisticated bioproducts—especially those for which quality and service are critically important. Automobile parts are a prime example and uniquely applicable to Ontario where auto part and automobile assembly are so important. Ontario and Canada need to capture a meaningful share of what is projected to be a $50 billion annual market for bioplastics by 2015. Several Ontario-based manufacturers of automobile parts and construction materials are actively pursuing means for using biological feedstocks to replace, at least in part, those made from hydrocarbons. The use of wood-fibre plastic composites is one prime area of attention, with wood fibres being viewed as opportunity to reduce costs, weight, and potential hazards associated with the use of glass fibres. A joint venture involving GreenCore Composites, a spin-off company from the University of Toronto, and corporate partners in the forestry and auto industries has been created to exploit technology developed by Mohini Sain, MCIC. Technology developed by Frank Maine, FCIC, in Guelph, is being used by a new company, EverArch, to manufacture small bridges using wood-fibre/polypropylene composite materials (these two technologies, both involving patented processes, are distinctly different).

Graphic Designer/Infographiste Krista Leroux

Terry Daynard

Vegetable-oil-based polyols, used in the production of polyurethanes, are another area of substantial interest. The Woodbridge Group and Cargill have announced a commercial partnership to produce polyurethane foam products from soy-polyol made from soybean oil. Other auto part companies are exploring similar alternatives, with the support of automobile assemblers and marketers. While these represent the “low-hanging fruit,” there are other opportunities in the use of polyhydroxy-alkanoates, thermoplastic starches, polylactic acid, butanol, 1,3-propane diol, and other biomaterials as substitutes for thermoplastics. The potential exists to go further. The plant materials now used in bioplastic and biocomposite production were never developed for these purposes. Agricultural crops have been used mainly as food, with the measures of quality being things like nutritional composition and freedom from food pathogens. In forestry, paper and wood products have reigned supreme. Now, with skilled plant breeding and the benefits of genetic engineering, it should be possible to develop new biological feedstocks with characteristics of much greater value to bioplastic biocomposite manufacturers, and the customers whom they serve. The Province of Ontario has been a solid supporter of the Ontario BioAuto Council’s agenda. A recent grant of $6 million is marked for future investment by the Council for development and demonstrations projects. A consortium of four universities (Guelph, Toronto, Waterloo, and Windsor) and several industry partners (including Ford, Tembec, and DuPont) was also recently awarded $5.9 million from the Ontario Research Fund for a project called the Ontario BioCar Initiative.

Editorial Office/Bureau de la rédaction 130, rue Slater Street, Suite/bureau 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 613-232-6252 • Fax/Téléc. 613-232-5862 • Advertising/Publicité Subscription Rates/Tarifs d’abonnement Non CIC members/Non-membres de l’ICC : in/au Canada CAN$55; outside/à l’extérieur du Canada US$50. Single copy/Un exemplaire CAN$8 or US$7. L’Actualité chimique canadienne/Canadian Chemical News (ACCN) is published 10 times a year by The Chemical Institute of Canada / est publié 10 fois par année par l’Institut de chimie du Canada. Recommended by The Chemical Institute of Canada, the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, and the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the official position of the Institute, or of the societies that recommend the magazine. Recommandé par l’Institut de chimie du Canada, la Société canadienne de chimie, la Société canadienne de génie chimique et la Société canadienne de technologie chimique. Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement la position officielle de l’Institut ou des sociétés qui soutiennent le magazine. Change of Address/Changement d’adresse Printed in Canada by Gilmore Printing Services Inc. and postage paid in Ottawa, ON./ Imprimé au Canada par Gilmore Printing Services Inc. et port payé à Ottawa, ON. Publications Mail Agreement Number/ No de convention de la Poste-publications : 40021620. (USPS# 0007-718) Indexed in the Canadian Business Index and available on-line in the Canadian Business and Current Affairs database. / Répertorié dans la Canadian Business Index et accessible en ligne dans la banque de données Canadian Business and Current Affairs. ISSN 0823-5228

Terry Daynard is executive director of the Ontario BioAuto Council. He was formerly associate dean of research and innovation at the University of Guelph, executive vice-president of the Ontario Corn Producers’ Association, and president of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association.


Editorial Board/Conseil de rédaction Joe Schwarcz, MCIC, chair/président Cathleen Crudden, MCIC John Margeson, MCIC Milena Sejnoha, MCIC Steve Thornton, MCIC Bernard West, MCIC



MULTIDISCIPLINARY MODE T h e M a rc h 20 0 6 AC C N i s s u e (pp. 12–13) contained extracts from a longer document published by the American Chemical Society (ACS) entitled, “The Chemistry Enterprise in 2015,” by W. F. Carroll Jr. and D. J. Raber. These authors stated, “The success of the Chemistry Enterprise in the framework of multidisciplinarity will require that our scientists will be deeply trained in the core of chemistry but also be able to communicate and collaborate with those in related disciplines.” No mention was made in the ACCN extract to the role of chemistry teachers in preparing pupils to think more flexibly, but in the ACS document there is the briefest of references to “New approaches in the chemistry curriculum” (p. 11). Canadian chemistry teachers c o u l d d o wo rs e t h a n a s k f o r reprints of my article published in ACCN, March 1992, pp. 23–24 and purchase Eric Scerri’s new book The Periodic Table: Its Story and Its Significance, Oxford University Press, in order to make a start in familiarizing themselves with the multidisciplinary mode of thinking that will become essential in the future. Michael Akeroyd Secretary, International Society for the Philosophy of Chemistry

What Do You Think?

Gasification System Boosts Chemical Recovery

Opta Minerals Acquires Laval Facility

Norampac and ThermoChem Recovery International (TRI) report that the black liquor gasification project at Norampac’s Trenton, ON, mill has completed the transition from commissioning to full commercial operation. The Norampac facility—the first commercial low-temperature black liquor gasification system in the world—has achieved over 18,000 hours of operation. Mill general manager J. J. Davis said, “This is an important milestone for the technology and for the Trenton mill. We continue to be committed to spent liquor gasification at Trenton and are working with TRI to gain even more steam production and energy savings.” Dan Burciaga, president of TRI, stated, “One of the key reasons this important milestone has been achieved is that Norampac and TRI have worked as a seamless team from the very beginning … we will continue to work with the team at Norampac to meet our joint long-term goals.” The project at Trenton utilizes TRI’s lowtemperature biomass gasification technology to recover and reuse chemicals, including sodium carbonate, from the spent pulping liquor the mill produces in the manufacture of corrugating medium. The recovered sodium carbonate is mixed with water to produce a cooking liquor The project meets the total spent liquor requirements of the mill, and supplies cooking liquor and process steam back to the mill to support the pulp and paper making operation. Syngas (carbon monoxide and hydrogen) is also recovered and used by the mill as an energy source and lignin is gasified in the system. Previously the black liquor was evaporated and stored on site. The product was sold as a road spray product for dust suppression. Environmental concerns led to its discontinuation and the gasification process was developed and applied to recover chemicals. Pulp and paper mills need to recover and reuse a significant portion of the chemicals they use to remain economically viable.

Opta Minerals has reached an agreement to acquire the production assets of an industrial minerals processing facility in Laval, QC. Opta is a vertically integrated producer, manufacturer, distributor and recycler of industrial minerals, silica-free loose abrasives, roofing shingle granules, specialty sands, and related products. The leased 39,000 square foot facility is ideally suited to produce abrasive media for blasting purposes, as well as garnet for abrasives, waterjet, and water filtration applications. The assets were acquired from receivership for $400,000. The plant is expected to begin commercial production early in May. Opta expects revenue from operations to be over $1,000,000 in 2007, with continued strong internal growth in the following years. “We are very excited about this new addition to our group of companies” said Martin Caouette, eastern division vice-president and general manager. “With a new, well located, flexible production facility in the eastern region, we will be able to supply the market with very competitive high-quality products.” “The inclusion of a production facility in Laval will further contribute to the company’s stated objective to become one of the dominant North American producers and suppliers of industrial minerals, silica-free loose abrasives, and roof shingle materials,” said president David Kruse. “There is strong demand for high quality abrasive, waterjet cutting media and water filtration materials in the Montréal area, as well as in New York State. Having a production facility such as this within the market will enable us to expand into this territory and continue to provide customers in both Canada and the U.S. with a full range of abrasives and industrial minerals.” Camford Chemical Report


View ACCN back issues at

ThermoChem Recovery International, Inc.



Down with Emissions The domestic chemical industry continues to make progress in reducing environmental emissions—other than carbon dioxide—according to the Canada’s Chemical Producers’ Association (CCPA)’s recent 2005 Reducing Emissions Report. In 2005, total emissions from facilities of current members of the CCPA decreased by 14 percent from 2004. The total reduction by all members since the first year of reporting in 1992 is 84 percent, or 219 kt. Ongoing efforts to reduce emissions are being made in the context of decreased production, as current members’ chemical production was 11 percent lower in 2005 than in 2004. Since 1992, the vast majority of emissions to water have been eliminated. Water emissions in 2005 were 814 tonnes, down 99.4 percent since 1992. Emissions to air now account for 98 percent of all national emissions excluding CO2. Current members’ emissions to air decreased by 6,500 tonnes in 2005. This translates to an 84 percent decrease by all


members since 1992. Some of the change in the reported values can be attributed to better emission practises. Others are more related to changes in the CPPA membership from year to year. Based on members’ total chemical production, emissions per unit of product are down as much as 84 percent since 1992. The CCPA estimates that by 2010 emissions per unit of output will have decreased by 87 percent compared to 1992. For current members, emissions per unit of production have decreased by 19 percent since 2000 and are projected to decrease by a further 6 percent by 2010. Excluding carbon dioxide, three large-volume substances—nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and sulfur oxides—represent 74 percent of total 2005 air emissions. Almost all emissions of these large volume substances are related to the operation of certain chemical processes and the burning of fossil fuels for energy. These emissions have decreased by 47 percent since 1992. Current CCPA members’ emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to all media decreased by 5 percent from 2004 to 2005, for

a total reduction by all members of 81 percent since 1992. Current members’ emissions of nitrogen oxides decreased by 16 percent in 2005 from 2004 levels, for a 52 percent decrease by all members since 1992. Canada’s Chemical Producers’ Association

IRSST Practical Guide The Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) has published a practical guide as well as three technical fact sheets that constitute a summary of the research work on the risks associated with formaldehyde exposure and on the means of prevention to be implemented. The fact sheets are aimed at three sectors, namely wood panel manufacturing, wood furniture manufacturing, and embalming. The prevention guide and the three fact sheets can be downloaded free from the IRSST’s Web site at IRSST


UMSU Diner Goes Green Degrees Diner has switched over to completely biodegradable take-out containers, coffee cups, lids, utensils, and straws. It’s one of the first university restaurants in Canada to make the switch and the move earned the University of Manitoba headlines and news coverage across the country. Now when you order food to go from the University of Manitoba Students’ Union (USMU)run restaurant, you can toss your package material into recycling bins on campus where it will be composted by the Campus Compost Program. “It’s something the students have been pushing for,” UMSU vice-president internal Amanda Jonson said. “We always hear concerns about Styrofoam on campus and if we can help do something about it we’re willing to try.” UMSU has signed an agreement with Winnipeg-based Happy Planet Productions for a full slate of packaging material. The products are fully biodegradable with zero petroleum content and zero chlorine exposure. Typically, paper coffee cups are treated with a petroleum-based wax to render them waterproof—the problem is it also means they can’t be recycled or composted, which is why the University of Manitoba’s recycling program admonishes people who throw their paper cups in the recycling bins. However, the new paper cups that Degrees will be using are treated with a corn-based product that will break down naturally. The new food containers are made from sugar cane. The lids, plastic cups, sauce cups, and straws are corn-based, and the utensils are potato-based. Degrees manager Drew Pelton said the new packaging material has a slightly different texture, but if anything, the forks, spoons, knives, and containers are stronger than the conventionally produced material. Pelton said he’s been looking for more environmentally friendly material for a long time. “But the alternatives that were out there were so expensive that it rendered them useless,” Pelton said. That was until Happy Planet put together its package and approached UMSU.

Photo by Dale Barbour

From left: Garry Sran, University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) president, Drew Pelton, Degrees Diner manager, and Amanda Jonson, UMSU vice-president internal, check out the environmentally friendly take-out material. “They have the best price I’ve seen for their style of packaging,” Pelton said. “When I saw what they had to offer it was like a bolt of lightening. I thought, ‘this is it.’” UMSU president Garry Sran said taking a leadership role on the environment is something people expect from a students’ union.“It’s something we’ve committed to. We think it’s important that we set the tone here at the university and show that it can be done,” Sran said. “The feedback has been really great,” Jonson added. “People are glad we’ve taken this step.” There is a 25 cent surcharge for the new packaging, but Pelton said they’ve tried to balance that off by offering lower prices on

coffee when people have it inside or bring their own mugs. Even though the new takeout material is fully biodegradable, people can still do the environment a favour by using their own mug. The University of Manitoba Bulletin





$25M for InterVac Now that the final piece of the funding puzzle is in place, design work on Canada’s newest facility dedicated to protecting humans and animals from emerging infectious diseases will enter its final stages with construction expected to begin as early as May. On January 4, 2007, federal health minister Tony Clement visited the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) to announce his government’s additional contribution of up to $25 million for the International Vaccine Centre (InterVac), a Level 3 biosafety facility. Owned and operated by the U of S, InterVac will build on the work already being done by the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) but with a focus on vaccines targeting diseases like SARS, the West Nile virus, BSE, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis. Clement told a gathering of university officials, researchers, and dignitaries that scientists predict a new infectious disease will be discovered every 14 to 16 months, “so we have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.” The federal government, he said, is committed to enhancing research and development capacity to address the issue of emerging diseases, and views vaccines as “one of the most powerful public health tools” available. Clement’s announcement is in addition to $24 million already committed by the federal government to the $110.3 million project. Other funding partners include the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the province of Saskatchewan, and the City of Saskatoon. Following the announcement, VIDO director Lorne Babiuk said the two organizations, VIDO and InterVac, will operate as a single entity with one governance structure overseeing both operations. Babiuk holds a Canada Research Chair in Vaccinology and Biotechnology and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Due to the very specialized nature of the building, the U of S will hold information sessions for potential contractors to alleviate concerns about pathogen containment requirements. “Once you get past the actual containment areas, it’s a very traditional building,” said Cam Ewart, manager of project development with the Facilities Management Division. “It requires more air handling, but that’s all still just duct work. It’s very unusual to hold information sessions, but we want to break


down some of the barriers for contractors, and the indication from the industry is that the more they get into the design process, the less concerned they are.” For any contractor, InterVac construction will require a big commitment, Ewart said. “It’s going to be about a 32-month process to build this place so they’re going to be here for a while.” That said, word of the

project has spread and interest is high in the industry. A mechanical firm from Texas with experience building a Level 4 facility at the University of Texas at Galvaston has already contacted the university independently to enquire about the job. “This project is on an international scale,” said Ewart. Even with all the extra hurdles and challenges “and with the ups and downs we’ve

Illustrations courtesy of Smith Carter/AODBT


Ranking of Organisms Organisms come in many forms, ranging from harmless to lethal, making it critically important that the right kind of facility be used to handle them.



In the four different categories of organisms: Level 1 is the most benign. Unable to cause disease in individuals, Level 1 organisms are the ones used every day in processes that produce beer, bread, wine, and cheese, Babiuk said. At Level 2, the organisms can cause disease but are unlikely to be deadly. VIDO is rated to this level, which includes the bugs that result in the common cold. The new Level 3 InterVac facility will take on even more challenging diseases like SARS, BSE, and hepatitis C, he said. These organisms cannot be handled without special containment measures. At Level 4, the organisms are “really nasty.” They include smallpox and the Ebola virus. The National Microbiology Laboratory housed in the Canadian Centre for Human and Animal Health in Winnipeg is Canada’s only Level 4 biosafety facility.

gone through over the last number of years,” Ewart still views InterVac as an amazing undertaking. “I remember first discussing this concept with Dr. Babiuk in the fall of 2001, and now this dream is going to happen.” Colleen MacPherson, University of Saskatchewan On Campus News

Lawyer and patent agent, Daphne C. Lainson, MCIC, answers your questions on patenting your discoveries. Send your questions to

Q: I discovered that a particular compound can be used to treat skin disorders, and I obtained a patent in Canada. A company wanting to sell a combined product containing my compound and another compound for treating the same disorders recently approached me. I was told that the company had patent protection in Canada for the combined product. How could they have obtained a patent for this without my permission? Can I stop them from selling their product? A: Just because you have a patent does not mean that others building on your invention cannot obtain patents for “improvements.” That being said, an improvement patent does not give a right to practise the originally patented invention. If rights in the original patent would be infringed by practising the improvement, as would appear to be the case if the combined product is sold in Canada, then there are steps that can be taken to stop this activity. These steps may include a court proceeding, which most people want to avoid. Contacting you is a good sign that the company is interested in negotiating a contract instead that would permit it to use your invention. When making your decision on how to proceed, consider that the company could wait until your patent expires before entering the Canadian market; once your patent expires, your invention will become free for anyone to use. Also, you should note that your patent does not give you the right to practise the improvement. Daphne C. Lainson, MCIC, is a lawyer and patent agent with the law firm Smart & Biggar in Ottawa, ON. Smart & Biggar is Canada’s largest firm practising exclusively in intellectual property and technology law. Disclaimer: The preceding is intended as informational only, and does not constitute professional advice.





hat sort of credentials do you need to convince multitudes of menopausal women to follow your advice about hormone replacement therapy? How about having starred in a TV sitcom? Or perhaps having taken a few courses in anthropology? Would you think that prepares you to understand the difference between alpha and beta estrogen receptor subtypes? Or the correlation between salivary and serum hormone levels? What about the impact of the presence of an ethynyl substituent in the 17 position of an estradiol molecule, or the role of micronized progesterone? I think not. Yet these are all important issues in the complex world of hormone replacement therapy, issues to which researchers with advanced degrees devote their lives hoping to provide useful advice to women concerned about “the change.” Hormonal effects are very complex and it comes as no surprise that experts’ comments are peppered with “ifs,” “buts,” and “maybes.” But you will find few of these in the popular writings of actress Suzanne Somers (who rose to fame starring in “Three’s


Company”) and her housewife hero, T. S. Wiley. This influential duo is convinced of having found the “juice of youth” in “bioidentical hormones,” and judging by the way Somer’s book, Ageless—The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones, is flying off the shelves, shoppers are lapping it up. Actually, smearing it on. Wiley, extensively featured in Somers’ book, recommends creams loaded with bioidentical hormones for rejuvenation. Incredibly, people who are suspicious of any research conducted by pharmaceutical companies are happy to douse themselves with untested doses of bioidentical hormones as described in the “Wiley protocol.” T. S. Wiley’s scientific background is essentially zero. Her education is limited to some undergraduate courses in anthropology, yet she describes herself as “an independent researcher in environmental endocrinology and evolutionary biology, clinical and molecular oncology, and genetics.” Pretty impressive for someone who according to Dr. Bent Formby, whom Wiley credits as being her mentor, “didn’t even know the difference between hydrogen and oxygen” when she approached him for some tutoring. Formby undoubtedly had no idea when he agreed to “support an ordinary housewife with an interest in bioscience” that she would end up charging physicians $1,500 to become certified in her methodology and pharmacies $500 for the right to dispense her product. Neither did the physicians whom Somers interviewed for her book (because of their support of bioidentical hormones) realize that their comments would be used inappropriately. They were so outraged that they wrote a letter to Somers’ publisher pointing out that Wiley has no medical or clinical qualifications and dispenses gratuitous advice that is scientifically unproven and even dangerous. So what is really going on with “bioidentical” hormones? As is often the case, Wiley and Somers take some scientific concepts, which they do not understand, mingle them with expert opinions taken out of context, toss in some anecdotal evidence and some outright fibs about qualifications and come up with a seductive, simple answer to a complex problem. The only thing lacking is evidence. Interest in the bioidentical hormone issue rocketed in 2002 when results of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) surprisingly revealed that the most common hormonal intervention for menopausal problems, a combination of

an estrogen and a progestin, was associated with an increased risk of heart disease and breast cancer. The compounds used in these pills mimicked the action of the body’s own estrogen and progesterone, but had slightly different chemical structures designed to enhance absorption from oral preparations. Understandably, after the massive amount of negative publicity generated by the WHI findings, many physicians and researchers wondered if using supplements that were identical to the body’s own hormones would alter the risk. On first glance, this sounds very reasonable. After all, the body is equipped to deal with its natural hormones, and who knows what problems may be introduced by even subtle changes in molecular structure? But let’s remember that natural estrogens were linked with breast cancer long before the WHI data came to light. Women who start to menstruate early, or enter menopause late, or have fewer children, are at increased risk for breast cancer because their breast tissues are bathed in estrogen for longer periods. Essentially, the longer women have menstrual cycles, the greater the chance of developing breast cancer. And we are talking about natural, not synthetic estrogen. The increased risk in breast cancer in postmenopausal hormone therapy is most likely not due to the type of estrogen used, but to the raising of hormone concentrations in the blood to levels that are not natural to menopause. This doesn’t mean that bioidentical hormones should not be further explored. While they may not be less risky in terms of breast cancer, some evidence indicates better performance in alleviating menopausal symptoms. Somers and Wiley suggest that saliva or blood tests be used to determine hormonal status, and that based on this, compounding pharmacists be asked to make up a blend of appropriate “natural bioidentical” hormones. Actually, saliva tests have been shown to be notoriously unreliable, and drugs produced by compounding pharmacists are not held to the same rigour as prescription drugs produced by pharmaceutical companies. And pharmaceutical companies do produce a number of bioidentical hormones that physicians are at liberty to prescribe. These, unlike Wiley’s regimen, have undergone extensive testing. Where do compounding pharmacists get their bioidentical hormones? From large pharmaceutical companies where chemists synthesize them. They start with yams

… continues on p. 27

CHEMICAL SHIFTS A Polymer Home for Wandering Cells

of the PDMS polymer. The resulting aluminum spots were then etched away to expose the now activated and oxygen-rich PDMS

Figure 1. (a) Optical image of PDMS surface (grey) after aluminum (white) deposition. Confocal images of (b) fibroblast cells cultured on the micropatterned polymer, and (c) patterned epithelial cells dual labeled for actin filaments (red) and focal adhesions (green).


n the 1660s, when the 28-year-old Robert Hooke looked through one of the first microscopes, he found, to his surprise, that plant tissue was divided up into little units. They reminded him of monk’s chambers (lt: cellula) and he called these units “cells.” The manipulation of cells has since become an occupation of many scientists, and was the motivation behind recent work published by Natasha Patrito, MCIC, Claire McCague, MCIC, Swanda Chiang, and their supervisor Peter Norton, FCIC (all of The University of Western Ontario), and their collaborator Nils Petersen, FCIC (National Institute for Nanotechnology). In two papers published in Langmuir, the team describes how one can graft a finely patterned film of acrylate polymer onto the surface of a humble block of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer. PDMS is cheap, flexible, chemically inert, but also water repellent, which explains its use as bathroom caulking or aquarium sealant. To make PDMS useful for bioanalytical applications, Patrito et al. devised a photolithographic scheme, making use of the fact that the hydrophilic acrlylate film can be grafted using UV radiation. The resulting pattern was very sharp, i.e., it showed ~1.5 micron resolution (Langmuir 22 (2006) 3453). An even simpler patterning scheme was used to create hydrophilic, micron-sized spots on PDMS. Norton and co-workers sputtered aluminum though a stainless steel screen with ~200 micron holes that was laid on top


underneath. When the entire surface was exposed to fibroblast cells, it was found that the cells accumulated and grew only in the activated PDMS spots—but not on the pristine PDMS. The cell cultures even preferred to grow in height rather than leaving the activated PDMS spot (Langmuir 23 (2007) 715). Norton and his collaborators see many potential applications for biomedical research, microfluidics, and lab-on-chips. And, of course, Hooke would have been thrilled to see cells put into cells.

Stark Control of Photodissociation Process

of the simplest chemical reaction one can imagine—the breaking of a chemical bond by laser excitation (Science 314 (2006) 279). When IBr is excited with femtosecond pulses of 520 nm laser light, one finds that about 75 percent of the bromine atoms are formed in their spin-orbit excited state and the remainder in the ground state. The branching ratio is determined by the interactions of two potential energy curves, each one leading to a different fragment state. Stolow and his co-workers found that the non-resonant field from an intense 150 fs laser pulse, that is fired during the excitation pulse, changes the potential energy curves enough that only 60 percent of the bromine atoms are formed in their excited state. When, on the other hand, the second pulse is delayed until the wavepacket reaches the crossing, the yield of the excited bromine atoms increases to over 95 percent. Laser control over chemical reactions is not a new concept, but this is the first time that the “control laser” energy does not have to be resonant with any of the molecule’s transitions. Also, the authors state that this is the first example of control over neutral dissociation channels. The control is achieved simply by Stark shifting of the respective potentials. Because it does not matter which (non-resonant) colour the control laser has, the NRC team believes that laser control by the dynamic Stark effect should also be applicable to much larger molecules.

The Attractive Pull of Pt-Bound Pyrene



n a recent report on laser control of chemical reactions, Benjamin Sussman, Dave Townsend, Misha Ivanov, and Albert Stolow, ACIC (Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences, NRC), described a new and conceptually simple scheme to change the outcome

espite the huge number of chiral homogeneous metal complexes that catalyze asymmetric processes with high enantioselectivities, the corresponding heterogeneous asymmetric catalysts are few and far between. One of the best and most well-known is the combination of metallic platinum with cinchona alkaloids, which catalyzes the hydrogenation of only one face of methyl pyruvate. Enantioselectivities obtained by this process are in the 95+ percent level and are the subject of much interest. In a recent issue of Angewandte Chemie International Edition (45 (2006) 7404),

New with YOU?

and are each surrounded by ten molecules of ethyl formate (Figure 1c). The same effect is observed with methyl pyruvate (Figure 2) which is the exact substrate for the asymmetric hydrogenation. If the aromatic molecule is changed from pyrene to methyl naphthalene, non-symmetric adsorption of ethyl formate is observed (Figure 3), indicating that the direction of the hydrogen bonding can be controlled by functionalization of the aromatic ring. These results are particularly important in the context of the asymmetric hydrogenation with the actual aromatic ligand, Cinchonidine, Figure 3B, depicted on the surface of platinum. In addition to hydrogen bonding to the obvious ammonium group of the bicyclic amine, the McBreen study has shown that binding between the aromatic hydrogens of the adsorbed aromatic substituent and the carbonyl oxygen also occurs. Two point binding is a common feature in many homogeneous asymmetric systems since it reduces conformational freedom of the substrate, and directs which face of the molecule is reduced. The emerging picture provides a remarkably satisfying picture of the mechanism by which this combination of metal and ligand act in concert to affect the enantioselective reduction of alpha keto esters.


Peter McBreen, ACIC, from the Université Laval and post-doctoral fellows Stéphane Lavoie and Gautier Mahieu report a detailed STM study describing what happens when pyrene and other aromatic molecules adsorb to the surface of platinum. In the presence of carbonyl containing molecules such as ethyl formate and methyl pyruvate, the Laval group has isolated and observed multiple hydrogen bonds between the two adsorbed species in which the aromatic C-H bonds act as hydrogen bond donors. This type of behaviour is usually observed only with highly acidic C-H bonds, however the McBreen group postulates that adsorption to the Pt surface results in a polarization of the aromatic ring and a resultant increase in C-H acidity. This type of effect is well precedented in homogeneous complexes between arenes and metals. The results obtained by saturating the Pt (111) surface with pyrene and ethyl formate are shown in Figure 1. Pyrene molecules are observed to dot the entire Pt (111) surface

Cathleen Crudden, MCIC, and Hans-Peter Loock, MCIC, are both associate professors of chemistry

Figure 1. Pyrene and ethyl formate adsorbed on Pt(111)

at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.

Figure 2. Pyrene-methyl pyruvate assembly

Send ACCN the

Figure 3. Methyl naphthalene/ethyl formate assembly as a mimic for cinchonidine/methyl pyruvate asymmetric hydrogenation system

Reproduced with permission from Wiley-VCH Verlag.


LATEST NEWS from your company, classroom, or laboratory to MAY 2007 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 11


“We would like to help our partner to make an economic impact as soon as possible. Hopefully, this will whet the appetite of other players to jump in and start using the enzymatic approach to process other parts of the hemp plant. With clean strong fibres made available by our process, we can stimulate the development of many different advanced products.”

Wing Sung

The National Research Council Canada improves hemp textile technology. 12 L’ACTUALITÉ CHIMIQUE CANADIENNE MAI 2007

What is hemp?


emp has been a valuable crop since ancient times. Its seeds have been used as food and its fibres, strongest in the plant kingdom, have been used for the production of rope, wagon covers, canvas, and sailcloth. Hemp thrives in Canada’s cool climate and can be grown without the use of pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides. Industrial hemp and marijuana both belong to the same species, Cannabis sativa, but each has been modified to have different characteristics. Hemp has long fibres and a faster growth rate. Marijuana has a

high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content that creates a hallucinogenic effect. Industrial hemp contains next to no THC. In 1938, the cultivation of hemp was banned by Canada and the U.S. In 1998, new Canadian regulations enabled the licensed commercial cultivation of industrial hemp. Industrial hemp absorbs carbon dioxide five times more efficiently than the same acreage of forest and can play a role in the strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Present and potential uses for industrial hemp are numerous and include: • clothing; • fabricated auto parts; • biocomposite, geotextile, wood, and paper products; • foodstuffs; • cosmetics; • biomass for fuel; • airplane fuselages; • heat-insulation and more. The National Research Council Canada (NRC) is helping to pave the way for a range of advanced products made with industrial hemp.

“It’s not a secret using enzymes, but there is still lots of room to establish your own unique opportunity to make the process work faster, better, and cleaner,” says NRC’s Wing Sung.

The role of the NRC NRC recently entered into a collaboration with the Vancouver-based manufacturer of hemp clothing, Naturally Advanced Te c h n o l o g i e s , I n c. ( N AT ) . N AT wa s formerly Hemptown Clothing Inc. Under the partnership, NAT will work with the NRC Institute for Biological Sciences (NRCIBS) to commercialize NRC-developed enzyme technology for processing hemp fabric. Enzymes are used widely in industrial applications for everything from pulp bleaching to meat tenderizers. The technology produced dramatically improves fibre quality to make softer, whiter fabric using environmentally friendly methods. The collaboration stems from work by Wing Sung, an NRC-IBS researcher and an expert in the use of enzymes for industrial applications. “There’s no problem growing industrial hemp in Canada. Canadian companies are also effective in selling the finished hemp products. The problem is that Canada lacks the expertise and technology for processing,” Sung explains. Indeed, earlier efforts to build a hemp processing facility in Manitoba were unsuccessful. To ensure market success, a processing

Untreated hemp is shown at left and NRC-IBS treated hemp is shown at right. facility requires a low-cost and environmentally friendly processing technology that produces superior quality hemp fibres. Initial results from the enzyme technology reveal striking improvements in the quality and performance of hemp fibres using this approach. “We are now able to produce hemp fibre of higher quality than that produced in China and Europe,” Sung says. China, the world’s leading producer of hemp fabric, uses concentrated, caustic chemicals (like sodium hydroxide or caustic soda) under vigorous conditions for processing. In 1977, M. Petruszka suggested “boiling the raw decorticated ramie fibre for one hour at 80 lbs. pressure per square inch (6 kg/cm2) at 160°C temperature” for the commercial degumming process. Producers

Photos courtesy of the National Research Council Canada. Top photo by T. Devecseri. Bottom photo by Harry Turner.

in Europe have begun using cleaner biologically based enzyme technology. Neither method produces fabric with the same whiteness and softness as cotton. As a consequence, most hemp clothing tends to be blended with cotton, a plant with a long history but which, from an environmental perspective, consumes far more resources than hemp. The goal is to produce hemp fibres superior to cotton in strength, durability, warmth, and moisture-absorbance while maintaining the same softness and brightness via a more environmentally sound process. “We are excited about new possibilities for producing a home-made Canadian hemp-based fabric with the NRC,” notes Jason Finnis, president of HT Naturals, a division of NAT.


Enzyme processing

Readers reach for ACCN for news on

who’s who and

what’s what in the Canadian chemical community

The NRC-IBS team made a deliberate decision to work with a commercially available enzyme rather than starting from scratch and has focused on optimizing the conditions under which this enzyme operates. For example, Sung has been studying the optimum operating temperature for the enzyme processing. In general, the higher the temperature the higher the activity level, but higher temperatures also mean higher energy costs for producers. Other adjustments have been made to pH levels to avoid damages to the fibres and the processing equipment. Sung notes that the use of enzymes for processing is well known. However, as this optimization approach demonstrates, improvement is possible. “It’s not a secret using enzymes, but there is still lots of room to establish your own unique opportunity to make the process work faster, better, and cleaner,” he says. Sung designed the NRC xylanase enzyme Biobrite®, widely used today for the production of bleached pulp. He is candid about the challenges faced by the team. “Environmental benefits are, of course, extremely important. But if you are unable to produce something that will save money for the producer, the technology won’t fly.” Time will tell but initial results are encouraging.

Reference 1. M. Petruszka, Ramie Fibre Production and Manufacturing (Rome, FAO, 1977), Food and Agriculture Industries Service, Agriculture Service Division.

National Research Council Canada

Next month Summer Chemistry


NRC Institute for Biological Sciences e.html NRC xylanase enzyme (Biobrite®) iogenstory_e.html Naturally Advanced Technologies, Inc.

So how is better hemp cloth manufactured? By using a commercially available enzyme that helps to remove the gummy substance, pectin, found in hemp. Researchers have focused on optimizing the conditions under which this enzyme operates, making it work better at the high temperatures and the acidity levels encountered in commercial hemp production. Adjustments have also been made to pH levels to avoid damages to the fibres and the processing equipment. This research does not only benefit NAT, but will also pave the way for hemp textiles to make it to the mainstream. Watch for hemp clothing at stores near you in the years to come!

Unrave llin gSte he

cr et s


id p fS

ilk S r e

Secre ts ets


S f p o i d s e t r e r S c i l k e S ht e

cr Se

Unravelling the



t g in l l e Unrav

r e d i p of S

Sp id

e r Si lk

Marie-Ève Rousseau, MCIC, Sarah Bédard, Jean-François Rioux-Dubé, Thierry Lefèvre, and Michel Pézolet, FCIC


iological fibrous materials have always inspired material scientists in the development of novel fibres and other highperformance materials. In recent years, the wide variety of task-specific silks produced by orb-weaving spiders have aroused considerable interest because of their broad divergent mechanical properties. In some cases, these spider silks combine a level of strength and toughness that could not be reproduced by artificial means. Orb-weaving spiders are equipped with a set of specialized abdominal glands in which the silk proteins are synthesized and stored at high concentration in a gel-like state prior to being spun as an insoluble thread. Each of the seven types of silks produced by the spider Nephila clavipes, a species widely studied in the literature and common in southern U.S., is used for a specific or multiple functions. For example, spiders use the filament spun from the Major ampullate glands, referred to as dragline, as a lifeline to escape predators as well as to build the frame and radii of the web. In the former case, the thread needs to be strong enough to support the spider’s body weight during its vertical descent. It also needs to be extensible to support the distorting forces induced by wind and rain. In comparison, the capture spiral, produced by the Flagelliform glands, exhibits a low Young modulus, but is exceptionally extensible. This type of silk can more than triple its length before breaking, which insures adequate dissipation of the kinetic energy transferred to the web when flying prey is captured. The remarkable mechanical properties of natural silks are intimately related to their structural organization. Such broad functionality is

Unr a v

le li n g


achieved by changes in the proteins’ amino acid sequence and processing conditions. These parameters affect the conformation and orientation of the proteins and are judiciously adapted to create a self-assembled, highly structural material. The production of biopolymers that biomimic silk is an attractive way to capitalize on silk’s high strength, stiffness, and extensibility. In addition, silk is a biodegradable material. Novel bio-inspired high-performance fibres would have numerous applications such as reinforcing support fibres in composite materials where light weight is an issue (aerospace), impact resistant textiles (bullet-proof vests, cables), suture material, and other biomedical related applications. Recently, the advent of recombinant DNA technology has allowed manipulation of the biosynthetic routes to produce recombinant spider silk proteins of high molecular weight. Besides the considerable progress made toward the mass-production of silk analogues, the greatest challenge still remains to process these recombinant proteins into usable biomaterials with the desired mechanical properties. The achievement of this goal depends on our ability to mimic nature’s perfection to self-assemble them into a thread. Therefore, a detailed understanding of the structural organization in native silk fibres is of paramount importance. Moreover, the combined study of the silk proteins conformation and orientation together with the silk thread mechanical properties should help to establish structure-property relationships. Such information is not only relevant to improve the artificial spinning techniques of silk-based biopolymers, but also for the design of new synthetic materials inspired by the organization of natural fibres.

Photo above: Smart is a Nephila clavipes spider born at the Université Laval.

Raman spectromicroscopy Our research group at the Université Laval is currently using Raman spectromicroscopy as well as other spectroscopy and microscopy techniques to study protein organization in a global multidisciplinary approach to fully unravel the secrets of silk. Raman spectromicroscopy is a powerful non-destructive technique that is well suited to investigate the molecular organization of silk. The use of a microscope to focus the laser beam on the sample and to collect the scattered light allows the in situ recording of high-quality spectra of single silk monofilaments having a diameter of less than 5 µm. The bands caused by the vibrations of protein amide groups are conformation sensitive, particularly the amide I band in the 1575–1750 cm–1 spectral region. These bands are therefore good probes of the secondary structures present in the sample. In addition, polarization measurements, with the incident and scattered light parallel and perpendicular to the fibre axis, provide information about the orientation of the secondary structure elements in the sample. Figure 1 shows the stress-strain curves and the polarized Raman spectra of the dragline and the capture spiral silks produced by the spider Nephila clavipes. These stress-strain curves were obtained with a specially designed stretcher that allows the simultaneous measurement of the Raman spectra and the mechanical properties. The results clearly illustrate that the two types of silk have very different mechanical properties. The dragline shows a high modulus and an excellent breaking energy that comes from a good trade-off between stiffness and extensibility. It has a breaking stress (stress in GPa at the breaking point) comparable to steel and presents a toughness (i.e., the breaking energy given by the area under the stress-strain curve) that surpasses Kevlar® fibres. On the other hand, the capture spiral has a low modulus similar to tendons, but can be stretched several orders of magnitude more before rupturing.

The dragline is by far the most studied spider silk. It is described as a semi-crystalline biopolymer made of interconnected crystalline and amorphous regions that would be responsible for its high strength and extensibility, respectively. It is known that the crystalline fraction of silk is composed of nanosized inclusions made of repetitive amino-acid motifs that adopt the anti-parallel β-sheet conformation. The position of the amide I band, appearing at 1668 cm–1 in Figure 1, indeed confirms that β-sheet is the predominant secondary structure (approximately 35 percent) in Nephila clavipes dragline silk. In addition, Figure 1 shows that the amide I band is much more intense when the incident laser

The production of biopolymers that biomimic silk is an attractive way to capitalize on silk’s high strength, stiffness, and extensibility. beam and analyzer are polarized perpendicular to the fibre axis (⊥) compared with the spectrum obtained with the parallel polarization (//). This result indicates that the amide carbonyl groups of the proteins are predominantly oriented perpendicular to the fibre axis, thus that the β-sheets are mainly parallel to the fibre axis. The presence of wellaligned β-sheets, more likely to be found in the crystalline inclusions, certainly accounts for the high tenacity of the dragline thread. It is known that the capture spiral silk has a different primary structure and different mechanical properties compared to the wellcharacterized dragline silk. However, at the molecular level, the factors responsible for its elastomeric character remain unknown. The polarized Raman spectra, shown here for the first time, are surprisingly different showing a broad amide I band, centred around 1664 cm–1, indicating no preferred conformation. In addition, there is no significant orientation dependence. According to these results, the exceptional extensibility of the silk produced by the Flagelliform gland is more likely due to the highly disordered state of the molecular chains that have no specific dihedral angle constraints—which would be the case in a given secondary structure. The two examples given above illustrate that there is a close relationship between the structure of silk proteins and the mechanical properties of the fibres, and that Raman spectromicroscopy is quite efficient to study in situ the structure of proteins in thin monofilaments. Other types of silks are currently being investigated in our laboratory to better understand how the conformation of the proteins, their assembly into supramolecular structures, and their molecular orientation impact on the mechanical properties of the thread. There is certainly a bright future for bio-inspired novel materials, but scientists still have a lot to learn from Mother Nature.

The authors are members of the research group of professor and co-author Michel Pézolet, FCIC. Together they do research on spider silk in the chemistry department of the Université Laval. They are also members of the Centre de recherche en sciences et ingénierie des macromolécules and the

Figure 1

Centre de recherche sur la fonction, la structure et l’ingénierie des protéines.


Tools are in place to meet challenges in molecular electronics using a true chemical approach. Janie Cabana, Fabienne Dragin, and Richard Martel


lan MacDiarmid introduced a new material for making flexible and cheap electronics. He was one of three joint winners of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery and development of plastics that conduct electricity. His work marked, in some ways, the beginning of “plastic electronics”. Sadly, we learned of Alan MacDiarmid recent passing just as we are writing these lines. It is therefore fitting that this article be a testimony to his


inspiring achievement, which laid the ground works of the field of molecular electronics. The carbon nanotube (CNT) is an electronic material that has recently emerged as one of the most interesting building blocks for making flexible electronics. Although a CNT is not quite a polymer, it can nevertheless be classified among the molecular conductors that conduct electricity very well. The number of scientific publications around CNT science has grown exponentially over the last 15 years, and it is now among the most popular materials in nanoelectronics. The carbon nanotube has its own set of problems—the most challenging ones are related to their chemical processing, assembly, and manipulation. We review below this molecular system and discuss the recent developments enabling their manipulation in liquids. The methods described below open the entire new field of nanotube chemistry.

Carbon nanotubes— where structure and properties collide One of the objectives in molecular electronics is to build linkers and channels that enable important charge transfer processes to take place across long distances between donor and acceptor sites. The structure of a CNT is well adapted for this task. It is a hollow cylinder composed of one or more concentric layers of carbon atoms in a honeycomb lattice (graphene) arrangement. They can be produced as single-wall, which is composed of one graphene cylinder, or multi-wall with many concentric layers. Multi-walled nanotubes (MWNTs) were found among other carbon structures in electron micrographs published in 1976, but their structure, as we know it today, was properly described and identified by S. Iijima in 1991. 1 Independently, S. Iijima (NEC) and D. Bethune (IBM) published the first synthesis and characterization of single-walled nanotubes (SWNTs) in 1993. IBM owns in fact the patent for the synthesis of CNT. SWNTs have on average diameters of 1–2 nm and lengths up to a few hundreds of micrometres. As for polymers, this large aspect ratio makes them nearly ideal 1D objects. The C-C bonds in CNTs are very strong resulting in an extremely high mechanical stability (Young’s modulus about ten times higher than that of steel). As a result, they are exceedingly strong mechanically, chemically, and thermally very stable, and have excellent thermal conductivity. This gives rise to the exceptional electronic properties mentioned above—a property that is typically reserved to metals. In addition, the 1D conduction and the strong C-C bonds allow the electrical current to reach up to one thousand times higher current density compared to regular metals. Because the CNT is very small in diameter, a thin film of this material is nevertheless flexible. The exceptional electrical properties of the CNT result from the structure of its carbon lattice and from the quantum confinement of the pi electrons around the hollow cylinder. An important and surprising consequence of the pi-electron confinement is the drastic change of electronic properties depending on very subtle differences in the atomic arrangement of the C atoms around the tube. Indeed, some CNTs are metals, while others are semiconductors (Figure 1). For a given

diameter, there is little or no free energy difference between the different SWNT structures. Thus, CNTs are always produced as a mixture of both kinds. That is, metallic and semiconducting nanotubes can have the same diameter and composition and differ only by their chirality. Moreover, the optical bandgap of the semiconducting SWNT is inversely proportional to the diameter and this has been verified using UV-Vis-NIR absorption spectra taken from nanotubes with different diameter distributions. On one hand, the mixture of species and the dramatic effects of the quantum confinement add to the richness of the material’s optical and electrical properties. On the other hand, the nanotubes come as a mixture of species presenting different properties, and this complicates the processing of the materials for making electronic applications. It was recognized early on that the most important issue of nanotube science is to enable a separation process based on the diameter and chirality. Many years of nanotube growth experiments have achieved fair success in getting narrow diameter distributions, but no process has been exclusive to a specific chirality, albeit interesting selectivity has been noted in a growth process called CoMoCat. A separation using a chemical approach appears to be the most realistic way to handle this material and progress will not take place before robust chemical processes are established in the liquid phase. We are mostly interested in developing nanotube processes for electronic applications, but such processes are also crucial for advancing other applications in material science, biology, and medicine.

Chemistry of nanotubes begins with their solubilization in a liquid CNTs are grown at high temperature (>800°C) and they are produced in the form of a powder that contains nanotubes mixed with carbon and catalyst nanoparticules. The aspect of the powder is that of coal. The processing starts by stabilizing the nanotubes in a liquid, but this is a difficult step because of the rapid aggregation of CNTs due to the hydrophobic nature of their sidewalls and their high molecular weight. Moreover, the nanotube surface is graphitic and there are strong Van der Waals interactions between tubes that stabilize the aggregates in the form of large bundles. Many

Figure 1. Model of structure of metallic (top) and semiconducting (bottom) single-wall nanotubes.

Figure 2. Selective adsorption of functionalized SWNT on the negatively charged region of the substrate. years of trial and error have proven that the nanotubes are simply insoluble in normal conditions. However, effective methodologies have been developed to improve either the solubility or the stability of the CNT dispersion in liquids. They can be classified by two distinct groups: (1) non-covalent adsorption; and (2) oxidative treatments and other covalent functionalization. 1. Non-covalent suspensions involve mainly a colloidal suspension using stabilizing agents such as polyaromatic compounds, surfactants, polymer, or even DNA. In the presence of a CNT, the hydrophobic part of an amphiphilic molecule is adsorbed onto the nanotube while the hydrophilic parts interact with the solvent and solubilize the SWNT/surfactant complex.2 A large variety of amphiphilic molecules have been explored, and their nature defines the efficiency of the exfoliation and solubilization of SWNTs. Typical surfactants have a polyaromatic derivative that consists of an aromatic core such as a pyrene and a functional group that is anchored to the core by an hydrocarbon chain. The aromatic core interacts directly with the CNT sidewall, probably through pi-stacking, while the side group helps maximizing the interaction with the solvent. More recently, nanotube salts prepared by charge transfer doping from alkalis have been used to dissolve nanotubes in polar aprotic solvents3 giving stable dispersions of nanotubes. This new technique is an


alternative method to disperse nanotubes in solutions while avoiding aggressive treatments, which contrasts with the other dispersion techniques. This technique was dubbed “dissolution douce” (i.e., soft dissolution) because it is gentle and involves no ultrasound treatment. It effectively prevents the agglomeration while conserving the integrity of CNT structure. Such true thermodynamic solutions are now used in our own labs to prepare stable solution of doped nanotubes,4 which opens exciting possibilities for processing of SWNT into films. It is also helpful in order to control functionalization or redox reactions. 2. Covalent functionalization of CNTs is currently developing as one of the most powerful tools for the processing, biodelivery, and assembly of SWNT from solution. SWNTs are rather inert and only harsh chemical or mechanical treatments can activate the highly conjugated C-C bonds. However, this type of functionalization introduces disorder that disrupts the electrical and optical properties of SWNTs. Thus, the covalent SWNT chemistry presents important issues. The oxidation processes, commonly based on strong acid treatments and ultrasounds, were among the first successful paths to covalently prepare and solubilize CNT in liquids.5 This approach paved the way to functionalize SWNT sidewalls by building new covalent chemical derivatives, but it also introduces oxygen-based defects onto its sidewall. It was quickly recognized that the initial oxidative step permanently alters the SWNT properties.6 Thus, new functionalization reactions based on radical addition—such as the diazonium, fluorination, and peroxides reactions—have been developed to avoid the introduction of permanent damages. The diazonium reaction, for instance, provides an effective path to anchor new groups onto the sidewalls and a large variety of functionalities can then be attached.7 We have recently tested the reversibility of the diazonium reaction using spectroscopy and conductance measurements.8 Our study reveals that the reaction is mostly reversible, but it unfortunately leads to a small accumulation of defects on the SWNT sidewall. Moreover, we note that the reaction rate is also much faster for the metallic SWNT species. This is probably a new avenue


enabling the separation of SWNT on the basis of their electrical properties. The covalent functionalization affects the electrical properties of CNT because it converts sp2 carbons into sp3 sites that slightly deform the nanotube. Direct attachment of organic groups leads to the solubilization however, and possibly, to better biocompatibility. It also presents an interesting advantage for the assembly of CNT onto molecular devices since it grants a control on the properties of the sidewall. For example, the end group of the addends can be positively charged and used to adsorb the CNT on a negative surface, selectively (Figure 2). Such control of the self-assembly is essential for a bottom-up fabrication. In conclusion, carbon nanotubes are 1D structures having unique and interesting properties for electronic applications in particular. The material is however insoluble in liquids and consists of a mixture of species. A better understanding of the chemistry of nanotubes will be required to take full advantage of this extraordinary structure. The recent improvements in making stable solutions of carbon nanotubes are important milestones in this field. Our opinion is that the techniques will develop further, and new methodologies will emerge in order to separate and chemically manipulate CNT in liquids. Most of the tools are in place and new and important challenges in molecular electronics can now be addressed using a true chemical approach.

J. Phys. Chem. B 110 (2006), pp. 3949–3954. 5. J. Chen, M. Hamon, H. Hu, Y. Chen, A. Rao, P. Eklund, R. Haddon, “Solution Properties of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes,” Science 282 (1998), pp. 95–98. 6. A. Hirsch, “Functionalization of SingleWalled Carbon Nanotubes,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 41 (2002), pp. 1853–1859. 7. C. Dyke, J. M. Tour, “Overcoming the Insolubility of Carbon Nanotubes Through High Degrees of Sidewall Functionaliza tion,” Chem. Eur. J., 10 (2004), pp. 812–817. 8. J. Cabana, R. Martel, “Probing the Reversibility of Sidewall Functionalization Using Carbon Nanotube Transistors,” J. Am. Chem. Soc, 129 (2007), pp. 2244–2245.

Janie Cabana is a PhD student from the chemistry department at the Université de Montréal. She joined Richard Martel’s research group in 2005 with an NSERC fellowship and focuses her research on the covalent functionalization of carbon nanotubes. She has a BSc degree in chemistry from the Université de Montréal. Fabienne Dragin is a PhD student from the Université de Montréal and the Université de Montpellier II in France. She joined Martel’s research group in 2004 with a Lavoisier Fellowship (France) and works on the characterization of doped carbon

References 1. See recent discussions about the Discovery of Carbon Nanotubes by M. Monthioux and V. L. Kuznetsov Carbon 44 (2006), pp. 1621–1623. 2. M. J. O’Connell, S. M. Bachilo, C. B. Huffman, V. C. Moore, M. S. Strano, E. H. Haroz, K. L. Rialon, P. J. Boul, W. H. Noon, C. Kittrell, J. Ma, R. H. Hauge, R. B. Weisman, R. E. Smalley, Science 297 (2002), p. 593. 3. A. Pénicaud, P. Poulin, A. Derre, E. Anglaret, P. Petit, “Spontaneous Dissolution of a Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube Salt,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127 (2005), pp. 8–9. 4. E. Anglaret, F. Dragin, A. Pénicaud, and R. Martel, “Raman Studies Of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube Salts In Solutions,”

nanotube solutions using Raman spectroscopy. She has an engineering degree in material science from Montpellier II. Richard Martel is internationally known for his leading role in forefront research on nanotube electronics. He holds the Canada Research Chair on Electrically Active Nanostructures and Interfaces. His current research focuses on the nanoscience of electronic materials and nanostructures, carbon nanotubes, and molecular nanostructures.

Sky-High Lab K

ent Moore, chair of the department of chemical and physical sciences at the University of Toronto Mississauga, is ready to start his research. He’s got a laptop, a theory about how the atmosphere swirls around Greenland’s icy bulk, and enough Dramamine to last for 17 turbulent flights over the raging northern oceans. The data he gathers could help improve weather prediction across Europe and Asia and provide insight into how sea and atmospheric interactions in the Arctic and North Atlantic areas influence climate. Science doesn’t always happen at a lab bench. For Moore, it happens while strapped into a four-point harness, flying head-on into hurricane-force winds off the southern tip of Greenland.

At the heart of GFDex are wind patterns known as “tip jets.” Greenland, an icy obstacle more than three times the size of Texas, forces air to go around its bulk and creates regions of high windspeeds. Tip jets travel east from the tip of Greenland towards Iceland, at speeds of 30 to 40 metres per second. Just as wind blows heat away from the body, making windy winter days feel even colder, tip jets blow heat away from the surface of the ocean. This now-cooler, denser water sinks, affecting currents of circulating warm and cool water within the ocean. About two years ago, Moore discovered a different kind of tip jet— one that blows west towards Labrador. Now known as reverse tip

In order to get the best data, the researchers need to fly just 100 feet above the heaving seas, in winds of more than 140 kilometres per hour. Moore travelled to Greenland this spring as part of the Greenland Flow Distortion experiment (GFDex), an International Polar Year research project involving Canadian, British, Norwegian, and Icelandic scientists. Moore, a professor of atmospheric physics, is leading the Canadian contingent. GFDex will provide the first evidence of the role that Greenland plays in distorting atmospheric flow around its massive land and ice mass, affecting European and Asian weather systems. Moreover, the findings may reveal how sea and atmospheric interactions in the Arctic and North Atlantic areas influence climate.


jets, these also force circulation of water over the Labrador Sea to the west of Greenland. “We’ve seen these things in satellite imagery, but no one’s ever actually observed them,” says Moore. “We’ll be making the first in situ observations of these jets. It’s kind of exciting.” The data will help scientists understand how the flow of air around Greenland affects weather downwind. “If things are happening near Greenland today, probably two days from now that [air mass] will move down over Europe,” says Moore. “Two or three days after it’s affected Europe, it affects Asia and then ultimately comes around and affects North America. So Greenland ultimately

Photo above: Kent More collects data aboard FAAM.

University of Toronto Mississauga

Due Diligence

recommended laboratory procedures

Lead by Example

responsibility for safety policies

Healthy Workplace

training and information effective safety systems

Prevent Accidents and Illnesses

employer-employee relationships safety audits

ISBN: 1-896564-00-3 94 pages • August 2003 $29.50


The latest edition builds on the experience gained over 20 years since the first edition was launched in 1982 by the Ordre des chimistes du Québec. A team of chemical experts in health and safety from industry, government and academia have combined their extensive knowledge to cover a wide and complete range of topics.

Subject Areas • Responsibility for safety • Recommended laboratory procedures • Storage, handling and hazards of laboratory reagents • Safety equipment and procedures • Emergency procedures • Accidental spills of hazardous products • Management of hazardous wastes • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)


An invaluable resource for all laboratory personnel

affects the whole Northern Hemisphere … our knowledge will potentially help improve forecasts.” Moore is also hoping the findings will clarify the climate processes affecting Greenland’s glaciers, which have shrunk significantly in the past few years. “There’s evidence that the ice cap is retreating quite dramatically. In 2003, a cyclone came up on the east side of Greenland and there was a huge melting event,” says Moore. “It’s one of my hopes that we’ll be able to understand a bit more about the processes that determine the mass balance of the Greenland ice cap.” Making these observations requires both advanced technology and a cast-iron stomach. Moore and his colleagues, along with graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, will be making 17 flights into the tip jets in a British research aircraft called FAAM (Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements). Pods and sensors stud the outside of the aircraft. Most of the seats have been removed, creating space for racks of instruments measuring the presence of ice in the clouds, temperature, pressure, and humidity. On-board radar gathers information on precipitation, and helps Moore—who, as a mission scientist, will sit in the cockpit—to direct the pilots where to fly. At the same time, “sondes”—paper towel tube-sized devices on small parachutes—are dropped from the back of the plane. Equipped with a barometer, thermometer, global positioning system, and humidity sensor, each sonde radios its measurements back to the plane and provides a profile of conditions below the aircraft. In order to get the best data, the researchers need to fly just 100 feet above the heaving seas, in winds of more than 140 kilometres per hour. “In these conditions and at these levels, the turbulence will be quite severe,” says Moore. “Once, on a similar flight in the Arctic, the lens of my glasses popped out!” The GFDex experiment is funded by the U.K.’s Natural Environment Research Council, the Canadian Fund for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, the European Fleet for Airborne Research, and EUCOS, the Composite Observing System program of 21 European meteorological services.

CSC–TOWARDS 2015 Vision: “Chemistry is central to the well-being of society.” Mission: “Advance the principles and practices of the chemical sciences for the betterment of society.”


pring is the time of renewal, so too for the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC). In spring 2006, the CIC Board undertook an initiative that resulted in the creation of the “CIC Vision—Towards 2015” that CIC chair Cathy Cardy, MCIC, shared with members in the February issue of ACCN. Almost ten years ago the CSC created a strategic plan and, with updating on a regular basis, it has provided direction for setting priorities and areas of emphasis. I am proud to say that the CSC has been very successful in achieving many of the chosen objectives. The CSC Board gathered in Edmonton, AB, over a November 2006 weekend and once we were finished dealing with the regular business of the CSC, we rolled up our sleeves and settled into some very exciting discussions spurred on by the “CIC—Towards 2015” document. The challenge was to move from the near-term tactical and strategic thinking to higher more visionary thinking. “Towards 2015” was the catalyst we needed to help us get there! We ultimately decided to adopt the same vision and mission as the CIC and to recognize the same chemically related pillars underpinning society: environment, health and safety, the economy, and energy. From this we began to diverge into our own areas of focus and priority looking forward to 2015. In challenging ourselves and listening to our members and non-members, we developed and prioritized the following areas of focus: • outreach and education; • support for local sections; • member recruitment and retention; • career development; • recognition of the chemical profession.

the CSC. The new CSC Director of Local Sections position, increased funding, a Local Section workshop in Winnipeg this spring, and coordinated activities across the three Societies are all focused on providing the resources and encouragement to create stronger, more vital Local Sections.

Member recruitment and retention Individual members always have and will always be at the heart of the CSC! With only a handful of paid staff, it would be impossible to create the programming, events, and regular issues of ACCN while maintaining and enhancing our international scientific presence and connections without the contributions of our members. We know that there are many trained chemists in Canada who are not members. Of special importance are students. Today’s students are tomorrow’s scientists, policymakers, and society members. It is our job to ensure that they are aware of the benefits and opportunities that exist as a member—professionally, economically, and socially. Attracting and retaining student members is a high priority for the CSC.

Career development We are rapidly moving towards a global knowledge-based economy. The traditional manual workers today are increasingly using their heads and technology more than their hands. The rate of discovery and new applications within the chemical sciences is staggering— simply keeping abreast of one’s own area of interest or expertise is challenging. It is an opportunity and a responsibility of the Society to recognize the expanding business, leadership, and technical skills that we each require as we progress through our careers. The Society, sometimes in partnership with others, can facilitate the availability and delivery of skill training to our members.

Outreach and education

Recognition of the chemical profession

Awareness and understanding is our objective. Outreach and education are the mechanisms—from turning on young minds to the wonders of science and chemistry to helping our decision makers understand and appreciate that “chemicals” are not inherently bad or something to be feared. At a more pragmatic level, it is clear that the CSC has a role to play in the continuing education of the professional chemist. Our approach involves enhancing our outreach activities with our Institute, other societies, and our partners in the provincial professional chemists associations.

In 2005 the CSC, along with the existing and developing provincial professional associations, initiated a program to “increase the awareness and recognition of the practice of chemistry as a profession in Canada.” This is a long-term and collaborative undertaking to ensure professional recognition of chemists by themselves, other professional associations, regulators, and the public. “CSC—Towards 2015” will be formally presented to the membership at the Winnipeg Conference and Exhibition in May 2007. On behalf of the Board and staff in Ottawa, we look forward to discussing the vision, objectives, and details of the implementation of this strategy with each of you. As chemical professionals, we each have an opportunity and responsibility to be scientists, visionaries, teachers, and leaders—each contributing to society and our communities in our own way.

Local Sections The Local Section is the primary mechanism for members to connect with each other in our communities as they are often the most visible aspect of the Society. Local Sections, whether thriving or struggling, are the life-blood of the Institute and Societies and are a priority for


Dave Schwass, MCIC CSC president


La fondation allemande Alexander von Humboldt décerne au professeur André Bandrauk, FCIC, chimiste à la Faculté des sciences de l’Université de Sherbrooke, l’Humboldt Research Award. Ce prix honore chaque année des chercheurs de l’extérieur de l’Allemagne dont les accomplissements en recherche et en enseignement sont internationalement reconnus. Le récipiendaire se voit remettre une bourse. Bandrauk est également invité à développer des programmes de recherche en collaboration avec des équipes de recherche en Allemagne. Cet aspect contribuera à la promotion de la coopération scientifique entre les institutions de recherche allemandes et canadiennes.

The inaugural Cantest Life Sciences Award in Chemistry was presented by Charles Leblanc of Cantest Inc. to the top students in third-year chemistry at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and The University of British Columbia (UBC). The award is given to honour top chemistry students and promote chemical education at public post-secondary institutions that teach chemistry or chemical technology within the Vancouver CIC Local Section. The Vancouver Local Section is very grateful to Cantest Inc.— a Vancouver-area analytical testing company that employs chemists—for its generous support of these student awards. The inaugural awardees are Irene Ah Wing Chan (UBC) and Rince Wing Hang Wong (SFU). The 2005 awards (funded by the Local Section) were also presented to Aaron Green (SFU) and Michael Lynch (UBC). At the same event, the CIC Second-Year Award in Chemistry was given to the top student who had completed two chemistry courses at the second-year level, at each of the colleges and universities within the Vancouver Local Section that nominated a candidate. This award was previously supported by Creo Inc., but this funding was discontinued upon their recent takeover by Kodak. The 2006 winners are: Kanchana Ariyaratne, B.C. Institute of Technology; Stanley Chang, The University of British Columbia; Amandeep Hans, Kwantlen College; Justinas Justin Jankunas, Simon Fraser University; Veronika Jindrakova, Capilano College; and Oxana Korzh, Langara College.


Daphne C. Lainson, MCIC, has been appointed vice-chair of the Women in IP Law Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. The Committee’s mandate is to further and facilitate the practice of intellectual property law by women, and has a large membership in the U.S. and internationally.

Jacob Masliyah, FCIC, O.C.

Barry MacDougall, FCIC, elected ECS president Barry MacDougall, FCIC, principal research officer of the National Research Council Canada (NRC), Ottawa, will become president of the Electrochemical Society, Inc. (ECS), in May 2007 at the Society Meeting in Chicago, IL. The ECS has 8,000 members in more than 65 countries, and MacDougall will be the second Canadian in its 105-year history to serve as president. The only other Canadian to hold this office was W. Lash Miller of the University of Toronto, serving as president from 1912 to 1913. MacDougall has been a member of ECS for more than 30 years, and was the recipient of the society’s 1995 Carl Wagner Award. He is only one of three Canadians to receive full Society Awards from the ECS. The others were the late Brian Conway of the University of Ottawa (Olin Palladium and Linford Teaching Awards), who was MacDougall’s PhD supervisor; and the late Morris Cohen of NRC (Olin Palladium Award), who was MacDougall’s post-doctoral Fellow supervisor. MacDougall was chair of the Ontario–Quebec (now Canadian) section of the ECS in 1979.

The Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, has announced 89 new appointments to the Order of Canada. Joining the ranks as Officer (O.C.) is NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Oil Sands Engineering and Canada Senior Research Chair, Jacob Masliyah,

FCIC, Masliyah is one of the top researchers in extracting bitumen from the oilsands and professor at the University of Alberta’s department of chemical and materials engineering. Born in Iraq, he says he doesn’t fail to see the irony of someone who fled an oil-rich country being involved in the oil sands of Alberta, but he never takes the peace of Canada for granted. “Virtually every day I remind myself how lucky I am, with my family, to be in Alberta and to be in Canada,” he said. “Sometimes as Canadians we forget how fortunate we are.” Much of his work has focused on increasing the efficiency of the extraction process so that less energy is used, and he has seen a big improvement. The science has developed to the extent that it now takes half the energy it did back in the 1970s to extract a barrel of bitumen.

New FEIC for 2007, Kumar Nandakumar, FCIC Kumar Nandakumar, FCIC, has been awarded fellowship to the Engineering Institute of Canada for 2007. He is currently a professor of chemical engineering in the department of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Alberta. His research interests are in the area of computational fluid dynamics as applied to multiphase flows, fuel cells, and polymer processing. He is also currently the editor of The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering.


Nandakumar has supervised 62 Master’s and PhD students and post-doctoral Fellows. This work has been supported through research grants and contracts that exceed $5.4 million. He has authored or co-authored 123 publications in refereed journals and made over 100 presentations at various conferences all over the world. For his many accomplishments, Nandakumar has received significant recognition within and outside the university. He has received the following awards—Alexander Humboldt Research Fellowship from the German government, McCalla and Killam Professorships at the University of Alberta, Albright and Wilson Americas Award from the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering and the Association of Professional Engineers, and the Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) Excellence in Education Award. His contributions to engineering in Canada and the world over 27 years made him an excellent candidate for the Fellowship of the Engineering Institute of Canada.

Bibudhendra Sarkar, FCIC, senior scientist emeritus, Molecular Structure and Function, at the University of Toronto received the Priyadaranjan Ray Memorial Award of the Indian Chemical Society. This award is rarely presented to a foreign scientist. Sarkar was recognized for his outstanding contributions in the field of bioinorganic chemistry and its application to human health and disease. His discovery of the treatment of Menkes disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disease of genetic origin, is saving children around the world. His global health research to alleviate human suffering caused by deadly contamination of arsenic in drinking water in the Bengal delta of South Asia is bringing hope to millions of people in the region.

The SCI Awards International Medal was awarded to Paul Timmons of ERCO Worldwide at the Society of the Chemical Industry (SCI) dinner on March 1 in Toronto, ON. Timmons was honored for his international leadership in the chemical industry. ERCO’s Richard Paton and Dan Corbett outlined Timmon’s significant contribution to the chemical industry over the years.

Paton noted that Timmons has provided exceptional leadership in the continuous integration of strong business leadership and fundamentals with a dedication to going “beyond what’s required” through Responsible Care®. This is a major contribution to Canada’s deserved reputation as the world leader in Responsible Care. At Canada’s Chemical Producers’ Association, Timmons has been front and centre in accepting leadership roles as chair of one of the Responsible Care leadership groups, as a long-standing board and executive committee member, as vice-chair of Responsible Care, and as incoming chair in October 2007.

Canada’s Top 10 Life Science Companies Competition is an annual competition developed by the Ottawa Life Sciences Council (OLSC) to showcase Canada’s top investment prospects. It promotes and works with Canadian-based companies to hone company presentations and introduce companies to North American investors, ultimately leading to investment attraction. Variation Biotechnology Inc. (VBI) has been selected as one of this year’s winning companies. VBI is an innovative vaccine development company that closed a venture capital deal totalling $41.6 million. Led by U.S.-based Clarus Ventures, the financing included the participation of ARCH Venture Partners and 5AM Ventures as well as existing seed investors. “VBI is honoured to have been selected among Canada’s Top 10 Life Sciences Companies. As a past winner, we have been very pleased with the growth of the program, and in particular with the efforts the OLSC has made to showcase competition winners to top investors in Canada and the U.S.,” said Francisco Diaz-Mitoma, CEO of VBI. “VBI leveraged these opportunities with one-onone meetings with some of the top venture investors on our list. The competition increased our profile and credibility with tier-one venture investors.” “The OLSC has worked closely with VBI over the past three years and is proud to have supported VBI’s investment attraction activities,” said Ken Lawless, president and CEO of the OLSC. “This caps a record year (2006) for life sciences investment in Ottawa.”


… continued from p. 8

or soybeans, isolate a compound known as diosgenin, and through a number of synthetic steps convert it into progesterone or into one of the body’s naturally occurring estrogens. Compounding pharmacists purchase these synthesized compounds and use them to make up the lozenges or creams prescribed by physicians. In the case of the Wiley protocol, in worryingly high doses. In answer to heaps of criticism from the scientific community, Somers suggests that her recommendation about using bioidenticals represents the “first time we’ve gotten some relief in a non-drug way.” Undoubtedly, like any estrogen supplement, bioidenticals offer relief, but they do this because they act like drugs—pure and simple. Only large scale controlled trials can determine if bioidenticals are safer or more effective than conventional hormone therapy. Somers doesn’t need to wait for these, it seems for her, personal evidence is enough. “Yes, I have some wrinkles,” she says, “but I’m frisky and energized and my brain is working perfectly.” Well, maybe a tad less than perfectly.

Popular science writer, Joe Schwarcz, MCIC, is the director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society. He hosts the Dr. Joe Show on Montréal’s radio station CJAD. The broadcast is available on the Web at www. You can contact him at

GET NOTICED puts your message in front of 6,000+

chemists, chemical engineers, and chemical technologists

every month at a very low cost.



CIC FELLOWSHIPS 2007 The Fellowship of The Chemical Institute of Canada was created as a senior class of membership to recognize outstanding merit by those who have made, or who are clearly in the course of making, a sustained and major contribution to the science or to the profession of chemistry, chemical engineering, or chemical technology. Here are the distinguished CIC members who have been named Fellows in 2007 by the Fellowship Selection Committee.

Le titre de « Fellow » de l’Institut de chimie du Canada a été créé afin de reconnaître une contribution exceptionnelle que les membres ont faite, ou sont visiblement en train de faire, à la chimie, au génie chimique ou à la technologie chimique, tant sur le plan scientifique que professionnel. Voici les membres distingués de l’ICC choisis par le Comité de sélection pour recevoir le titre de « Fellow » en 2007.


John Blachford, FCIC

Neil Burford, FCIC

Dietmar Kennepohl, FCIC reveal an extensive and diverse catenation chemistry that potentially will parallel those of organic chemistry.

Gerry Phillips, FCIC

Abdelhamid Sayari, FCIC

Marc E. Savard, FCIC

Benoit Simard, FCIC

For four decades, John Blachford, FCIC, has led a highly successful business involved in the chemical industry and the acoustics industry. His business has two plants in Canada, three in the U.S., and a strong research component. As a champion of Responsible Care®, he has demonstrated that strong ethics play a key role in growing and sustaining business.

The most significant contribution from Neil Burford, FCIC’s research is his development of electron-rich (i.e., lone-pair containing) Lewis acidic phosphorus (III) centres, which defines a new era in phosphorus chemistry and new synthetic methodologies. The consequential discovery and development of P-P homoatomic coordination chemistry and catena-phosphinophosphonium chemistry

Dietmar Kennepohl, FCIC, is an internationally recognized academic expert in teaching chemistry on-line and at a distance. He has worked tirelessly to provide increased access to quality chemical education and to promote greater understanding of chemistry at all levels. He is a great ambassador for chemistry.

Gerry Phillips, FCIC, has champ i o n e d t h e a d va n c e m e n t a n d application of Process Safety Management (PSM) in Canada. He established the PSM Subject Division and the annual PSM Symposium. His leadership has been recognized with the 1997 CCPA Award of Merit for Contribution to advancing PSM in Canada, and the CSChE PSM Award in 2005. He also played a key role in establishing Red Deer’s Dangerous Goods Occupancy By-law in 1989. This was the first by-law in Canada to recognize the need to control dangerous goods through Land Use Planning and continuous monitoring.

Marc E. Savard, FCIC, is a clear and tangible example of an active and dedicated CIC member. His outstanding achievements include: (1) his research in mycotoxins, which


The Catalysis Award—Call for Nominations provided cereal breeders tools to evaluate the resistance of their new varieties to the number one cereal disease in Canada; and (2) his continuous involvement in crystal growing and chemistry awareness at large with the student population.

Abdelhamid Sayari, FCIC, is a prolific researcher who made outstanding contributions in materials science, catalysis, and separation. Through the establishment of a world-class, multidisciplinary catalysis centre and the organization of major international events, Sayari played a leading role in promoting catalysis research in Canada.

Benoit Simard, FCIC’s unique contribution to the field of physical chemistry via the development of new spectroscopic methods for the characterization of complex systems have paved the way to his internationally acclaimed foray in the field of nanotechnology and the fabrication of unique nanomaterials and carbon nanotubes.

2006 Financial Statements By mid-April 2007, the complete audited financial statements of the CIC, CSC, and CSChE will be available (in both official languages) on the CIC Web site and on request from the executive director. The statements will also be available at the annual general meetings of the Institute and the Consituent Societies.

États financiers


Dès la mi-avril 2007, les états financiers vérifiés de l’ICC, de la SCC et de la SCGCh seront disponibles dans les deux langues officielles sur le site Web de l’ICC et sur demande auprès du direct eur général. Les états seront aussi disponibles aux assemblées générales annuelles de l’Institut et de ses sociétés constituantes.

The Catalysis Award, sponsored by the Canadian Catalysis Foundation, is awarded biennially to an individual who, while resident in Canada, has made a distinguished contribution to the field of catalysis. The recipient of the award receives a rhodium-plated silver medal and travel expenses to present the award lecture at the Canadian Symposium on Catalysis or the annual conference of the Canadian Society for Chemistry or the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering. Nominations for the award must be submitted in writing to the awards manager of The Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC), by October 1, 2007, using the CIC nomination form. Previous winners of the Catalysis Award are R. J. Cvetanovic and Y. Amenomiya (1977), R. B. Anderson (1979), C. H. Amberg (1982), H. Alper (1984), H. W. Habgood (1986), J. B. Moffat (1988), B. R. James (1990), B. Wojciechowski (1992), I. Dalla Lana (1994), M. Ternan (1996), S. Kaliaguine (1998), G. L. Rempel (2000), M. C. Baird (2002), C. A. Fyfe (2004), and S. Brown (2006). For more information, please contact Bryce McGarvey, MCIC, catalysis division chair, research department, Imperial Oil, 453 Christina St. S. P.O. Box 3022, Station Main, Sarnia, ON N7T 8C8; tel.: 519-339-5688, fax: 519-339-4436, e-mail: bryce.mcgarvey@esso. ca, or Gale Thirlwall-Wilbee, awards manager, CIC, 130 Slater Street, Suite 550, Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2; tel.: 613-232-6252, ext. 223; fax: 613-232-5862; e-mail:

Appel de candidatures pour le Prix de catalyse Le Prix de catalyse, parrainé par la Fondation canadienne de catalyse, est remis bisannuellement à une personne pour souligner sa contribution exceptionnelle au domaine de la catalyse alors qu’elle résidait au Canada. Le récipiendaire du prix reçoit une médaille d’argent plaquée rhodium et le remboursement de ses frais de déplacement pour présenter la conférence du Prix de catalyse au Symposium canadien de catalyse ou au congrès annuel de la Société canadienne de chimie ou de la Société canadienne de génie chimique. Les mise en candidatures pour le prix doivent être soumises par écrit à la directrice des prix de l’Institut de chimie du Canada (ICC), d’ici le 1er octobre 2007, à l’aide du formulaire de mise en candidature pour les prix de l’ICC. Les récipiendaires précédents du Prix sont R. J. Cvetanovic et Y. Amenomiya (1977), R. B. Anderson (1979), C. H. Amberg (1982), H. Alper (1984), H. W. Habgood (1986), J. B. Moffat (1988), B. R. James (1990), B. Wojciechowski (1992), I. Dalla Lana (1994), M. Ternan (1996), S. Kaliaguine (1998), G. L. Rempel (2000), M. C. Baird (2002), C. A. Fyfe (2004) et S. Brown (2006). Pour tout renseignement supplémentaire, veuillez contacter Bryce McGarvey, MCIC, président de la division de catalyse, département de la recherche, Compagnie Pétrolière Impériale Ltée, 453, rue Christina Sud, C.P. 3022, Station Main, Sarnia (Ontario) N7T 8C8; tél. : 519-339-5688, téléc. : 519-339-4436, courriel :, ou Gale Thirlwall-Wilbee, directrice des prix de l’ICC, 130, rue Slater, bureau 550, Ottawa (Ontario) K1P 6E2; tél. : 613-232-6252, poste 223; téléc. : 613-232-5862; courriel : Flora T. T. Ng, FCIC Vice-chair, Catalysis Division Vice-présidente, Division de catalyse




Diethard K. Bohme, FCIC

Guojun Liu, MCIC

The Chemical Institute of Canada Medal La Médaille de l’Institut de chimie du Canada Sponsored by / Parrainé par The Chemical Institute of Canada l’Institut de chimie du Canada The Chemical Institute of Canada Medal is presented as a mark of distinction and recognition to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the science of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada. La Médaille de l’Institut de chimie du Canada est décernée à une personne en guise de reconnaissance et pour souligner sa contribution exceptionnelle à la chimie ou au génie chimique au Canada. Diethard K. Bohme, FCIC York University Department of chemistry Diethard K. Bohme completed both his BSc (1962) and PhD (1965) at McGill University. After post-doctoral fellowships at University College London and ESSA, Boulder CO, he joined the faculty at York University in 1970, becoming professor in 1977, and named


Joseph Hubert, FCIC

Robert C. Burk

distinguished research professor in 1994. Since 2001, he has held a Canada Research Chair in Physical Chemistry (Chemical Mass Spectrometry). Bohme has been an active contributor to chemistry in Canada serving as chair of his chemistry department for eight years, as a member of the NSERC Grant Selection Committee, on the executive of the Physical Chemistry Division (CIC), and on the Experiment Evaluation Committee at TRIUMF. His research interests focus on the chemistry of ions in the gas phase with special emphasis on reactions of atomic cations, organometallic cations, mutltiply charged fullerene cations, and more recently of biological anions and cations, and their role in fundamentals of chemistry and biochemistry, in planetary and interstellar environments, and in analytical mass spectrometry. His research has been funded continuously by NSERC and has been recognized with an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the CSC’s Noranda Award, the CSC’s John C. Polanyi Award, the CSMS’s F. P. Lossing Award, the CSASS’s G. Herzberg Award, an A. von Humboldt Research Award, and a Killam Research Fellowship. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and recipient of the Rutherford Memorial Medal in Chemistry.

The Macromolecular Science and Engineering Lecture Award Le Prix des sciences et du génie macromoléculaires Sponsored by / Parrainé par NOVA Chemicals Corporation The Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award is presented to an individual who, while residing in Canada, has made a distinguished contribution to macromolecular science or engineering. Le Prix des sciences et du génie macromoléculaires est décerné à un individu pour sa brillante contribution dans les domaines des sciences et du génie macromoléculaires alors qu’il résidait au Canada. Guojun Liu, MCIC Queen’s University Department of chemistry Guojun Liu received his PhD in polymer photochemistry from the University of Toronto in 1989. After eight months as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, he joined McGill University for another post-doctoral year. He was appointed assistant professor at the University of Calgary in 1990 and rose to the rank of


full professor in 1999. Since 2004 he has been serving the department of chemistry at Queen’s University as Tier I Canada Research Chair in Materials Science. Liu spent his PhD years and the first two years of his independent career at the University of Calgary studying properties of polymers by fluorescence spectroscopy. He entered the block copolymer field after reading a paper in 1992 reviewing morphologies of blocksegregated copolymer solids and realizing the scarcity of chemistry done to the segregated structures. Since then, his work has focused on block copolymer self-assembly and directed assembly and on preparation, study, and application of nanostructures of block copolymers.

doyen de la Faculté des arts et des sciences. Il a dirigé l’implantation d’une trentaine de centres de recherche en sciences pures et appliquées, ainsi qu’en sciences sociales et humaines. Hubert a occupé plusieurs postes de responsabilité dans des organismes de subvention et conseils de la recherche au Québec et au Canada. À diverses reprises, il a contribué à l’organisation de congrès annuels dans le cadre notamment de l’Institut de chimie du Canada et de la Société de spectroscopie du Canada. En 1993, il est nommé « fellow » de la Société canadienne de chimie et obtient le Prix Fisher pour ses travaux en spectroscopie atomique à source de plasma. En 2006, il se voit décerner le titre honorifique de Compagnon de Lavoisier par l’Ordre des chimistes du Québec.

The Montréal Medal La Médaille Montréal Sponsored by / Parrainé par The Montréal CIC Local Section / La Section locale de Montréal de l’ICC The Montréal Medal is presented as a mark of distinction and honour to a resident in Canada who has shown significant leadership in or has made an outstanding contribution to the profession of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada. La Médaille Montréal est décernée à un individu qui réside au Canada en guise de reconnaissance pour honorer qualités considérables de leader et la contribution exceptionnelle à la profession de la chimie ou du génie chimique au Canada. Joseph Hubert, FCIC Université de Montréal Département de chimie Après un doctorat en chimie à l’Université de Montréal, Joseph Hubert y amorce sa carrière universitaire en 1974. Il accueillera au fil du temps plus de 70 étudiants dans son laboratoire de chimie analytique instrumentale, reconnu comme l’un des plus importants centres de formation en chimie analytique. En 1987, il devient directeur du département de chimie de l’Université de Montréal puis, en 1994, vice-doyen à la recherche et, en 2001,

The CIC Award for Chemical Education Le Prix de l’ICC pour l’enseignement de la chimie Sponsored by / Parraigné par The CIC Chemical Education Fund / Le Fonds de l’enseignement de la chimie de l’ICC The CIC Award for Chemical Education is presented as a mark of recognition to a person who has made an outstanding contribution in Canada to education at the post-secondary level in the field of chemistry or chemical engineering. Le Prix de l’ICC pour l’enseignement de la chimie souligne la contribution exceptionnelle d’une personne dans le domaine de l’enseignement de la chimie ou du génie chimique au Canada au niveau postsecondaire. Robert C. Burk Carleton University Department of chemistry Robert C. (Bob) Burk is an associate professor of chemistry at Carleton University and is currently chair of the chemistry department. His research interests are in separation science as applied to analytical chemistry. Current research projects include the use of stir-bar sorption extraction for the

analysis of low levels of organics in water, the derivatization of carbon nanotubes for use as solid phase adsorbents, the development of cloud point extraction techniques, and the use of supercritical fluids in analytical chemistry. Burk spends considerable time developing new materials and techniques for teaching chemistry at the undergraduate level. He makes use of many electronic aids both in the classroom and for communicating with students outside of the classroom, notably extensive Web-based resources, recording, and Podcasting of all lectures and tutorials, as well as instant messaging systems. Another interest of Burk’s is acting as co-chair of a biennial conference on monitoring and measurement of the environment, EnviroAnalysis, which has been run six times since 1996.

Call for Nominations: The Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering NSERC president, Suzanne For tier, FCIC, invites you to nominate research teams for this prestigious prize, in honour of the late Bertram N. Brockhouse, co-recipient of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physics. The winning team will be awarded a $250,000 research grant. Each team member will receive a medal and a certificate. The grant will be used for university-based research and will support the direct costs of the team’s research and/or the enhancement of its research facilities. Interdisciplinary research teams with a majority of members working in Canadian universities or public or private organizations are eligible. At least one member of the team must hold an NSERC research grant. The nomination process and selection criteria are outlined at The nomination deadline is June 1, 2007. For additional information, please call 613-995-5829.




Suning Wang, FCIC

Masad J. Damha, FCIC

Margaret Johnson, MCIC

Michèle Auger, MCIC

Pierre-Nicholas Roy

Ralph Sturgeon, FCIC

Jeffrey Keillor, MCIC

R. Stanley Brown, FCIC

Deryn Fogg, MCIC

Sergey Krylov

The Alcan Award Le Prix Alcan Sponsored by / Parrainé par Alcan International Limited The Alcan Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of inorganic chemistry or electrochemistry while working in Canada. Le Prix Alcan est décerné à un scientifique résidant au Canada qui a contribué de façon remarquable aux domaines de la chimie inorganique ou de l’électrochimie alors qu’il travaillait au Canada.


Suning Wang, FCIC Queen’s University Department of chemistry Suning Wang obtained her PhD degree in chemistry at Yale University and her postdoctoral research at Texas A&M University. She was a faculty member of the department of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Windsor from 1990 to 1996. She joined the department of chemistry at Queen’s University as a Queen’s National Scholar in 1996. Her research interests include main group and transition metal organometallic chemistry, materials chemistry, especially luminescent organic and inorganic materials and their applications in displays, sensors, and photochemistry. She has published more than 150 research papers on

inorganic, organometallic, and materials chemistry. She has won the IUPAC Travel Award (1993), the Royal Society of Canada Rutherford Memorial Medal in Chemistry (2000), and the Award of Merit by the education foundation, the Federation of the Chinese Canadian Professionals (Ontario, 2001). Wang is a Fellow of The Chemical Institute of Canada and an associate head of the department of chemistry at Queen’s. She has served on the NSERC strategic research grant selection committee and the discovery research grant selection committee. Currently she is the Queen’s University research chair, and a member of the editorial board of Organometallics and the Canadian Journal of Chemistry.


The Bernard Belleau Award Le Prix Bernard-Belleau Sponsored by / Parrainé par Bristol Myers Squibb Canada Co. The Bernard Belleau Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of medicinal chemistry through research involving biochemical or organic chemical mechanisms. Le Prix Bernard-Belleau est décerné à un scientifique résidant au Canada qui s’est distingué par sa contribution au domaine de la chimie médicale, en effectuant des recherches touchant les méchanismes biochimiques ou de chimie organique. Masad J. Damha, FCIC McGill University Department of chemistry Masad J. Damha was born and raised in Nicaragua. He obtained his BSc (1983) at McGill University. It is there that he first met professor Belleau while attending his bio-organic chemistry course. Inspired by professors Harpp and Ogilvie, he went on to pursue research on RNA structure and synthesis toward his PhD degree. At age 26, he joined the chemistry department at the University of Toronto as an assistant professor. There he investigated DNA dendrimers as therapeutic and diagnostic agents. Damha returned to his alma mater in 1992 and was appointed James McGill Professor in 2004. His research group has been studying DNA/RNA analogues as model systems for down-regulating gene expression. The arabinonucleic acids his group has developed will enter human clinical trials in 2007 for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Among his other major awards are the John Polanyi Prize in Chemistry and the Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research Award. It is with sincere gratitude that Damha is able to share the developments of his research with the very colleagues that inspired him in the 1980s. He is also appreciative to have had the opportunity to work with excellent students at both McGill and Toronto.

The Boehringer Ingelheim Award

including applications of NMR spectroscopy in structural genomics.

Le Prix Boehringer Ingelheim Sponsored by / Parrainé par Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. The Boehringer Ingelheim Award is awarded to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant whose PhD thesis in the field of organic or bio-organic chemistry was formally accepted by a Canadian university in the 12-month period preceding the nomination deadline and whose doctoral research is judged to be of outstanding quality. Le Prix Boehringer Ingelheim est remis à un citoyen canadien ou à un résident permanent dont la thèse de doctorat dans le domaine de la chimie organique ou bioorganique a été officiellement acceptée par une université canadienne au cours des 12 mois qui ont précédé la date limite de mise en candidature, et dont les travaux de recherche en vue du doctorat se démarquent par leur qualité. Margaret Johnson, MCIC Simon Fraser University Department of chemistry A native of Ottawa, ON, Margaret Johnson studied at Simon Fraser University (SFU), graduating with a BSc in biochemistry with a minor in chemistry in 1997. While at SFU, she pursued undergraduate research in the laboratory of Rosemary B. Cornell, working on enzymes of phospholipid biosynthesis, and in the laboratory of B. Mario Pinto, FCIC, in the field of carbohydrate chemistry. She then undertook her PhD work in biochemistry under the supervision of Pinto. Her graduate work, supported by NSERC scholarships, focused on applications of NMR spectroscopy and molecular modeling to investigate biomolecular protein-ligand interactions, with a special focus on the phenomenon of molecular mimicry and its applications in the design of vaccines and drugs. In 2003, she was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal for her PhD thesis. She then took up a CIHR post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Kurt Wüthrich at the Scripps Research Institute, where her research focuses on NMR studies of protein structure and function,

The Clara Benson Award Le Prix Clara-Benson Sponsored by / Parrainé par Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC) / Conseil des directeurs de département de chimie des universités canadiennes (CDDCUC) The Clara Benson Award is presented to a woman in recognition of a distinguished contribution to chemistry while working in Canada. Le Prix Clara-Benson est décerné à une femme pour souligner sa contribution remarquable au domaine de la chimie alors qu’elle oeuvrait au Canada. Michèle Auger, MCIC Université Laval Département de chimie Michèle Auger graduated from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières with a BSc in chemistry in 1985 and she obtained her PhD in chemistry in 1990 under the direction of Ian C. P. Smith at the University of Ottawa and the National Research Council Canada. In February 1990, she pursued a post-doctoral stay in the laboratory of Robert G. Griffin at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She joined the department of chemistry at the Université Laval in 1991 where she was promoted to full professor in 2000. Auger’s research efforts are focused on the study of biological macromolecules by solid-state NMR. Current research projects concern the interaction between model membranes and novel antimicrobial agents, amyloid peptides and anticancer drugs, the study of recombinant spider silk and the characterization of skin substitutes. She has published more than 75 scientific articles and she has obtained the Barringer Award from the Spectroscopy Society of Canada in 2002. She has also obtained several teaching awards at the Université Laval. She has served on several grant evaluation committees.



The Keith Laidler Award

The Maxxam Award

Le Prix Keith-Laidler

Le Prix Maxxam

Sponsored by / Parrainé par Systems for Research

Sponsored by / Parrainé par Maxxam Analytics Inc.

The Keith Laidler Award is presented to a scientist who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of physical chemistry while working in Canada. The award recognizes early achievement in the awardee’s independent research career.

The Maxxam Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of analytical chemistry while working in Canada.

Le Prix Keith-Laidler est décerné à un scientifique pour sa contribution remarquable au domaine de la chimie physique alors qu’il travaillait au Canada. Le prix souligne les premières réalisations dans la carrière indépendente en recherche du réciprendaire. Pierre-Nicholas Roy University of Alberta Department of chemistry Pierre-Nicholas Roy was born and raised in Nicolet, QC. He received his undergraduate education from McGill University. He then pursued his graduate studies at the Université de Montréal where he obtained an MSc (1993) and a PhD (1997) in theoretical chemistry. After spending a year as a research associate at the James Franck Institute of The University of Chicago (1997 to 1998), he was a post-doctoral fellow in the The Henry Eyring Center for Theoretical Chemistry of the University of Utah (1998 to 1999). In 1999, he joined the chemistry department at the University of Alberta where he is now associate professor since 2005. Roy’s research is in the field of theoretical and computational chemistry. The focus of his work is on quantum molecular dynamics with applications to doped superfluid helium nanoclusters and weakly bound cluster systems. He received the Research Corporation Research Innovation Award (2000), a New Opportunity Award from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (2001), and the Award for Teaching Excellence from the Chemistry Student Association of the University of Alberta (2004).


Le Prix Maxxam est décerné à un scientifique résidant au Canada qui s’est distingué dans le domaine de la chimie analytique alors qu’il travaillait au Canada. Ralph Sturgeon, FCIC National Research Council Canada Institute for National Measurement Standards Ralph Sturgeon received his PhD in analytical chemistry from Carleton University in 1977 under the direction of C. L. Chakrabarti, FCIC. Declining a job offer with PerkinElmer Corp., he instead accepted a position as Research Associate in Doug Russell’s Analytical Chemistry Group, Division of Chemistry at the National Research Council Canada, Ottawa. Although tasked with the development of certified reference materials, his second mentor, Shier Berman, gave him the latitude to pursue his interest in fundamental studies in analytical spectroscopy. In 2000 he was appointed Group Leader for Chemical Metrology at the Institute for National Measurement Standards, NRC, and in 2001 was elevated to principal research officer. His interests lie in inorganic analytical chemistry, comprising trace element analysis, vapour generation, instrument development, organometallic speciation, and production of certified reference materials with a focus on atomic and mass spectrometric detection. He has published some 250 peer-reviewed articles and numerous book chapters. He is an editor for Spectrochimica Acta Reviews and currently serves on the advisory boards of eight other international analytical chemistry journals. Since 2000, he has represented Canada’s interests on the Comité consultatif pour la quantité de matière (CCQM) under the auspices of the International Committee of Weights and Measures, participating in the working groups for both Inorganic Analysis

as well as the Joint Committee on Traceability in Laboratory Medicine. Sturgeon has served on the advisory boards of a number of international conferences and his scientific contributions to analytical atomic spectroscopy have been recognized through a number of awards, including fellowship in The Chemical Institute of Canada (1990), the Barringer (1986) and Herzberg (2002) awards of the Spectroscopy Society of Canada, the McBryde Medal (1990) from the Canadian Society for Chemistry, and the Ioannes Marcus Marci award (1998) of the Czech Spectroscopic Society.

The Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research Award Le Prix du Centre de recherche thérapeutique Merck Frosst Sponsored by / Parrainé par Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. / Merck Frosst Canada Ltée The Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada, who shall not have reached the age of 40 years by April 1 of the year of nomination and who has made a distinguished contribution in the fields of organic chemistry or biochemistry while working in Canada. Le Prix du Centre de recherche thérapeutique Merck Frosst est attribué à un scientifique résidant au Canada qui n’a pas atteint l’âge de 40 ans au 1er avril l’annéee de mise en nomination et qui s’est distingué dans les domaines de la chimie organique ou de la biochimie alors qu’il travaillait au Canada. Jeffrey Keillor, MCIC Université de Montréal Département de chimie Jeffrey Keillor grew up in Alberta, finishing high school in Rocky Mountain House. (That’s a village, not some kind of institution.) He started post-secondary education at Red Deer College before finishing his BSc in honours chemistry at the University of Alberta in 1989. Keillor gained undergraduate research experience in the laboratory of R. S. Brown, later joining the group as


an NSERC post-graduate student. Keillor obtained his PhD in 1993 in the area of physical organic chemistry, studying enzyme models. He then moved to the biochemistry department of Brandeis University, to learn enzymology in the group of William P. Jencks as an NSERC post-doctoral Fellow. Keillor joined the faculty of the Université de Montréal in 1995 where he is currently a professor of chemistry and an adjunct professor of biochemistry. His research interests lie at the interface of organic chemistry and biochemistry and to date have focused primarily on the investigation of transpeptidase enzymes. The elucidation of their detailed mechanisms, synthesis and evaluation of new inhibitors, and engineering of their activity represent the broad lines of this multidisciplinary bioorganic research program. More recently, complementary research efforts in chemical biology have been directed toward the development of a method for the fluorescent labelling of specific proteins in living cells. Much of Keillor’s extracurricular time is devoted to spending time with his wife and three (!) children, whether they like it or not. On a more artistic level, he enjoys singing and playing guitar. He clings desperately to his rapidly fading youth by continuing to pursue rock climbing, soccer, and hockey.

The R. U. Lemieux Award Le Prix de R.-U.-Lemieux Sponsored by / Parrainé par The CIC Organic Chemistry Division / Le Division de chimie organique de l’ICC The R. U. Lemieux Award is presented to an organic chemist who has made a distinguished contribution to any area of organic chemistry while working in Canada. Le Prix R.-U.-Lemieux est remis à un chimiste organicien pour souligner sa contribution remarquable à toute sphère de la chimie organique alors qu’il travaillait au Canada. R. Stanley Brown, FCIC Queen’s University Department of chemistry


R. Stanley Brown received a BSc in chemistry from the University of Alberta in 1968, and MSc and PhD degrees from the University of California in 1970 and 1972. Brown joined the University of Alberta in 1974, becoming professor of chemistry in 1984. In 1995, he moved to Queen’s University as the head of the department of chemistry and since 2002 is a professor of chemistry. In the mid-1980s, his group demonstrated that, even in simple cases, the bromonium ion intermediates were reversibly formed. They isolated and characterized by X-ray crystallography, the world’s only example of a stable three-membered bromonium ion. That structure, and the concept of reversible bromonium ion formation, now forms a key part of the teaching of organic chemistry. His recent research aims to develop catalytic systems for acyl and phosphoryl transfer reactions. Brown’s group discovered that lanthanide and transition metal ions are generally very soluble in alcohols throughout the entire region where ionization of the metalbound solvent molecules occurs, thereby permitting mechanistic study of catalysis over a pH range. Recent studies involve investigation of reduced polarity medium effects on metal catalyzed phosphate diester cleavage that provide extremely reactive model systems for RNase and DNase enzymes. His work has led to 150 research publications, seven book chapters, many invited lectures at national and international meetings and scientific awards such as the Alfred Bader Award, a Killam Research Fellowship, and the Queen’s University Excellence in Research Prize. He was president of the CSC from 2004 to 2005.

The Strem Chemicals Award for Pure or Applied Inorganic Chemistry Le Prix Strem Chemicals de chimie inorganique pure ou appliqué Sponsored by / Parrainé par Strem Chemicals Ltd. The Strem Chemicals Award for Pure or Applied Inorganic Chemistry is presented to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant

within ten years of their first professional appointment as an independent researcher in academic, government or industrial sectors, who has made an outstanding contribution to inorganic chemistry, demonstrating exceptional promise, while working in Canada. Le Prix Strem Chemicals de chimie inorganique pure ou appliquée est remis à un citoyen canadien ou un résidant permanent dans les dix années suivant sa première nomination professionnelle à titre de chercheur indépendant dans un environement universitaire, gouvernemental ou industriel au Canada. Le prix souligne une contribution exceptionnelle à la chimie organique et un avenir prometteur. Deryn Fogg, MCIC University of Ottawa Department of chemistry Deryn Fogg, a native of Sault Ste. Marie, ON, received her university education at the Universities of British Columbia and Waterloo, where she carried out graduate research with Brian James, FCIC (PhD), and Arthur Carty, HFCIC (MSc). After post-doctoral studies with Dick Schrock at MIT, she took up a faculty appointment in 1997 at the University of Ottawa, where she is currently an associate professor. Her research has led to significant advances in the design of new catalysts and methodologies in olefin metathesis and tandem catalysis, and has opened up new fields of opportunity in organometallic MALDI mass spectrometry. She serves on the international advisory board for the International Conference on Organometallic Chemistry, on the executive of the Inorganic Division of the Canadian Society for Chemistry, as chair of the “Bacon & Eggheads” series of science lectures for parliamentarians, and as associate director of the University of Ottawa Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation. Fogg’s research accomplishments have been recognized by the Young Researcher Award of the University of Ottawa (2004); CFI Innovation/Ontario Innovation Trust Scholar Awards (2002), the Premier’s Research Excellence Award (1998), a CFI Researcher (New Opportunities) Award (1998), and the Polanyi Prize in Chemistry (1997), as well as invitations to present her work at research institutions and conferences around the world.


The W. A. E. McBryde Medal Le Médaille W.-A.-E.-McBryde

In Memoriam

Sponsored by / Parrainé par MDS Sciex The W. A. E. McBryde Medal is presented to a young scientist working in Canada who has made a significant achievement in pure or applied analytical chemistry. La Médaille W.-A.-E.-McBryde est attribuée à un jeune scientifique pour souligner une réussite importante dans le domaine de la chimie analytique pure ou appliquée alors qu’il travaillait au Canada.

The CIC extends its condolences to the family of: Clifton A. Shook, FCIC, 1934–2006

Sergey Krylov York University Department of chemistry Sergey Krylov was born in Russia in 1963. He received his MSc in physics and PhD in biophysical chemistry from Moscow State University in 1987 and 1990, respectively. Prior to his first academic appointment he was a research associate with N. J. Dovichi, FCIC, at the University of Alberta. He joined the department of chemistry at York University as an associate professor in 2000 and was promoted to full professor in 2006. Krylov’s current research program focuses on the development of novel methods for biomedical research, clinical diagnostics, and drug development. In recent years, he received a number of awards including the Research Innovation Award (2000), Premier’s Research Excellence Award (2000), PetroCanada Young Investigators Award (2002), and Canada Research Chair (2003).

Clifton A. Shook, FCIC, received his PhD from the University of London and was a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Saskatchewan from 1960 to 1996. On September 3, 2006, he lost his battle with cancer after a long and courageous struggle. Cliff was an excellent professor, a job he loved very much. One of his greatest research achievements, along with Bill Husband of SRC, was being the founding force behind the establishment and growth of the world famous SRC Pipeline Centre in Saskatoon. Cliff authored well over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings and two books to 1996, with several more after his retirement while he continued his collaborative academic research with faculty in the chemical engineering department and scientists at SRC. He was the recipient of several research awards, including the Century of Achievement and R. S. Jane awards for top

researcher in Canada from the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering, the International Freight and Pipeline Society Award, and the Alberta Science and Technology Award for his contributions to the development of the oilsands industry. Scores of students were supervised by Cliff and gained his passion for research. He inspired undergraduate and graduate students with his memorable lectures. He would fill blackboards with accurate text and equations using minimal written notes. He held everyone’s attention with his classroom persona that inevitably made him a popular target for the “Toast to Professors” speech at the annual chemical engineering graduation banquet. He was one of the first faculty members to be offered the University Master Teaching Award at the University of Saskatchewan—a tribute to how well students loved his teaching. Cliff lived life and work to the fullest. His contributions were many. He will never be forgotten by all those who were fortunate to know him. Gordon Hill, FCIC Professor and head Department of chemical engineering University of Saskatchewan


Canada Conferences May 22–25, 2007. First Georgian Bay International Conference on Bioinorganic Chemistry (CanBIC), Parry Sound, ON, May 26–30, 2007. 90th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, Winnipeg, MB,

May 29–June 1, 2007. International Chemical Recovery Conference “Efficiency and Energy Management,” Québec, QC, 514-392-6964 July 8–12, 2007. CHEMRAWN-XVII and ICCDU-IX Conference on Greenhouse Gases: Mitigation and Utilization, Kingston, ON September 18–21, 2007. CropLife Canada’s 2007 Conference and Annual General Meeting, The Power of Partnerships, The New BioEconomy:Accelerating Change/Achieving Prosperity, Saskatoon, SK, MAY 2007 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 37




RISE 2007 Summer Undergraduate Research Scholars

The Reactive Intermediate Student Exchange (RISE) program is a summer student exchange for undergraduate students in the chemical sciences. Now in its 12th year, student scholars are selected from each of the participating institutions and are awarded summer employment in the research group of a RISE group member at another institution (not their own). While the research interests of the individuals faculty in the group vary substantially, all group members are committed to providing dedicated undergraduate students with opportunities to carry out original research and gain hands-on experience, mostly in research that emphasizes the study of chemical or biochemical reaction mechanisms. A highlight of the program is the annual RISE Workshop where the scholars gather to present the results of their summer research and share exchange experiences. The 2007 Rise Workshop will be held at The University of Western Ontario in London, ON, at the end of August. More information on the program is available at www. We are pleased to announce the 2007 scholars, who are listed along with their host RISE group member and institution:

2007 scholar

Host faculty and institution

Alexandra Anderson (Saskatchewan)

G. Loppnow (U of Alberta)

Laura Calaghan (UPEI)

W. Skene (U de Montréal)

Audrey Cunche (U de Montréal)

B. Wagner (UPEI)

Danny Hickie (U of Toronto)

L. Johnston (NRC-SIMS)

Lindsay Kelland (Acadia)

M. Workentin (Western)

Erica Kiemele (U of Calgary)

M. Lukeman (Acadia)

Brian Li Tai Sat (U of Ottawa)

C. Bohne (U of Victoria)

John Paul McCool (Western)

W. Leigh (McMaster)

Jane Ni (University of Toronto)

B. Hill (Queen’s)

Jaclyn O’Brien (UPEI)

R. Steer (Saskatchewan)

Kim Osten (U of Victoria)

D. Miller (U of Toronto)

Leah Schmidt (McMaster)

D. Cramb (U of Calgary)

Christopher Schon (Queen’s)

P. Kennepohl (UBC)

Nathan Yuan (McMaster)

J. C. Scaiano (U of Ottawa)


October 28–31, 2007. 57th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference, Edmonton, AB, February 4–8, 2008. Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada 94th Annual Meeting and EXFOR’s 50th Anniversary, during PaperWeek International, Montréal, QC, May 24–28, 2008. 91st Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, Edmonton, AB, June 2–5, 2008. International Pulp Bleaching Conference, Québec, QC, June 16–18, 2008. Control Systems/Pan Pacific Conference, Vancouver, BC, October 19–22, 2008. 58th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference, Ottawa, ON, August 23–27, 2009. 8th World Congress of Chemical Engineering and 59th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference, Montréal, QC,

Student Conferences October 26, 2007. Colloque annuel des étudiants et étudiantes de 1er cycle en chimie, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC,

U.S. and Overseas May 29–June 10, 2007. NSF Pan-American Advanced Studies on Sustainability and Green Chemistry 2007, Mexico City, Mexico June 21–23, 2007. Chemtech 2007, Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon, Colombo, Sri Lanka,, June 25–28, 2007. 11th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference, Washington, D C. July 1–5, 2007. 3rd International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Delft, The Netherlands July 22–26, 2007. 23rd Annual Meeting of the International Society of Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany, meetings.htm August 4–12, 2007. IUPAC 44th General Assembly, Torino, Italy, August 5–11, 2007. IUPAC 41st Congress, “Chemistry Protecting Health, Natural Environment and Cultural Heritage,” Torino, Italy, September 16–21 2007. 6th European Congress of Chemical Engineering (ECCE-6) Copenhagen, Denmark,

COLLEGE CHEMISTRY CANADA LA CHIMIE COLLÉGIALE AU CANADA The 34th conference of College Chemistry Canada will be held jointly with the Chemical Society of Canada, May 26–31, 2007, in Winnipeg, MB. The host college for C 3 members will be the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface, who will organize the social and special events. For more information go to:



University of Utah As part of the Utah Science, Technology and Research (USTAR) Initiative for economic development in the State of Utah in the area of fossil energy, The University of Utah seeks an outstanding senior individual for a tenured faculty position at the rank of Professor or Associate Professor who demonstrates expertise and extensive experience in the area of oil sands/oil shale research and development. The successful candidate will be expected to be a national leader in his/her area and bring a significant externally funded research program to the University of Utah and have a demonstrated record in leadership, publication and teaching excellence. Applicants must have an earned Ph.D. in chemical engineering, or a closely related field. Before hiring, the selected candidate must provide proof of U.S. citizenship or authorization to work in the U.S. Interested persons should send a cover letter, vitae, detailed statement of research and teaching interests and at least three reference contacts to: Search Committee Department of Chemical Engineering University of Utah 50 S Central Campus Dr. Rm 3290 Salt Lake City, UT 84112 Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. The position will be available as of July 1, 2007. Applicants should reference this announcement in their cover letters.

The University of Utah, an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer, encourages applications from women and minorities, and provides reasonable accommodation to the known disabilities of applicants and employees.



La Faculté de pharmacie de l’Université Laval sollicite des candidatures à un poste de professeur(e) en chimie pharmaceutique. La personne détentrice de ce poste devra développer un programme de recherche en chimie pharmaceutique, subventionné par des organismes externes, et superviser des étudiant(e)s gradué(e)s. Elle participera à l’enseignement de la chimie pharmaceutique. Les candidats devront être détenteurs d’un Ph.D. en chimie, biochimie, pharmacie ou sciences pharmaceutiques et avoir effectué un stage postdoctoral (ou l’équivalent) d’au moins deux ans dans le domaine de la chimie pharmaceutique. Une préférence sera donnée aux personnes ayant obtenu un baccalauréat ou un doctorat de 1er cycle en pharmacie. La date d’entrée en fonction est prévue pour janvier 2008. Pour de plus amples informations, visitez notre site web à l’adresse Faire parvenir, avant le 31 mai 2007, une lettre d’intention et deux lettres de référence, un curriculum vitae ainsi qu’un résumé des intérêts d’enseignement et de recherche confidentiellement, à :

The successful applicant is expected to conduct independent, peer-review funded research in pharmaceutical chemistry, supervise graduate students and teach in the specialty area of pharmaceutical chemistry. The aptitude to teach in French is mandatory. Applicants should have a Ph.D. in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences and a minimum of two years of post-doctoral training or the equivalent, in the area of pharmaceutical chemistry. Preference will be given to candidates holding a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy or with a Pharm.D. The expected beginning date is January 1, 2008. For further information, visit our website at Letters of application including complete curriculum vitae, a description of areas of expertise in research and teaching as well as two professional reference letters should be sent by May 31, 2007 to:


Anne Dionne, doyenne par intérim Faculté de pharmacie Pavillon Ferdinand-Vandry Université Laval Québec (Québec) G1K 7P4 CANADA Téléphone : (418) 656-5639 Télécopieur : (418) 656-2305



Anne Dionne, Interim Dean Faculty of pharmacy Pavillon Ferdinand-Vandry Université Laval Québec (Québec) G1K 7P4 CANADA Phone : (418) 656-5639 Fax : (418) 656-2305 E-Mail :

Nominations are now open for

The Chemical Institute of Canada

2008AWARDSAct now!

Do you know an outstanding person who deserves to be recognized?

The Chemical Institute of Canada Medal is presented as a mark of distinction and recognition to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the science of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada. Sponsored by the Chemical Institute of Canada. Award: A medal and travel expenses.

The MontrĂŠal Medal is presented as a mark of distinction and honour to a resident in Canada who has shown significant leadership in or has made an outstanding contribution to the profession of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada. In determining the eligibility for nominations for the award, administrative contributions within The Chemical Institute of Canada and other professional organizations that contribute to the advancement of the professions of chemistry and chemical engineering shall be given due consideration. Contributions to the sciences of chemistry and chemical engineering are not to be considered. Sponsored by the MontrĂŠal CIC Local Section. Award: A medal and travel expenses.

The Environmental Improvement Award is presented to a Canadian company, individual, team, or organization for a significant achievement in pollution prevention, treatment, or remediation. Sponsored by the CIC Environment Division. Award: A plaque and travel assistance.

The Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award is presented to an individual who, while residing in Canada, has made a distinguished contribution to macromolecular science or engineering. Sponsored by NOVA Chemicals Ltd. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

The CIC Award for Chemical Education (formerly the Union Carbide Award) is presented as a mark of recognition to a person who has made an outstanding contribution in Canada to education at the post-secondary level in the field of chemistry or chemical engineering. Sponsored by the CIC Chemical Education Fund. Award: A framed scroll and a cash prize.

Deadlines The deadline for all CIC awards is July 3, 2007 for the 2008 selection.

Nomination Procedure Submit your nominations to: Awards Manager The Chemical Institute of Canada 130 Slater Street, Suite 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 Tel.: 613-232-6252, ext. 223 Fax: 613-232-5862 Nomination forms and the full Terms of Reference for these awards are available at

Nominations are now open for

The Canadian Society for Chemistry

2008AWARDSAct now!

Do you know an outstanding person who deserves to be recognized?

The Alcan Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution in the fields of inorganic chemistry or electrochemistry while working in Canada. Sponsored by Alcan International Ltd. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

The Alfred Bader Award is presented as a mark of distinction and recognition for excellence in research in organic chemistry carried out in Canada. Sponsored by Alfred Bader, HFCIC. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

The Strem Chemicals Award for Pure or Applied Inorganic Chemistry is presented to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant who has made an outstanding contribution to inorganic chemistry while working in Canada, and who is within ten years of his or her first professional appointment as an independent researcher in an academic, government, or industrial sector. Sponsored by Strem Chemicals Ltd. Award: A framed scroll and travel expenses for a lecture tour.

The Boehringer Ingelheim Award

of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC).

Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

The Maxxam Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution in the field of analytical chemistry while working in Canada. Sponsored by Maxxam Analytics Inc. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses. The R. U. Lemieux Award is presented to an organic chemist who has made a distinguished contribution to any area of organic chemistry while working in Canada. Sponsored by the CIC Organic Chemistry Division. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses. The Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Reasearch Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada, who shall not have reached the age of 40 years by April 1 of the year of nomination and who has made a distinguished contribution in the fields of organic chemistry or biochemistry while working in Canada. Sponsored by Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

is presented to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant whose PhD thesis in the field of organic or bioorganic chemistry was formally accepted by a Canadian university in the 12-month period preceding the nomination deadline of July 3 and whose doctoral research is judged to be of outstanding quality. Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of medicinal chemistry through research involving biochemical or organic chemical mechanisms. Sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb Canada Co. Award: A framed scroll and a cash prize.

The Clara Benson Award is presented in recognition of a distinguished contribution to chemistry by a woman while working in Canada. Sponsored by the Canadian Council

an individual who demonstrates innovation in research in the field of analytical chemistry, where the research is anticipated to have significant potential for practical applications. The award is open to new faculty members at

The Bernard Belleau Award is presented

The Fred Beamish Award is presented to

a Canadian university and they must be recent graduates with six years of appointment. Sponsored by Eli Lilly Canada Inc. Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize, and travel expenses.

The Keith Laidler Award is presented to a scientist who has made a distinguished contribution in the field of physical chemistry while working in Canada . The award recognizes early achievement in the awardee’s independent research career. Sponsored by Systems for Research. Award: A framed scroll and a cash prize. The W. A. E. McBryde Medal is presented to a young scientist working in Canada who has made a significant achievement in pure or applied analytical chemistry. Sponsored by Sciex Inc., Division of MDS Health Group. Award: A medal and a cash prize.

Deadline The deadline for all CSC awards is July 3, 2007 for the 2008 selection.

Nomination Procedure Submit your nominations to: Awards Manager The Canadian Society for Chemistry 130 Slater Street, Suite 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 Tel.: 613-232-6252, ext. 223 Fax: 613-232-5862 Nomination forms and the full Terms of Reference for these awards are available at


ACCN, the Canadian Chemical News