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The study has been published in the prestigious scientific journal 'Chemical Reviews'

Researchers at the UCLM have an impact on the applications of molecular encapsulation in silica-derived materials


Researchers at the UCLM have an impact on the applications of molecular encapsulation in silica-derived materials


The group of researchers from the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) led by Professor Abderrazak Douhal has recently published in the prestigious scientific journal 'Chemical Reviews' a work that reviews more than 630 scientific contributions related to the effect of the encapsulation of molecules in porous materials based on silica and its applications in catalysis, solar energy, drug carrier systems or detection of explosives, among others. The journal, published by the American Chemical Society, has the highest impact factor in Chemistry and Physics.

The article is an extensive bibliographic review of the effects observed when molecules, nanocrystals, and nanoparticles are encapsulated within porous materials based on silica, which is, together with its derivatives, one of the most used materials in everyday life. During the last century, these materials have had multiple developments in fields such as Chemistry, Physics, the Environment, and Medicine. The work also advances perspectives and proposals that may be key for a greater development in nanoscience and technological applications in the coming years.

The work, which opens the November edition of 'Chemical Review', is titled 'Photochemistry and Photophysics in Silica-based Materials: Ultrafast and Single Molecule Spectroscopy Observation' and it is signed by Noemi Alarcos, Boiko Cohen, Marcin Ziolek, and Abderrazzak Douhal. It focuses on the study of reactions initiated by light, such as protonic, electron, and energy transfer, which take place when various molecules are encapsulated within these silica-based materials. This intimate knowledge of the matter at the nanometer scale has been thanks to the use of advanced technologies based on lasers and microscopy, through a work co-financed by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO), the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha, and the UCLM, through the CYTEMA project.

Understanding these reactions of confined systems is fundamental for the development of useful nanodevices in different applications, among which are catalysis, the manufacture of LEDs, the production of solar cells, the detection of explosives and polluting heavy metals, or the elaboration of drug carrier systems and drug-eluting stents (DES).

Tribute to Professor Ahmed H. Zewail

On the other hand, Professor Douhal has edited and published—together with two colleagues from the California Institute of Technology (CALTECH) and the Ohio State University—a book that collects the work experiences of more than 50 researchers from around the world with the deceased Professor Ahmed H. Zewail, Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1999.

The purpose of the book, entitled 'Reminiscences of Ahmed. H. Zewail: Photons, Electrons, and What Else?', is to provide descriptions to scientists and non-scientists of the experiences of researchers in early or mature stages of their careers when interacting with one of the best scientists of the 20th century, driver of femtochemistry and pioneer in imaging and ultrafast electron diffraction. Professor Zewail visited on three occasions the Science-Technology Campus in Toledo, the building Fábrica de Armas, within the framework of his academic collaboration with Professor Douhal.

Office of Communications, UCLM. Toledo, November 22, 2017

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