Nucleophilic substitution is a class of chemical reactions encountered throughout organic chemistry, including reactions used in manufacturing common petrochemical and pharmaceutical products. Its underlying mechanism was discovered in the 1930s by the British chemists Edward Hughes and Christopher Ingold, who showed that an electron-rich chemical species, called a nucleophile, “attacks” and replaces an electron-poor fragment of an organic molecule, called a leaving group. Read more
Electronics has revolutionized the modern world, owing to continuous improvements in microprocessor technology since the 1960s. However, this process of refinement is projected to stall in the near future, due to constraints imposed by the laws of physics. Some of these bottlenecks have already taken effect: for instance, the clock rate (the rate at which transistors perform digital operations) has been unable to exceed a few gigahertz, or several operations per nanosecond, for the past twenty years, a limitation stemming from the electrical resistance of silicon. Read more
Topological insulators are exotic states of matter that physicists have been intensely studying for the past decade. Their most intriguing feature is that they can be rigorously distinguished from all other materials using a mathematical concept known as “topology”. This mathematical property grants topological insulators the ability to transport electric signals without dissipation, via special quantum states called “topological surface states”.
Professor Shunsuke Chiba, a professor at the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) was awarded the 2019 Mukaiyama Award by The Society of Synthethic Organic Chemistry, Japan. Read more