2018 marks the exciting 85th birthday celebration of the “Keggin structure”, which itself is at the center of polyoxometalate (POM) chemistry! The first polyoxoanions were reported almost two centuries ago by Berzelius (1826), but J. F. Keggin could only characterize them structurally in 1933 . He solved the structure of the free acid H3PW12O40 using powder X-ray diffraction, a highly symmetrical metal-oxo anion with tetrahedral symmetry (see Fig. 1). The availability of X-ray diffraction techniques paved the way for the discovery of a large number of novel POMs with different shapes and sizes. Keggin is our POM pioneer!
She can perfectly recall the first days at her secondary school in her hometown of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Her physics teacher? A man. The mathematics teacher? A man. The biology teacher? A man. “But then this teacher walked into the classroom and I thought, ‘Wow, a woman who teaches chemistry!’” Nickolet Ncube recollected. “She got me fascinated in the subject, she inspired me, I wanted to be like her one day.”
A scientific paper changed his life. He had not the slightest idea about Jacobs University, knew nothing about Bremen, and little about German culture and of course did not speak any German. However, while in Saudi Arabia, Wassim W. Ayass read a research paper on polyoxometalates by chemistry professor Ulrich Kortz, which propelled him to successfully apply to Jacobs University as a PhD student. Today, Ayass says: “I want to stay in Germany and build the rest of my life here”.
July 27, 2017
She grew up in a small Indian village and was the first in her family to pursue university studies – Dr. Paulami Manna is now attending Jacobs University for one year. As a holder of a fellowship from the renowned Schlumberger Foundation, she conducts research as a post-doc in chemistry professor Ulrich Kortz’s working group. “The fellowship promotes top female talents from developing countries who return to their home countries after their studies abroad”, explains Prof. Kortz. “This is really great. I am very pleased that Paulami succeeded”.
Inga Dammann (BSc Chemistry, 2017) and Wassim W. Ayass (PhD, Chemistry, 2017)
The two Jacobs students Inga Dammann (BSc Chemistry, 2017) and Wassim W. Ayass (PhD Chemistry, 2017) qualified in a competition among young scientists worldwide to participate in the 67th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting dedicated to Chemistry from 25 – 30 June 2017.
420 scientists from 78 countries participated and met around 30 Nobel laureates, attended their lectures, and had discussions with them. Inga was funded by the Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) and Wassim was supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and co-funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). Both Inga and Wassim are members of the research group of Prof. Ulrich Kortz at Jacobs University, performing research on synthetic inorganic materials chemistry and catalysis.
More info about the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in this video: