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Pairing Up for the Party Season: The Chemistry Behind the Perfect Food and Wine Pairings

The party season is approaching, and once again chemists have offered the world a gift: the science behind the perfect food and wine pairings. For those who would like to progress beyond “red with steak” and “white with fish,”  there is now peer-reviewed research that may help inform a nuanced and elegant choice for every meal.

Whether you are a seasoned connoisseur or an enthusiastic amateur, you are likely well aware that the taste of wine can differ depending on the types of foods you consume with it. Despite an abundance of food pairing hypotheses over the years, there has traditionally been no supporting evidence or studies to examine the rationale, and many remained skeptical that there would be any scientific basis to support individual sensory experiences or preferences.

But just in time for your holiday menu planning, recent research has revealed some of the underlying chemistry behind why some wines and foods (cheese, anyone?) seem to be made for each other—and why some pairings may not work as harmoniously as others.1

The Tannin Tamer: How Lipids Work to Balance Bitterness

Wine, along with many other food products, contains both volatile and non-volatile compounds. Volatile compounds such as thiols contribute to a wine’s aroma, but it is the non-volatile substances that are responsible for taste and mouthfeel. These compounds may be affected by components such as alcohol, sugar, acid, polysaccharides, nucleic acids, and—most notably—phenolic compounds such as tannins, which are commonly associated with the bitterness, astringency, and complexity of red wine.2,3

Many flavor precursors can also derive from other ingredients such as yeasts, as well as containers and vessels—for example, traditional oak barrels.4 However, there is one previously overlooked chemical component that could hold the key to understanding more subtle aspects of wine flavor: lipids.

To further understand the interaction between lipids and wine tannins—and potentially uncover why wine and cheese go so well together—researchers from the University of Bordeaux (in the famous wine region of France) conducted a twofold approach using both biophysical methods and sensory analysis.1

First, they observed the behavior of lipids in an oil–water emulsion after mixing in catechin, a primary component of grape tannins. This resulted in the lipid droplets absorbing the catechin at the membrane surface, increasing in size and producing a “creaming” effect in the upper phase of the emulsion.

These molecular findings were reinforced by the sensory analysis which demonstrated that certain dietary oils, such as grapeseed oil, decreased or even eliminated perceived tannin astringency, while others like olive oil made the wine taste fruity instead of bitter.

This study further validates lipids—such as the fats in cheese, meat, and other charcuterie board favorites—as crucial molecular agents that can both soften the bitter taste of wine and enhance its flavor profile by attracting tannins to their surfaces (and away from your bitter taste receptors).

Lipids are also naturally present within wine itself, although in very low concentrations. A team at Oregon State University (also in a prominent wine region of the U.S.) examined how lipids in wine contribute to taste and mouthfeel by adding various food-grade lipids to a model wine solution. Of the lipids tested, phospholipids most noticeably contributed to an increase in perceived viscosity while also masking bitterness.5

Further research in this area is needed to better understand the full range of effects of lipids on taste and mouthfeel—but there is great potential for winemakers to one day successfully alter lipid composition during the processing phase, yielding wines that are naturally less bitter and more appealing to consumers who desire softer, more mellow flavors.

Red vs. White: Ironing Out the Differences 

So, is there a scientific basis for the original red/white divide when it comes to seafood? Well, possibly. It turns out red wine has more ferrous (iron(II)-containing) ions compared to white wine, as a function of the materials used in the processing. Controlled experiments showed that wines higher in iron can promote lipid oxidation of the unsaturated fatty acids found in fish and seafood, generating an unpleasant associated retronasal smell.

Although iron vessels are less often used in modern processes for red wine, there is no easy way to gauge a wine’s iron content without tasting it first. There are numerous factors beyond wine type that can influence iron content—from soil composition to fermentation processes—making it tricky for a consumer to identify any potential unsavory food pairings just by looking at the label alone.6

But iron-heavy red wines aren’t the only culprit when it comes to unpleasant taste perceptions associated with seafood pairings. Researchers in Japan demonstrated that white wines containing sulfur dioxide (SO2), a sulfite commonly used for wine preservation, resulted in an “off-odor” and undesirable taste when paired with seafood containing high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids.7

After adding DHA—a polyunsaturated fat present in seafoods such as dried squid and mackerel—to various white wine and sake samples, the team observed accelerated rates of DHA oxidation in the SO2-heavy wines, resulting in a malodorous smell and taste.

The scientists speculate that the widely followed “white wine with fish” tradition may be more accurately applied to seafood pairings such as whitefish, shrimp, crab, and other options that contain lower levels of these fatty acids. Even so, it is now easier than ever to find sulfite-free wines—which, in addition to those with sulfite sensitivities, may be a preferred option for consumers who want to ensure a delicious white wine pairing regardless of fish or seafood choice.

A Matter of Taste

Understanding the science behind wine’s interaction with various compounds on a molecular level can help to better inform many components of wine culture, from perfect food pairings at your next holiday gathering to modifications in grape cultivation and processing. But as the sensory analyses in these studies show, everyone has different preferences and perceptions when it comes to flavor, taste, and mouthfeel—and wine is no exception. Ultimately, if it tastes good to you, go with it. Cheers!

Read More Articles About the Chemistry of Wine from ACS Journals

  1. Gambetta, J. et al. Factors Influencing the Aroma Composition of Chardonnay Wines. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2014, 62, 28, 6512–6534
  2. Begum, P. et al. Development of an Electrochemical Sensing System for Wine Component Analysis. ACS Food Sci. Technol. 2021, 1, 11, 2030–2040
  3. Maioli, F. et al. Monitoring of Sangiovese Red Wine Chemical and Sensory Parameters along One-Year Aging in Different Tank Materials and Glass Bottle. ACS Food Sci. Technol. 2022, 2, 2, 221–239
  4. Hofmann, T. and Hufnagel, J. C. Quantitative Reconstruction of the Nonvolatile Sensometabolome of a Red Wine. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2008, 56, 4, 1376–1386
  5. Li, S. et al. Use of Winemaking Supplements To Modify the Composition and Sensory Properties of Shiraz Wine. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2017, 65, 7, 1353–1364

References

  1. Saad, A. et al. New Insights into Wine Taste: Impact of Dietary Lipids on Sensory Perceptions of Grape Tannins. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2021, 69, 10, 3165–3174
  2. Hufnagel, J. C. and Hofmann, T. Orosensory-Directed Identification of Astringent Mouthfeel and Bitter-Tasting Compounds in Red Wine. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2008, 56, 4, 1376–1386
  3. Jackson, R. S. Wine Tasting: A Professional Handbook. Academic Press 2017.
  4. Parker, M. et al. Aroma Precursors in Grapes and Wine: Flavor Release during Wine Production and Consumption. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2018, 66, 10, 2281–2286
  5. Phan, Q. et al. Contribution of Lipids to Taste and Mouthfeel Perception in a Model Wine Solution. ACS Food Sci. Technol. 2021, 1, 9, 1561–1566
  6. Tamura, T. et al. Iron Is an Essential Cause of Fishy Aftertaste Formation in Wine and Seafood Pairing. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2009, 57, 18, 8550–8556
  7. Fujita, A. et al. Effects of Sulfur Dioxide on Formation of Fishy Off-Odor and Undesirable Taste in Wine Consumed with Seafood. J. Agric. Food Chem.2010, 58, 7, 4414–4420

Call for Papers: Advancing Environmental Research through Computational Modeling

How do we use computers to solve environmental engineering problems?

Research performed on computers can accelerate research performed in the laboratory and real-world settings. Now widely available and readily usable for (environmental) scientists and engineers, computational tools are varied in fundamental scale (i.e., electronic-scale studies with quantum mechanics versus atomistic-scale and continuum-scale studies with classical mechanics), in method (reaction path energy sampling, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo, etc.), and in volume of generated and analyzable data (machine learning, data management).

However, these tools need to match the scale of the phenomena being studied in water, soil, or air (e.g., chemical adsorption, surface reaction, molecular transport) to derive useful results within a reasonable amount of compute time.

This new Special Issue from ACS ES&T Engineering considers how computational tools contribute new knowledge and potential solutions to environmental engineering problems. It seeks examples of integrated computational and experimental research; and computational-derived insights that motivate future experimentation. The Special Issue will highlight computational technology (akin to nanotechnology and biotechnology) as an important enabler for the advancement of engineered systems towards broad-scale use in practice.

View Submission Guidelines

Submit Your Manuscript

TOPIC EDITOR

  • Professor Michael S. Wong, Rice University, United States

GUEST EDITORS

  • Professor Wen Liu, Peking University, China
  • Assistant Professor Thomas P. Senftle, Rice University, United States

SUBMISSION DEADLINE

  • May 30, 2023

AUTHOR INSTRUCTIONS

To submit your manuscript, please visit the ACS ES&T Engineering website. Please follow the normal procedures for manuscript submission and when in the ACS Paragon Plus submission site, select the Special Issue of “Advancing Environmental Research through Computational Modeling.” All manuscripts will undergo rigorous peer review. For additional submission instructions, please see the ACS ES&T Engineering Author Guidelines.

Submit your manuscript by May 30, 2023.

 

 

10 Chemistry Articles Everyone Was Reading in October 2022

There are many ways to measure an article’s success after it is published. One helpful method of evaluating a scientific publication’s reach and influence is by looking at how many times it has been read. Below, we have gathered a selection of recently published chemistry articles that were among the most read in October 2022 across all ACS Publications journals.*  

These articles cover a variety of topics, including Nobel-winning click chemistry, plastic degradation rates, PFAS, and more. We hope you find this content informative and useful. If you are interested in publishing in an ACS journal, click below to learn more about how your research can further our commitment to being the “Most Trusted. Most Cited. Most Read.” 

Learn More About Publishing with ACS

 

Presumptive Contamination: A New Approach to PFAS Contamination Based on Likely Sources

Presumptive Contamination: A New Approach to PFAS Contamination Based on Likely Sources
Derrick Salvatore, Kira Mok, Kimberly K. Garrett, Grace Poudrier, Phil Brown, Linda S. Birnbaum, Gretta Goldenman, Mark F. Miller, Sharyle Patton, Maddy Poehlein, Julia Varshavsky, and Alissa Cordner 
DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.2c00502 

 

On the Topic of Substrate Scope 

On the Topic of Substrate Scope 
Marisa C. Kozlowski 
DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett.2c03246 

 

Introduction: Click Chemistry

Introduction: Click Chemistry 
Neal K. Devaraj and M. G. Finn 
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.1c00469 

 

Fewer Sandwich Papers, Please

Fewer Sandwich Papers, Please 
Song Jin 
DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.2c02197 

 

Improved Stability of Inverted and Flexible Perovskite Solar Cells with Carbon Electrode

Improved Stability of Inverted and Flexible Perovskite Solar Cells with Carbon Electrode 
Vivek Babu, Rosinda Fuentes Pineda, Taimoor Ahmad, Agustin O. Alvarez, Luigi Angelo Castriotta, Aldo Di Carlo, Francisco Fabregat-Santiago, and Konrad Wojciechowski 
DOI: 10.1021/acsaem.0c00702 

 

Operando Transmission Electron Microscopy Study of All-Solid-State Battery Interface: Redistribution of Lithium among Interconnected Particles

Operando Transmission Electron Microscopy Study of All-Solid-State Battery Interface: Redistribution of Lithium among Interconnected Particles 
Shibabrata Basak, Vadim Migunov, Amir H. Tavabi, Chandramohan George, Qing Lee, Paolo Rosi, Violetta Arszelewska, Swapna Ganapathy, Ashwin Vijay, Frans Ooms, Roland Schierholz, Hermann Tempel, Hans Kungl, Joachim Mayer, Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski, Rüdiger-A. Eichel, Marnix Wagemaker, and Erik M. Kelder 
DOI: 10.1021/acsaem.0c00543 

 

Composition, Emissions, and Air Quality Impacts of Hazardous Air Pollutants in Unburned Natural Gas from Residential Stoves in California

Composition, Emissions, and Air Quality Impacts of Hazardous Air Pollutants in Unburned Natural Gas from Residential Stoves in California 
Eric D. Lebel, Drew R. Michanowicz, Kelsey R. Bilsback, Lee Ann L. Hill, Jackson S. W. Goldman, Jeremy K. Domen, Jessie M. Jaeger, Angélica Ruiz, and Seth B. C. Shonkoff 
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c02581 

 

Degradation Rates of Plastics in the Environment

Degradation Rates of Plastics in the Environment 
Ali Chamas, Hyunjin Moon, Jiajia Zheng, Yang Qiu, Tarnuma Tabassum, Jun Hee Jang, Mahdi Abu-Omar, Susannah L. Scott, and Sangwon Suh 
DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b06635 

 

Unified Access to Pyrimidines and Quinazolines Enabled by N–N Cleaving Carbon Atom Insertion

Unified Access to Pyrimidines and Quinazolines Enabled by N–N Cleaving Carbon Atom Insertion 
Ethan E. Hyland, Patrick Q. Kelly, Alexander M. McKillop, Balu D. Dherange, and Mark D. Levin  
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.2c09616 

 

Total Synthesis of Yuzurine-type Alkaloid Daphgraciline

Total Synthesis of Yuzurine-type Alkaloid Daphgraciline 
Li-Xuan Li, Long Min, Tian-Bing Yao, Shu-Xiao Ji, Chuang Qiao, Pei-Lin Tian, Jianwei Sun, and Chuang-Chuang Li 
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.2c09548


*This list was not chosen by the journals’ editors and should not be taken as a “best of” list, but as another perspective on where the chemistry community is recently allocating their attention.
 

Update on ACS Publications’ Name Change Policy: Two Years Later

ACS Publications recognizes and respects that authors may change their names for many reasons during their academic careers including—but not limited to—gender identity, marriage, divorce, or religious conversion. As part of ACS Publications’ commitment to reducing barriers to inclusion, equity, and professional mobility, we implemented an inclusive name change policy in October 2020, offering a more inclusive and author-centric path to updating one’s name on prior publications. Over the last two years, we have updated approximately 400 published articles. In doing so, nearly 100 researchers have rightfully claimed ownership of their academic work under their lived names.

Though this policy benefits anyone who changes their name, we were originally motivated to update our policy in response to a call from the transgender scientific community. For many researchers, particularly those from the transgender community, name changes can be a sensitive issue. Submitting change requests can be taxing—emotionally and administratively—especially for researchers who have published in multiple journals or across publishers whose policies and procedures may vary.

To help address this burden, in 2021 ACS Publications announced a partnership with the U.S. National Laboratories as they implemented their name change policy. The partnership with all seventeen U.S. National Laboratories enables researchers to ask the National Laboratories to pursue name changes on their behalf directly with participating publishers. This streamlined process reduces the emotional toll often associated with name changes and the administrative burden involved in requesting name changes at multiple publishers or journals. Over the last year, we have been diligently working to honor this partnership. We have also been advancing other planned improvements to our policy and processes.

We’re pleased to share that we can now accept name change requests submitted by an approved institutional representative on behalf of an author. Through a revised request form, institutional representatives can submit all the necessary information for ACS to process the change. Authors must still update their ACS Paragon Plus profile and ORCiD, and they must be copied on the request and made available for questions if needed. More information for interested authors and institutional representatives can be found on our policy page and FAQs.

We continue to encourage authors to submit requests on their own behalf, if their institution does not have a name change policy or they do not want to involve an institutional representative. For authors, the revised form allows them to provide more relevant information from the start of the request and aims to minimize the burden on the author later in the process. ACS staff might still contact the author throughout the process as questions arise. 

Through efforts like ACS’ name change policy, ACS Publications is committed to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR), identifying and dismantling barriers to success, and creating a welcoming and supportive environment so that all ACS contributors, members, employees, and volunteers can thrive. We continue to actively listen to the community on these issues and welcome your feedback on how we are doing. Please complete our Diversity Feedback form to share your comments.

Visit the ACS Publications Name Change Policy Page

Learn About Our Commitment to Advancing DEIR

Share Your Feedback With Us!

Call for Papers: Electrified Membranes for Environmental Applications

Environmental pollution and the energy crisis have created an urgent demand to develop high-efficiency, cost-effective and sustainable technologies for water purification.

By integrating the advantages of electrochemistry and membrane separation, the electrified membrane has risen as a new-generation technology, as reflected by a rapid growth in the number of peer-reviewed publications in the last five years. There have been significant advances in the design of various electroactive materials, functionalization strategies, and reactor configurations. Both an understanding of the working mechanism and environmental applications are of essential importance to accelerate research and development, to explain the fundamental mechanisms and to address the practical challenges regarding widespread industrial applications.

This new Special Issue from ACS ES&T Engineering is seeking original and high-quality research and review articles that explore the remediation of environmental hazardous materials using electrified membranes. Both fundamental and applied research papers covering multidisciplinary topics will be considered.

The scope of the Special Issue includes, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • Electrified membranes for the decontamination of heavy metal ions.
  • Electrified membranes for the inactivation of waterborne pathogens.
  • Electrified membranes for water and wastewater treatment.
  • Full-scale engineering applications of electrified membranes for water treatment.
  • Nanotechnology strengthened electrified membranes for water purification.
  • Electrified membranes for the treatment of emerging contaminants.
  • Advanced electroactive materials and functionalization strategies for water treatment.

Explore Research on Electrified Membranes in ACS Journals

Editors

Guest Editors:

  • Yanbiao Liu, Donghua University, China
  • Zhiwei Wang, Tongji University, China
  • Xing Xie, Georgia Institute of Technology, United States
  • Shijie You, Harbin Institute of Technology, China

Associate Editor:

  • Jaehong Kim, Yale University, United States

Author Instructions

To submit your manuscript, please visit the ACS ES&T Engineering website. Please follow the normal procedures for manuscript submission and when in the ACS Paragon Plus submission site, select the Special Issue of “Electrified Membranes for Environmental Applications.” All manuscripts will undergo rigorous peer review. For additional submission instructions, please see the ACS ES&T Engineering Author Guidelines.

The deadline for submissions is May 2, 2023.

Author Guidelines

Submit Your Manuscript

 

Semiconductors: The Building Blocks of Modern Technology

The global semiconductor industry is on the rise, with the potential to grow into a trillion-dollar industry by the end of the decade. In tandem, scientists continue to advance the field with quality research in semiconductor technology and applications. Here, we explore recent advances in semiconductor research across ACS Publications journals.

Tiny Powerhouses

Semiconductors are a class of crystalline solids whose electrical conductivity exists between that of a conductor, such as aluminum or copper, and an insulator, such as ceramic or glass—hence their “semi” conductive nature.1 These diverse substances, including two-dimensional (2D) materials, optoelectronics, and optical devices, have become the fundamental components of modern electronic technology.

Progress Toward Next-Generation Devices

In addition to silicon, novel materials such as graphene also have a high potential for applications as semiconductors in electronic devices. However, their high contact resistance makes them susceptible to overheating, and this limits their practical applications. Some scientists have begun investigating various options to lower the contact resistance, making 2D semiconductors a promising candidate for broader use in electronics.2

Some 2D semiconductor materials have recently been shown to exhibit magnetic properties, which could make them extremely useful for next-generation spintronic devices and information technology, such as logic circuits that utilize the spin interactions of electrons. By applying magnetic and other enhanced properties of certain semiconductors, spintronic devices could reduce energy consumption while increasing processing capabilities, making them a viable alternative to traditional electronics.3 To enhance these magnetic properties, one study explores doping suitable magnetic materials into host semiconductors at room temperature.3 Others are examining strategies to develop more high-temperature 2D magnetic semiconductors that could also one day be widely used in spintronics applications.4

The role of semiconductors in optoelectronic technology and applications has grown significantly in recent years. Semiconductor nanocrystals have displayed great potential in optoelectronics applications such as light-emitting diodes and lasers5, and organic–inorganic hybrid semiconductors such as organometal halide perovskites are also encouraging candidates for next-generation optoelectronics.6

A (Machine) Learning Process

Machine Learning (ML) is a growing field that has transformed research processes across various industries, including semiconductor production. For example, developing new semiconductors with high thermal conductivity may aid in heat management and energy conservation for device cooling—and ML algorithms can rapidly and accurately generate screenings to predict different semiconductor material properties, evaluate their potential applications, and create simulation models for extreme conditions.7

A recent study in ACS Applied Nano Materials describes a method for deep-learning-based microscopic imagery deblurring (MID), which helps to more accurately identify 2D semiconductors and may be useful in the industrial manufacturing process.8

Powering Renewable Energy Sources

Outside of the electronics industry, another important area of interest is the powerful role of semiconductors in sustainable energy generation. Researchers recently reported on a new type of semiconductor alloy “nanoflower” with great potential for use in water splitting and hydrogen production.9

Harnessing the power of the sun is no simple task, but semiconductors are also proving themselves essential for the future of solar energy conversion. The growing demand for effective yet inexpensive photovoltaic materials has prompted some to begin exploring alternative semiconductor options—such as copper sulfide (CuS), which could have great success in improving the stability and photoconversion efficiency in perovskite solar cells.10

Another study describes a strategy for improving perovskite solar cell performance by introducing 2D material films or semiconducting additives to better balance the charge transport, or the flow of electric current through the solar cell.11

Semiconductors are everywhere in our daily lives, and their impact continues to grow across a multitude of industries and applications. From driving the performance of next-generation electronics to improving technologies for a more sustainable future, these tiny powerhouses are vital for keeping the modern world running.

Further Reading: Recent Semiconductor Research from ACS Journals

  1. Huang, N. et al. Photosynthesis of Hydrogen and Its Synchronous Application in a Hydrogen Fuel Cell: A Comprehensive Experiment in the Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory. J. Chem. Educ. 2022, 99, 9, 3283–3288
  2. Protti, S. and Fagnoni, M. Recent Advances in Light-Induced Selenylation. ACS Org. Inorg. Au 2022, Article ASAP
  3. Park, H. et al. Reduction of the Error in the Electrical Characterization of Organic Field-Effect Transistors Based on Donor–Acceptor Polymer Semiconductors. ACS Appl. Electron. Mater. 2022, 4, 9, 4677–4682
  4. Abdelraouf, O.A.M. et al. Recent Advances in Tunable Metasurfaces: Materials, Design, and Applications. ACS Nano 2022, 16, 9, 13339–13369
  5. Bhall, N. et al. Endorsing a Hidden Plasmonic Mode for Enhancement of LSPR Sensing Performance in Evolved Metal–insulator Geometry Using an Unsupervised Machine Learning Algorithm. ACS Phys. Chem Au 2022, Article ASAP
  6. Shiraishi, Y. et al. Solar-Driven Generation of Hydrogen Peroxide on Phenol–Resorcinol–Formaldehyde Resin Photocatalysts. ACS Mater. Au 2022, 2, 6, 709–718

References

  1. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/semiconductor
  2. Wu, Z. et al. Lowering Contact Resistances of Two-Dimensional Semiconductors by Memristive Forming. Nano Lett. 2022, 22, 17, 7094–7103
  3. Kanwal, S. et al. Room-Temperature Ferromagnetism in Cu/Co Co-Doped ZnO Nanoparticles Prepared by the Co-Precipitation Method: For Spintronics Applications. ACS Omega 2022, 7, 36, 32184–32193
  4. Sun, H. et al. High-Temperature Ferromagnetism in a Two-Dimensional Semiconductor with a Rectangular Spin Lattice. J. Phys. Chem. C 2022, 126, 37, 16034–16041
  5. Brumberg, A. et al. Acceleration of Biexciton Radiative Recombination at Low Temperature in CdSe Nanoplatelets. Nano Lett. 2022, 22, 17, 6997–7004
  6. Li, Y. et al. Design of Organic–Inorganic Hybrid Heterostructured Semiconductors via High-Throughput Materials Screening for Optoelectronic Applications. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, 144, 36, 16656–16666
  7. Li, M. et al. Machine Learning for Harnessing Thermal Energy: From Materials Discovery to System Optimization. ACS Energy Lett. 2022, 7, 10, 3204–3226
  8. Dong, X. et al. Microscopic Image Deblurring by a Generative Adversarial Network for 2D Nanomaterials: Implications for Wafer-Scale Semiconductor Characterization. ACS Appl. Nano Mater. 2022, 5, 9, 12855–12864
  9. Aher, R. et al. Synthesis, Structural and Optical Properties of ZrBi2Se6 Nanoflowers: A Next-Generation Semiconductor Alloy Material for Optoelectronic Applications. ACS Omega 2022, 7, 36, 31877–31887
  10. Shaikh, G.Y. et al. Structural, Optical, Photoelectrochemical, and Electronic Properties of the Photocathode CuS and the Efficient CuS/CdS Heterojunction. ACS Omega 2022, 7, 34, 30233–30240
  11. Mei, Y. et al. Synergistic Effects of Bipolar Additives on Grain Boundary-Mediated Charge Transport for Efficient Carbon-Based Inorganic Perovskite Solar Cells. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2022, 14, 34, 38963–38971

Call for Papers: Special Focus Issue on High Throughput in Mass Spectrometry

Mass spectrometry is a leading and information-rich analytical method that is used and applied in both industrial and academic settings.  For example, liquid chromatographic mass spectrometry is an indispensable technique that is used during the research and development stages of most therapeutic drugs.

This Special Focus Issue in the Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry will highlight high throughput strategies, application solutions and software processing developments, in all aspects of mass spectrometry. Erin S. Baker (JASMS Critical Insight Editor) will manage this Special Focus Issue along with Guest Editors John C. Tran and Iain D. G. Campuzano.

For readers, this Special Focus Issue will be an easily identifiable source of high-quality papers. For authors, it provides increased visibility for the latest high throughput techniques in mass spectrometry.

Focus manuscripts publish ASAP and in-issue as they are ready, and then, once all designated papers have been published, they will be compiled into an online collection.

Author Instructions:

To submit your manuscript, please visit the Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry website. Please follow the normal procedures for manuscript submission, and when in the ACS Paragon Plus submission site, select the special issue of “High Throughput in Mass Spectrometry.” All manuscripts will undergo the normal peer review process. For additional submission instructions, please see the Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry Author Guidelines. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2023.

Learn More About How to Submit

Sparking Interest in New Firework Colors

Sparklers are a favorite for holidays and celebratory events across the world, providing dramatic and eye-catching bursts of light. While their flames can span the rainbow, the actual sparks that fly and branch out are traditionally limited to dark red, gold, or white light. But chemists are now uncovering new ways to expand the pyrotechnic color palette using rare-earth metals.

Read the Full Paper

Sparks are tiny pieces of materials that, when heated to a certain temperature, produce visible light. Long-flying sparks formed from hot, incandescent metal particles are essential components of sparklers, fireworks, and other pyrotechnic spectacles—however, these traditional metallic sparks may leave something to be desired due to their limited color range. This is because the color of the spark is controlled exclusively by the temperature of the metal heated by surface combustion, a phenomenon known as black or gray body radiation.

In recent decades, studies have demonstrated the potential for rare-earth metals to be promising agents for more colorful pyrotechnic displays and spark variety due to their low boiling points and ability to burn in the vapor phase. Unfortunately, the metals are consumed very quickly during vapor-phase combustion, resulting in only brief flashes of light rather than the desired effect of long, branching sparks.

But now, a recent study published in ACS Omega reports that rare-earth metals in alloy powder form can produce flashes that shift from gold to green while maintaining continuous branching and sparking effects. This study is thought to be the first investigation into how such alloys expand spark colors beyond the black body limit, as well as their impact on branching behavior.

Overall, the researchers studied 11 commercial and synthesized alloys plus six rare-earth elements. They were able to achieve deep green spark segments based on eutectic ytterbium–zinc (Yb–Zn) and ytterbium–copper (Yb–Cu) powders. Once ignited, Yb–Cu burst into a shower of both gold and green sparks. In contrast to pure Yb, the Yb–Cu sparks successfully traveled outside of the flame, reaching significant lengths of 3–6 cm. The resulting effects appeared as a mixture of surface combustion (gold), vapor combustion (green flashes), and color-changing sparks with deep green and golden stages, repeating several times over.

In addition to color, the researchers demonstrated that rare-earth metal alloys could influence the branching behavior of sparks. Among the various candidates that were analyzed, the neodymium-iron-boron alloy Nd2Fe14B proved to be the most ideal and practical due to its stable phase and ability to produce bright, continuous branching effects. 

The authors conclude that binary metal alloys could one day play a vital role in enhancing the color variety and spark behavior of handheld sparklers and other pyrotechnic devices. However, further research and intensive safety testing must be conducted to ensure commercial viability.

So, as you stand under your next fireworks show or trace shapes in the cold night air with a sparkler, spare a thought for the chemists working to light up the skies and add color to our celebrations.  

To see the research in action, watch the video below created by the ACS Science Communications team:

Read the Original Article

Read the Full Press Release

Learn more about the chemistry of pyrotechnics in ACS journals:

  1. Ritchie, T. et al. Evolution of Medieval Gunpowder: Thermodynamic and Combustion Analysis. ACS Omega 2021, 6, 35, 22848–22856
  2. Dong, W. et al. Multidimensional Energetic Coordination Polymers as Flame Colorants: Intriguing Architecture and Excellent Performance. Cryst. Growth Des. 2022, 22, 9, 5449–5458
  3. Cao, W. et al. Access to Green Pyrotechnic Compositions via Constructing Coordination Polymers: A New Approach to the Application of 3,4-Dinitropyrazole. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2022, 14, 28, 32084–32095
  4. Zeman, O. Diketopyrrolopyrrole─A Greener Alternative for Pyrotechnic Smoke Compositions. ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2022, 10, 14, 4788–4791
  5. Fan, S. et al. Are Environmentally Friendly Fireworks Really “Green” for Air Quality? A Study from the 2019 National Day Fireworks Display in Shenzhen. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2021, 55, 6, 3520–3529

Call for Papers: Hot Electrons in Catalysis

The Journal of Physical Chemistry C will publish a Virtual Special Issue on “Hot Electrons in Catalysis.”

The Virtual Special Issue is led by Guest Editors Prof. Reinhard Maurer (University of Warwick) and Prof. Prashant Jain (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign). Together they encourage researchers to submit their new and unpublished work by March 31, 2023.

Learn More About How to Submit

Research areas of particular interest include:

  • Understanding and controlling hot carrier production by optical excitation and other methods
  • Energetics and dynamics of hot electron generation, relaxation, and dissipation through catalytic reactions
  • Mechanisms of catalysis and chemical reactions involving hot electrons
  • New photochemical processes enabled by hot electrons
  • Development and application of new theoretical methods for modeling hot electron chemistry
  • Mechanistic aspects of the syntheses and characteristics of materials for hot electron generation and harvesting

In conceiving this Virtual Special Issue, the Guest Editors were inspired by some recent exciting innovations and discoveries, including:

  • Plasmonically generated hot electrons inducing new reaction pathways and modifying reaction selectivity
  • Energetically unfavorable reactions being driven by carrier photoexcitation
  • Strategies for resolving thermal and non-thermal effects in hot electron chemistry
  • Selective activation of adsorbate vibrational modes by photogenerated hot electrons
  • Recent experimental advances in studying ultrafast dynamics of hot-electron-mediated energy transfer

Read Articles on Hot Electrons in ACS Journals

Submission Instructions

The review process for all submissions for this Virtual Special Issue will be handled by The Journal of Physical Chemistry C’s Senior Editors Stephan Link and Gregory Hartland.

To ensure an unbiased peer-review process, the journal asks that you do not indicate within your manuscript that the submission is intended for the Virtual Special Issue. If you do, your manuscript will be returned for correction. Instead, when you submit your manuscript, please indicate this on your cover letter and note what part and section you feel will be the best fit. You can find a complete list of sections and other important information for authors in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C’s Author Guidelines.

As with all submissions to The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, your manuscript should represent a rigorous scientific report of original research, as it will be peer-reviewed as a regular article. Manuscripts are expected to provide new physical insight and/or present new theoretical or computational methods of broad interest.

Information for Authors

Submit Your Manuscript

If you are unsure if your research is within the Virtual Special Issue’s scope or have other questions about submitting a manuscript to this Virtual Special Issue, please email The Journal of Physical Chemistry C Deputy Editor Gregory Hartland’s office at hartland-office@jpc.acs.org.

Call for Papers: AI for Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology has been successfully used to design biological systems with new and improved functions. However, due to the complexity of biological systems, performing synthetic biology in a quantitative and predictive manner still remains a challenge. In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) that allow computers to learn from experience has emerged as a potentially powerful tool to address this challenge.

A new Virtual Special Issue from ACS Synthetic Biology will focus on this dynamic topic, including contributions that develop and apply AI and ML tools for synthetic biology applications. The issue will be led by Editor-in-Chief Huimin Zhao with Guest Editors Hector Garcia-Martin and Stanislav Mazurenko.

Relevant topics include:

  • AI/ML algorithms relevant to synthetic biology
  • AI/ML-guided peptide, protein, and antibody engineering
  • AI/ML-guided metabolic engineering
  • AI/ML for plant, microbial, and mammalian synthetic biology
  • AI/ML for bioprocess development
  • AI/ML for systems biology

Author Instructions:

To submit your manuscript, please visit the ACS Synthetic Biology website. Please follow the normal procedures for manuscript submission, and when in the ACS Paragon Plus submission site, select the special issue of “AI for Synthetic Biology.” All manuscripts will undergo the normal peer review process. For additional submission instructions, please see the ACS Synthetic Biology Author Guidelines.

The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2023.

Learn More About How to Submit