Scientists from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (FWN) have published four articles in Nature journals in the last five weeks. This hat-trick plus one is a remarkable achievement.
Last Sunday, a joint paper by the University of Groningen and Georgia Tech showed how to make more efficient plastic electronics. The efficiency of semiconductors made of organic polymers is reduced by charge traps in which free electrons can get caught. The paper describes the nature of these traps (probably a complex of water and oxygen) and how to design plastic electronics without them. The paper was published as an Advanced Online Publication on the Nature Materials website.
And in three of the four previous weeks, FWN scientists also published papers in one or other of the Nature journals. The series started on 1 July with a paper in Nature Chemistry that featured the FWN Dean, Jasper Knoester, as one of the authors. This paper described quantum effects in an artificial photosynthesis unit.
The next week there was a gap, then on 15 July a study by Kees Hummelen’s group appeared on the Nature Photonics website. This paper described a way to harvest low energy infrared photons. By combining two of these ‘feeble photons’ into one stronger photon, the infrared can be converted into electricity in a plastic solar cell.
A week later, Andreas Herrmann and colleagues showed how to use RNA to wrap an aminoglycoside molecule so that parts of it (those sticking out of the RNA wrap) can be modified. This technique could speed up drug development and was published online on the Nature Chemistry website. Finally, last Sunday, the Groningen/Georgia Tech paper in Nature Materials made it a straight hat-trick, with the Knoester paper as the ‘plus one’.
It should be noted that three of the four leading scientists are connected to the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials of the University of Gronigen, recognized as a top research institute by the Dutch government and ranked in the top 10 of materials science institutes worldwide. Kees Hummelen is part of the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry, which also boasts national and international fame.
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