Official Opening of Our New Teaching Labs

Dr David Palomas

On the 9th of November of 2018, the newly refurbished Chemistry Teaching Lab was officially opened by the Principal Colin Bailey. Prof Marina Resmini, Head of the Chemistry Department had the honour of cutting the ribbon.

View original post


Aryne-Mediated Arylation of Hantzsch Esters: Access to Highly Substituted Aryl-hydropyridines

Dr David Palomas

Synthesis, 2018, Accepted DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1611065

This is a full account of our studies into the generation of highly functionalised 2-aryl-1,2-dihydropyridines and 2-methylene-3-aryl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyridines via intermolecular aryne ene reactions of Hantzsch esters. Furthermore, exposure to excess aryne revealed unusual 3′-aryl-spiro[benzocyclobutene-1,1′-(3′,4′-dihydropyridines)]. Mechanistic insights are provided by deuterium-labelling studies and DFT calculations, whilst preliminary cytotoxicity investigations reveal that the spirocycles are selective against colon carcinomas over ovarian cancer cell lines and that all the compounds have high selectivity indices with regards to non-cancer cells.

View original post


Dr David Palomas

First day in the labs with our 1st year students. Today we will be doing acid-base titrations to determine the amount of citric acid in a sample of a powdered fruit drink. Students will use a standard solution of NaOH as a titrating agent and Phenolphthalein as indicator.

View original post

Organic Synthesis Under Inert Atmosphere

Dr David Palomas

It is September again and as usual, we start the semester with the advanced practicals in chemistry with our Master students. It seems that after the summer break our students are in a very good mood and organic synthesis under nitrogen atmosphere becomes a balloon party!!!

View original post

Intermolecular Aryne Ene Reaction of Hantzsch Esters: Stable Covalent Ene Adducts from a 1,4-Dihydropyridine Reaction

Dr David Palomas

Abstract Image

Org. Lett. 2017, 19174644-4647

The reaction of arynes with 1,4-dihydropyridines affords 2-aryl-1,2-dihydropyridines or 2-methylene-3-aryl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyridines via a regioselective C-2 or C-3 arylation. These compounds are the first series of isolable and bench-stable covalent ene adducts formed between dihydropyridines and unsaturated substrates. Experimental studies and DFT calculations provide mechanistic support for a concerted intermolecular aryne ene process, which may have implications for NAD(P)H model reactions.

View original post

The Making of #ChemisTree 2016

It is again this time of the year, the semester has been very long. One more week of practicals and we are all ready for the Christmas break!!!

This year to honour the tradition we have our ChemisTree in the teaching labs. In this post I’m unveiling the secrets behind the colours of our 2016 ChemisTree.

Blue: A pinch of Copper (II) sulfate pentahydrate in water

Red: a few drops of Ferroin indicator in water

Green:  A pinch of Nickel(II) nitrate hexahydrate in water

Deep purple: A pinch of potassium Permanganate in water

Violet: Literally 1 mg of Crystal Violet per Liter of water. Crystal Violet is a very strong dye.

Pink: A few drops of Phenolphthalein in a slightly basidified solution of NaOH in water. The colour fades away after a few minutes, long enough for a nice picture.

Many thanks to Indigo and Fosca for their help and creativity.

Video games to Promote Science

If this is not an amazing way to promote science I don’t know what it is. The Brazilian science magazine Superinteressante is developing a fighting video game using prominent scientists as the characters. Their abilities and fight skills are based in their scientific discoveries. You can take a look to the description of the characters in the website of his creator Diego Sanches. Imagine a fight between Tesla and and Stephen Hawking, I’m still in shock.

Take a look to this youtube demo:


Chemistry for NO-MADs

%d bloggers like this: