Pasi and Anssi make the cover picture for Dalton Transactions!

Several years’ worth of active efforts to understand vanadium-catalyzed catechol oxidase mimetic chemistry have finally paid off in full. In our most recent paper, entitled “Vanadium aminophenolates in catechol oxidation: conformity with Finke’s common catalyst hypothesis“, published in the RSC journal Dalton Transactions, and representing the pinnacle of these studies, we have been able to link vanadium-catalyzed catechol oxidase and catechol dioxygenase mimetic studies for the first time. The paper will make a great addition to Pasi’s PhD thesis, especially since the following study gives a nice closure to work already started at the MSc level!

The article, which can be found at doi: 10.1039/d1dt00419k, was so well received by the reviewers and editors, that it was not only added to the HOT article collection at Dalton Transactions, but also granted a place at the Front Cover of the current issue!

Cover art: Pasi Salonen & Anssi Peuronen

Press release: scientists (Ari, Anssi, Pasi) discover new information about the function of enzymes

Ari, Anssi, Pasi and Åbo Akademi’s project researcher Risto Savela discovered new information about the functionality of vanadium aminophenolates in cathecol oxidation. The article is published in Dalton Transactions and was selected to their HOT article collection. Good job!

Press release (in Finnish):

Tutkijat löysivät uutta tietoa entsyymien toiminnasta

Article:

Vanadium aminophenolates in catechol oxidation: conformity with Finke’s common catalyst hypothesis

Mika and Ari wrote about inorganic chemistry in a local newspaper

Turun Sanomat, the biggest local newspaper in the Turku area, has a popular science-related article series called Aliot. Mika and Ari wrote about inorganic chemistry in a manner that everyday reader can grasp.

The writing is themed Even inorganic is organic – sustainable development with new materials, and it is available here (only in Finnish):

Epäorgaaninenkin on luomua – uusilla materiaaleilla kestävään kehitykseen

Roosa wins best poster prize!

Roosa Vastamäki with her poster.

The Chemist Club of Turku awards annually the prize for the best poster in connection with the Kemian kevät (Spring of chemistry) event of the Department of Chemistry of the University of Turku. The categories of this Antti Vesala prize are

  1. The board of the Chemist Club’s selection for the winner.
  2. The public vote, which is open to all members of the Chemist Club of Turku and the students and staff of the Department of Chemistry.

This year, Roosa Vastamäki, our group’s MSc student with a poster titled “A zeolite-free microwave synthesis of hackmanites“, was chosen as the winner of the first category. Congratulations, Roosa, well done!

Mika selected as Adjunct Professor of the Year 2021!

The joint Academic Day of the staff of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University was celebrated on March 25, 2021. The Academic Day is held annually at the end of March in honor of the Royal Academy of Turku, founded in 1640. The recipient of the Vuoden dosentti (Adjunct Professor of the year) diploma is also announced on that day.

This year, Turun Yliopistojen Dosenttiyhdistys ry (The Adjunct Professors’ Society of the Universities of Turku) society selected Mika Lastusaari, the leader of our research group’s photonic materials team, as the Adjunct Professor of the year. Brilliant work and congratulations, Mika!

Mika at an NBC symposium giving a presentation. Credits Marko Junttila.

Tiina Mahlamäki, President of the Turun Yliopistojen Dosenttiyhdistys ry (The Adjunct Professors’ Society of the Universities of Turku) society, said in her introduction that the selection criteria have emphasized not only the Adjunct Professor’s academic merits but also social impact and interaction.

Ari Lehtonen from the society continued with detailed description about Mika’s achievements: “Mika is an active researcher and has published almost 200 articles on inorganic materials chemistry, most of all photonic materials and light-emitting materials. He has produced a large number of new luminescent materials with many practical applications and has also filed many patents on these materials. In addition, he has studied natural luminescent materials: the well-known Bologna stone and hackmanite minerals, and solved the mystery of the luminescent properties of these materials.

Mika has also published a lot of research on learning and teaching chemistry, and the way he works is well illustrated by the fact that he started university pedagogical studies but did not settle for 10 credits or even 60 credits: he did his second dissertation on the subject. Not only is Mika a good researcher and a good teacher, he also knows how to compose, sing and play guitar, and he has composed and produced the theme song for the Inorganic Materials Chemistry Research Group and the group’s music video on YouTube.

Esko Salojärvi’s dissertation defense

Fe complex from Esko’s dissertation, imaged by Adj. Prof. Anssi Peuronen

Esko Salojärvi is having his dissertation defense on Friday, February 19, at 12 o’clock on Zoom. The opponent is Professor Timo Repo from the University of Helsinki, and our Adjunct Professor Ari Lehtonen acts as the custos. Esko’s thesis with the subject “The optical and magnetic properties of redox-active d-block metal complexes with non-innocent ligands” can be found here:

https://www.utupub.fi/handle/10024/150852

The news (in Finnish) can be found here:

https://www.utu.fi/fi/ajankohtaista/tapahtumat/vaitos-kemia-fm-esko-salojarvi

Public outreach lecture about chemistry

As a public outreach, Adj. Prof. Mika Lastusaari had a presentation about chemistry in one of Turku Teacher Training School’s IB line’s Integrated Science course visitor lectures. Hannah and Sami also got to tell why they have come to study chemistry and what inspires them, and also demonstrated color change and afterglow with the compulsory praise for inorganic chemistry! The “set” is shown in the photos.