Journal Club


Journal clubs have been in place for over 100 years.  Participants meet regularly to critique research articles, to improve their understanding of research design, learn about what others are doing in the same field, and develop advancement in their own work.

Not everything you want to learn in chemistry is written in a textbook.  So, where else do you find resources to advance your knowledge in your favorite field?  The answer is: Scientific Journals.  In scientific research fields, peer scientists all over the world communicate through scientific literature.  Before you dive into a research topic, you first need to answer some questions, such as: What has been done in this field; Who are the pioneers in this field; What are some unanswered questions that you could investigate in this field? etc.

Suggest papers to read:

Fluorinated Aldehydes Project:

  1. Habala, L.; Varenyi, S.; Bilkova, A.; Herich, P.; Valentova, J.; Kožïšek, J.; Devinsky, F. Antimicrobial Activity and Urease Inhibition of Schiff Bases Derived from Isoniazid and Fluorinated Benzaldehydes and of Their Copper(II) Complexes. Molecules 2016, 21(12).  Link.
  2. Pang, W.; Zhao, J. W.; Zhao, L.; Zhang, Z. K.; Zhu, S. Z. Synthesis, Characterization and Comparative Study of a Series of Fluorinated Schiff Bases Containing Different Orientation CHN Spacers. J. Mol. Struct. 2015, 1096, 21–28.  Link.

Tren Project:

  1. Liu, J. L.; Yuan, K.; Leng, J. D.; Ungur, L.; Wernsdorfer, W.; Guo, F. S.; Chibotaru, L. F.; Tong, M. L. A Six-Coordinate Ytterbium Complex Exhibiting Easy-Plane Anisotropy and Field-Induced Single-Ion Magnet Behavior. Inorg. Chem. 2012, 51(15), 8538–8544.  Link.
  2. Molloy, J. K.; Philouze, C.; Fedele, L.; Imbert, D.; Jarjayes, O.; Thomas, F. Seven-Coordinate Lanthanide Complexes with a Tripodal Redox Active Ligand: Structural, Electrochemical and Spectroscopic Investigations. Dalt. Trans. 2018, 47(31), 10742–10751.  Link.

Fluorinated Acac Project:

  1. Koizuka, T.; Yanagisawa, K.; Hirai, Y.; Kitagawa, Y.; Nakanishi, T.; Fushimi, K.; Hasegawa, Y. Red Luminescent Eu(III) Coordination Bricks Excited on Blue LED Chip. Inorg. Chem. 2018, 57(12), 7097–7103.  Link.
  2. Melby, L. R.; Rose, N. J.; Abramson, E.; Caris, J. C. Synthesis and Fluorescence of Some Trivalent Lanthanide Complexes. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1964, 86(23), 5117–5125.  Link (this paper describes making the Ln(acac)x starting materials).
  3. Gusev, A.; Haegawa, M.; Shimizu, T.; Fukawa, T.; Sakurai, S.; Nishchymenko, G.; Shulgin, V.; Meshkova, S.; Linert, W. Synthesis, Structure and Luminescence Studies of Eu(III), Tb(III), Sm(III), Dy(III) Cationic Complexes with Acetylacetone and Bis(5-(Pyridine-2-Yl)-1,2,4-Triazol-3-Yl)Propane. Inorganica Chim Acta 2013, 406, 279–284. Link

Ln42 Project:

  1.  Xiu-Ying Zheng, You-Hong Jiang, Gui-Lin Zhuang, Da-Peng Liu, Hong-Gang Liao, Xiang-Jian Kong, La-Sheng Long, and Lan-Sun Zheng.  A Gigantic Molecular Wheel of {Gd140}: A New Member of the Molecular Wheel Family.  Journal of the American Chemical Society,  2017, 139 (50), 18178-18181. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b11112

Research on functional materials is a highly active field.  Every year, several hundreds of research articles are published in this area. Where do you begin?  Do you Google search?  You probably will only scratch the surface of the field this way.  There are more powerful tools out there, and luckily, most of them are available on our campus.

  • Web of Science – A research platform to find and share information in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. You get integrated access to high quality literature through a unified platform that links a wide variety of content.  The database contains literature from 1975-present.
  • SciFinder Scholar – This database searches journals, books, conference materials, and patents. Searches can be done by topic, authors, chemical names, structures and then refined from there.  This service requires a registration (you will have an assignment on using SciFinder).
  • Reaxys – This database provides information about millions of chemical structures, reactions, and properties. It is an important tool for researchers who are synthesizing and characterizing chemical compounds, or searching for data on the physical, chemical, spectral, bioactivity, or toxicological properties of chemicals (you will have an assignment on using Reaxys).

The Chemistry library homepage is a very useful resource for your literature search ( and contains links to the above databases and more.  Many journal articles are available in PDF files in the “Electronic Journals”, which saves you a trip to the library.  Additionally, each of these databases have tutorials and tips available when you go to their websites.

We will use SciFinder and Reaxys in our lab.  To use either one, go to the UT Chemistry Library’s website and choose the search tool from there.


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