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Vol. 35 No. 1
January-February 2013

Conference Call | Reports from recent conferences and symposia 
See also www.iupac.org/indexes/Conferences

Photochemistry

The XXIV IUPAC Symposium on Photochemistry took place 15–20 July 2012 in the wonderful city of Coimbra, Portugal, in the historical buildings of the university, overlooking the city. The symposium demonstrated how photochemistry is nowadays employed in very different areas, running from new materials for medical applications, solar cells, photoremediation of contaminated water, photodynamic therapy, manipulation of nanostructures, mimicking of biofunctionality, restoration and conservation of art objects, and more. For all these applications, basic research and theoretical understanding is a prerequisite that was also demonstrated in some of the lectures, such as the plenary by G. Scholes on “Quantum Mechanisms for Light Harvesting in Photosynthesis.” Among the other plenary lectures were the following:

  • A. Harriman on “Artificial Light Harvesting Antennae”
  • B.L. Feringa on “Controlling Assembly and Motion by Light”
  • F. Scandola on “Supramolecular Strategies towards Functional Units of Artificial Photosynthesis” G. Bazan on “Conjugated Polyelectrolytes and Oligoelectrolytes for Emerging Optoelectronics”
  • T. Majima on “Charge Transfer in DNA”
  • S.J. Formosinho and L. Arnaut (a joint lecture) on “From Elementary Reactions to Chemical Relevance in Photodynamic Therapy”
  • V.W.W. Yam on “Photofunctional Organometallics”

One of the highlights of these meetings is the awarding of the Porter Medal, which was given this year to Tom J. Meyer from the University of North Carolina who gave an account on “Ru(bipy)3 2+ and other Remarkable MLCT States.”

Among the 640 participants from 53 countries, were many young scientists who either contributed short communications organized in three parallel sessions, or presented more than 400 posters. A remarkable session was held on solar energy conversion, which included contributions on material science and engineering for solar energy conversion. Many contributions on nanoparticles, nanocrystallites and nanocomposites were presented. The novel techniques used to monitor the photochemical reactions in complex materials and in nanoparticles were also subject of many contributions.

Several awards were given to young colleagues (for details see Awards at <www.photoiupac2012.com>). The European Photochemical Association prize for the best thesis in photochemistry 2011–2012 was awarded to Karl Börjesson from Chalmers University, Sweden. The Langmuir award for best presentation in the young photochemists’ session was presented to Danielle Wilson, Victoria University, Canada. Special commendations were given to Laurence Pessoni, Université de Pau et des pays de l’Ardour, France, and to Marina Blanco-Lomas, Universidad de La Rioja, Spain.

IUPAC Poster Prize awardees Waheed Saban (left), University of Western Cape, South Africa, and Joanna M. Malicka, University of Namur, Belgium.

IUPAC Poster Prizes were awarded to Waheed Saban, University of Western Cape, South Africa, and to Joanna M. Malicka, University of Namur, Belgium. The Springer editors awarded a Ph.D. student poster prize to Karel Goossens, KU Leuven, Belgium, and to Giorgio Pariani, Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Italy. A special XXIV IUPAC Photochemistry Symposium Young-at-Heart Poster Prize was awarded to Devens Gust from Arizona State University, USA, for the presentation “Bio-Inspired Solar Energy Conversion.”

Several companies generously sponsored the symposium, some of them located in Portugal and some which are spin-of companies of research groups at the university.

A special impact on the audience was made by Franco Scandola, who showed, during his lecture, a sequence from the famous 1938 movie from Frank Capra “You can’t take it with you” demonstrating Capra’s vision on the future of solar energy.

The symposium was inaugurated by fados beautifully sung by a Tuna from Coimbra and closed by a banquet at Quinta do Sobreiro, a refined venue with a gracious landscape.

The General Assembly of the European Photochemical Association was held in one of the evenings and the IUPAC Subcommittee on Photochemistry held its meeting during one of the lunch breaks.

We thank Hugh Burrows, the Portuguese photochemical community, and the organizing Committee for the organization of the symposium, which showed again that photochemistry is a lively interdisciplinary area, which can fascinate many young scientists and can contribute to solving many technical and scientific questions.

The next IUPAC Symposium on Photochemistry is planned for July 2014 in Bordeaux, France, under the scientific chairmanship of Dario Bassani.

Silvia E. Braslavsky <Silvia.Braslavsky@cec.mpg.de> is at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion.

www.photoiupac2012.com


 

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