Prof. Hoz's Lab
Prof. Shmaryahu Hoz of the Department of Chemistry is a member of the Nano Materials Center at the Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA). The two major areas of research being conducted in Hoz's lab are the chemistry of Samarium (II) Iodide, and computational nanotechnology.
Chemistry of Samarium (II) Iodide - SmI2
Hoz and his team are trying to better understand the mechanism by which Samarium (ii) Iodide (SmI2) operates, in order to improve the methods by which the synthetic community uses this reducing agent.
In their recently published paper “Guidelines for the Use of Proton Donors in the Reduction by SmI2”, they were the first to show how an educated use of various proton donors can affect the course of the reaction based on their ability to complex to SmI2.
Using the same approach they have widened the scope of photo-stimulated SmI2reductions. In another work, they revealed the driving force behind the SmI2 electron transfer reactions and found it to be primarily electrostatic. In their investigation they are using physical organic chemistry tools such as fast reaction kinetics, isotope effects, and solvent effects. Using photostimulated reactions they are expanding their work into the field of light harvesting.
Hoz's group is also using quantum mechanics to investigate the extent to which the laws of mechanical engineering apply at the nano - molecular level. Within this context, they have studied the mechanical behavior of various molecular rods, including polyynes and prismanes.
The group discovered that the hardness of polyyne rods is 40 times that of diamonds – the hardest known material in nature. According to these investigators, this hardness of polyynes stems from the strong “sp” character of the bond which is further fortified by two double bonds. Whereas, the hardness of diamonds, which has the weakest bonding (sp3) in the realm of carbon chemistry, results from twelve 1,3 non-bonded interactions.
They have also shown that prismane rods demonstrate an "auxetic " effect, that is, contrary to expectations, they become thicker when stretched, and thinner when compressed. The auxetic behavior was previously demonstrated by material engineers for inverted honeycomb structures and metallic foams. This is the first time that the auxetic effect was demonstrated at the molecular level.
The group is currently investigating the feasibility of barcoding carbon nanotubes by using electrical fields.