Have you heard of mechanochemistry yet? Researchers from McGill University are making a name for themselves in this up-and-coming multidisciplinary field with their discovery of a new material unveiled through unconventional means.
Prof. Tomislav Friščić’s research group in McGill’s Department of Chemistry is now producing chemical reactions through milling, grinding, or shering solid state ingredients. In other words, the team is using brute force to elicit these reactions rather than the typical liquid agents.
The group states that their process is similar to that of a coffee grinder. The advantage to using force over liquids is that it avoids environmentally harmful bulk solvents that are typically used when producing chemical reactions.
These findings were published in the paper “In Situ X-ray diffraction monitoring of a mechanochemical reaction reveals a unique topology metal-organic framework”. It all began in late 2012, where researchers reported that they had been able to observe milling reaction in real time – seeing chemical transformations using highly penetrating X-rays.