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Vol. 32 No. 1
January-February 2010

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

Novel Aromatic Compounds

by Bruno Bernet

The 2009 Nozoe Lecturer: A. Osuka of Kyoto University.

The 13th International Symposium on Novel Aromatic Compounds (ISNA-13) was held from 19–24 July 2009, in Luxembourg, the home country of the symposium chairman F. Diederich of ETH Zurich, Switzerland. The symposium was attended by 360 participants from 34 countries; most of them from universities and ranging from well-known senior scientists to young Ph.D. Unfortunately, the number of participants coming from industry was lower than hoped due to the financial crisis.

The organizers of ISNA-13: François Diederich (top) and A. Dieter Schlüter.

Symposium participants were welcomed by Pierre Decker, the representative of the Luxembourg government; Rolf Tarrach, the rector of the University of Luxembourg; and Raymond Bausch of the National Research Fund of Luxembourg. IUPAC Secretary General David Black addressed the participants to announce that Luxembourg had joined IUPAC on the occasion of this symposium. In a public lecture later in the symposium, Luciënne Blessing, vice rector for research of the University of Luxembourg, informed the audience about the activities of the young university (founded in 2003) and surprised participants with an excellent interlude musical given by a vocal and dance ensemble and a piper.

The field of aromatic compounds chemistry was presented in 36 invited lectures, 26 oral communications, and 186 poster presentations. In the opening plenary lecture, Nobel Laureate J.-M. Lehn, of the Université de Strasbourg and Collège de France, Paris, discussed expanding research interests from supramolecular chemistry to adaptive and evolutive chemistry. A. Osuka of Kyoto University was honored as the ISNA-13 Nozoe Lecturer. The topic of his lecture, Möbius aromatic compounds, was reflected in the logo for ISNA-13, which includes the Möbius strip. A lively discussion starting immediately after this lecture was characteristic of the whole symposium.

A wide range of topics was covered during the week, including the following:

  • preparation and analysis of Hückel and Möbius aromatic compounds
  • assembly and intermolecular interactions of supramolecular compounds
  • synthesis and conformational analysis of polycyclic aromatic compounds and of giant macrocycles
  • selective modification and endohedral metallo-fullerenes, concave aromatics
  • purification, selective synthesis, functionalization, and biological interaction of carbon nanotubes
  • graphene
  • assembly of aromatic compounds on solid surfaces
  • molecular switches and motors
  • benzene analogues: silabenzenes and 1,2-dihydro-1,2-azoborines
  • investigation of electronic properties, fluorescence and luminescence, compounds for photovoltaic applications

The symposium was well organized, scientifically and socially. It gave an excellent overview of the actual research objectives in the field of aromatic systems. The next symposium in the series will be organized by Michael Haley, University of Oregon, and will be held in Eugene, Oregon, USA, from 24–29 July 2011.

B. Bernet <bernet@org.chem.ethz.ch> is a senior scientific coworker of François Diederich at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.


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