Earlier today, Professor John Bercaw talked about the kinetics and mechanism of methane C-H activation via electrophilic platinum complexes. They used sapphire NMR tubes to analyze methane activation kinetics at extremely high pressures (300-1000 psi of methane in the paper, but Bercaw mentioned that they safely could go up to 3000 psi).
In their recent JACS paper, Owen et al. acknowledged “Dan Nieman, Dean Roddick, Steve Olson, Mike Roy, David Law, Glenn Sunley, and Marc Payne for assistance with design and construction of the high-pressure NMR equipment.” I’ve scoured the Bercaw group homepage and the internet trying to find a picture of this device, but I wasn’t able to find one…
What’s your favorite device that was constructed to address a scientific problem? Maybe Professor Patrick Brown‘s cDNA microarrayer? Or one of Professor George Whitesides’s self-assembled (functional) electronic devices? Or Professor Peter Seeberger’s solid-phase oligosaccharide synthesizer?
Joshua Finkelstein (Associate Editor, Nature)