Meeting report

Supramolecules in Moldova

[Moldova] Invited speakers, attendees and organizers of the Moldova conference gathered in the home of Yuri Semenov, standing in the center of the photo behind his wife (striped blouse). Janusz Lipkowski and his wife are at the far right.

The Moldovian Chemistry Inst. hosted an Int’l Conference on Supramolecular Structure that brought together leaders in the field from throughout the world with expertise in synthesis, crystal structure determination and analysis, and solid-state chemistry. Over the course of the past 20 years, scientists in Moldova have established innovative international interdisciplinary collaborations. Despite economic set backs that have accompanied major political change in Eastern Europe, these international collaborations continue to thrive. The conference included exciting reports on the latest developments in design of molecular magnets based on compounds first synthesized in Moldovia. P. Christian and G. Timso collaborated on the study of structures of metal-clusters that can be induced to polymerize. They began with a series of fixed valency complexes of cobalt having different oxidation states of the same ion in the same cluster. Increasingly powerful oxidizing agents led to more complex clusters including a Co7 cluster with a cubic configuration, and even more complex clusters of Co16, Co14, etc. Among their ultimate targets are diamagnetic solids and molecular magnets and the determination of the effects of solvent, oxidizing agents, and other metals and combinations of metals upon form and function. J. R. Helliwell participated in x-ray studies critical to the work. B. Moulton substituting for collaborators M. Zaworotko and L. Morales, gave two eloquent talks and defined and defended the field of supramolecular structure when K. Wieghart challenged the legitimacy of the term asking, 'Is Supramolecular Structure merely chemistry wearing the Emperors new Clothes?' Brian performed so brilliantly that at the next conference he is scheduled to give all the talks.

William L. Duax