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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 1

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum


N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 2

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum


Members, /academicians in to a common platform

so that we can have better exchange of
I could well remember the day when I ideas, views, and knowledge for the
received the invitation to join in the greater interest of the northeast region of
North East India Research Forum from India in particular and to the scientific
none other than Dr. Arindam Adhikari. community in general. In this context,
Although I have been associated with the the news letter of this forum plays a very
activities of other groups also, but this crucial role. From this issue we have
forum’s activities are something started the column of invited article. The
different in its quality, sense and forum is also inclined to the society. For
flavours. At that time the strength of the that our first step would be to have a
group was quite small, in double figures. strong foundation so that the other layers
Gradually it expanded and now we are in could be built up upon that.
triple figures, which indicates that we
are in the right track moving forward. It I feel immense pleasure and honored for
is the sincere effort of Dr. Adhikari who getting the opportunity to be the editor
at the beginning (the most difficult of the 3rd issue of the newsletter of the
phase), used to invite people to join in Northeast India Research Forum. In fact,
this forum. But now, we are in a much I was thrilled when Dr. Adhikari
comfortable position that people requested me to take over that
voluntarily come and put forward their responsibility on my shoulder.
membership. Again, most of the
members in this group belong to the To wind up, I can say with sincerity and
discipline of chemical sciences when the confidence that I have gained a lot from
group was started, however, at the this group’s activities also interacting
present moment; we have members from with other members individually. I am
other disciplines also like physics, sure; the other members also have the
biology, computer sciences etc, another same feelings.
pluspoint for the forum. We have also
few members from the eighth state of the I wish a grand success and longer life of
Northeast India, Sikkim. this forum. With this much, let me log
out for the time being.
The status of the group has reached an
honorable height by the introduction of Thanking you (all the members) again.
eminent personalities like Dr. Dipankar
Medhi, Dr. Dulal Borthakur etc. whose Happy Deepawali!
valuable suggestions and guidance will
help us in climbing the ladder of success.

One of the objectives of this forum is to

bring the students/ researchers/scientists (Thakur, Ashim J)

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 3

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

2. SCIENCE, R&D News 6
3. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: In Organic Chemistry 10
9. INSTRUMENT OF THE ISSUE – Inductively Coupled Plasma- Mass Spectroscopy 15
a) Invited Article
ITER and India's contribution 17
Prof. Dhiraj Bora
b) Is it time to change the track? 20
Dr. Utpal Bora
c) Diluted magnetic semiconductors: making nonmagnetic 21
semiconductors ferromagnetic
Dr. Sasanka Deka
d) A tribute to the legend, F. A. Cotton 23
Dr. Manab Sharma
e) The concept of hydrogen bond 26
Mr. Bipul Sarma
f) The Rietveld Method: A Retrospective View 31
Mr.Binoy K Saikia
g) Human Genome Project: Unfolding The Mystery Of Humanity 33
Ms. Nabanita Bhattacharyya
h) Mycoremediation: An approach to clean up environmental pollutant sites 34
Mr. Mahananda Chutia
i) Computational fluid dynamics (cfd), as a tool in industrial research 37
with a case study of flow of turbulent rectangular jet in cross-flow
Dr. Manabendra Pathak

j) Modification of wood with polymers: properties and applications 42

Dr. Rashmi Rekha Devi



N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 4

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

• Selection of name for Newsletter

There were total 36 proposals
submitted by members of the forum for
the Newsletter. The name proposed by
HE FORUM Mr. Abhishek Choudhury, N. E.
QUEST received the maximum
North East India Research Forum was number of votes and hence it is
created on 13th November 2004. accepted as the name of the Newsletter.

1. How we are growing. • How often should we publish our

At the beginning, it was a march hardly newsletter '' N. E. Quest’’?
with few members and today the forum 1. Every 3 months = 61%
comprised of a force of more than 160 2. Every 6 months = 38%
researchers. 3. Once a year = 0%

2. Discussions held in the forum 4. Future activities

• Necessity of directory of all the Proper planning and consequent
members of the forum. implementation always play an important
• Possibility of organising conference in role in every aspect. Some of the
the N E India. topics/activities/suggestions which were
being discussed, time to time in the forum
• Taking initiation on setting up of South
will get top priorities in our future
East Asian Scientific Institute.
activities. Those are mentioned here,
• On selection of Best paper award.
• Preparing complete online database of
3. Poll conducted and results N.E. researchers with details.
• North East India is lacking behind the • Organising conference in the N.E.
rest of the country due to- region-proposed by Dr. Utpal Bora.
1. Geographical constrain =0% • Research collaboration among forum
2. Bad leadership = 40% members.
3. Lack of work culture = 36% • Motivate student to opt for science
4. Corruption = 18% education.
5. Apathy from Central Govt. = 4% • Help master’s students in doing
projects in different organisation-
• Which area of science is going to proposed by Mr. Khirud Gogoi.
dominate by creating a great impact on • Supporting schools in rural areas by
society in next decade? different ways.
1. Nanoscience & nanotechnology = • Best paper awards.
2. Biotechnology = 11% 5. New activity
3. Nanobiotechnology = 38% A new domain in the name of
4. Chemical Engineering = 0% is opened.
5. Medicine = 11%
6. Others = 16% To run the forum smoothly, to make it more
7. None = 0% organised and to speed up activities,
formation of a committee/team is essential.
• Kindly let us know your view regarding The combined discussion of the moderators
the following topic. What activities of and senior members make the forum feel
this group you like most? the importance of Advisors, co-ordinator,
1. Research articles= 33% volunteer, webmasters etc. Of course it
2. Information about needs more discussion and will be approved
vacancy/positions available=10% by poll.
3. Way to have a contact with all
members =29%
4. Scientific discussions = 14%
5. Others = 2%

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 5

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

reliable results can be attained in this

difficult area of research. His insights
have provided the scientific basis of
modern surface chemistry: his
CIENCE, R&D NEWS methodology is used in both academic
research and the industrial development
Nobel prize in Chemistry, 2007 of chemical processes. The approach
 The Royal Swedish Academy of developed by Ertl is based not least on
Sciences has decided to award the his studies of the Haber-Bosch process,
Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2007 to in which nitrogen is extracted from the
Prof. Gerhard Ertl, Fritz-Haber-Institut air for inclusion in artificial fertilizers.
der Max – Planck - Gesellschaft, Berlin, This reaction, which functions using an
Germany for his groundbreaking studies iron surface as its catalyst, has
of chemical processes on solid surfaces. enormous economic significance
because the availability of nitrogen for
Surface chemistry is important for the growing plants is often restricted. Ertl
chemical industry and to understand has also studied the oxidation of carbon
varied processes such as why iron rusts, monoxide on platinum, a reaction that
how fuel cells function and how the takes place in the catalyst of cars to
catalysts in our cars work. Surface clean exhaust emissions.
chemistry can even explain the
destruction of the ozone layer, as vital
steps in the reaction actually take place
on the surfaces of small crystals of ice
in the stratosphere. The semiconductor
industry is yet another area that depends
on knowledge of surface chemistry.

Prof. Ertl was one of the first to see the

potential of these new techniques. Step Prof. Gerhard Ertl, German citizen.
by step he has created a methodology Presently, he is Professor Emeritus
for surface chemistry by demonstrating at Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-
how different experimental procedures Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany.
can be used to provide a complete
picture of a surface reaction. This (Courtesy: Nobel Foundation)
science requires advanced high-vacuum
experimental equipment as the aim is to Nobel prize in Physiology and Medicine,
observe how individual layers of atoms 2007
and molecules behave on the extremely  The Nobel Assembly of Karolinska
pure surface of a metal, for instance. It Institutet has decided to award
must therefore be possible to determine The Nobel Prize in Physiology or
exactly which element is admitted to the Medicine for 2007 jointly to Mario R.
system. Contamination could jeopardize Capecchi, Martin J. Evans and Oliver
all the measurements. Acquiring a Smithies for their discoveries of
complete picture of the reaction requires principles for introducing specific gene
great precision and a combination of modifications in mice by the use of
many different experimental techniques. embryonic stem cells and DNA
recombination. Their discoveries led to
Prof. Ertl has founded an experimental the creation of an immensely powerful
school of thought by showing how technology referred to as gene targeting

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 6

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

in mice. It is now being applied to disease. Gene targeting has already

virtually all areas of biomedicine – from produced more than five hundred
basic research to the development of different mouse models of human
new therapies. disorders, including cardiovascular and
neuro-degenerative diseases, diabetes
Gene targeting is often used to and cancer.
inactivate single genes. Such gene
"knockout" experiments have elucidated
the roles of numerous genes in
embryonic development, adult
physiology, aging and disease. To date,
more than ten thousand mouse genes
(approximately half of the genes in the
mammalian genome) have been
knocked out.
Oliver Smithies
University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC, USA

(Courtesy: Nobel Foundation)

Nobel prize in Physics, 2007

 The Royal Swedish Academy of
Mario R. Capecchi Sciences has decided to award the
University of Utah Nobel Prize in Physics for 2007 jointly
Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Howard to Albert Fert, Unité Mixte de Physique
Hughes Medical Institute CNRS/THALES, Université Paris-Sud,
Orsay, France, and Peter Grünberg,
Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany,
for the discovery of Giant

This technology is used to read data on

hard disks and for this, it has been
possible to miniaturize hard disks so
radically in recent years. Sensitive read-
out heads are needed to be able to read
data from the compact hard disks used
in laptops and some music players, for
Sir Martin J. Evans instance.
Cardiff University
Cardiff, United Kingdom In 1988, the Frenchman Albert Fert and
the German Peter Grünberg each
independently discovered a totally new
With gene targeting it is now possible to physical effect–Giant Magneto -
produce almost any type of DNA resistance (GMR). Very weak magnetic
modification in the mouse genome, changes give rise to major differences in
allowing scientists to establish the roles electrical resistance in a GMR system.
of individual genes in health and

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 7

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

A system of this kind is the perfect tool If GMR is to work, structures consisting
for reading data from hard disks when of layers that are only a few atoms thick
information registered magnetically has have to be produced. For this reason
to be converted to electric current. Soon GMR can also be considered one of the
researchers and engineers began work first real applications of the promising
to enable use of the effect in read-out field of nanotechnology.
heads. In 1997 the first read-out head
based on the GMR effect was launched
and this soon became the standard
technology. Even the most recent read-
out techniques of today are further
developments of GMR.

A hard disk stores information, such as

music, in the form of microscopically
small areas magnetized in different
directions. The information is retrieved Peter Grünberg, presently, a
by a read-out head that scans the disk Professor at Institut für
and registers the magnetic changes. The Festkörperforschung,
smaller and more compact the hard Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany,
disk, the smaller and weaker the since 1972.
individual magnetic areas. More
sensitive read-out heads are therefore Defense research
required if information has to be packed  Short – range variant of Agni
more densely on a hard disk. A read-out missile test-fired: The short range
head based on the GMR effect can variant of India's indigenously
convert very small magnetic changes developed Agni series of ballistic
into differences in electrical resistance missiles, Agni-I, was test-fired from
Wheelers Island off the Orissa coast
on5th October 2007.

The test-firing, termed as "users trial",

was conducted from a mobile launcher
from the Integrated Test Range (ITR)
launch complex. (The Times of India)

Healthcare research
 Asia’s first human milk bank:
Albert Fert, presently, a Professor
Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General
at Université Paris-Sud, Orsay,
Hospital (LTMGH) in Sion, is the
France, since 1976 and Scientific
Asia’s first human milk bank, has
director of Unité mixte de physique
created a record of sorts by collecting
CNRS/Thales, Orsay, France, since
924 litres of milk from “mother
donors”. The milk is collected,
pasteurized at 65 degrees Celsius for 30
and there-fore into changes in the minutes and then frozen at minus 20
current emitted by the read-out head. degrees Celsius. This milk can last six
The current is the signal from the read- months and is a boon for sick and
out head and its different strengths abandoned babies. (
represent ones and zeros.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 8

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

 Hope for Diabetic patients: There Says Dr. Trivedi, “Once we get the
is a good news for diabetes patients as permissions, we should be able to treat
there may be a stem cell cure for the the first 10 patients in a month or so."
disease. Dr. H.L. Trivedi and his team
from Ahmedabad claimed that they The institute has decided to use this
have discovered a cell that is present in technique to treat children with diabetes
human fat that can produce insulin, first.
when cultivated.
The treatment will initially cost about
"If we could transplant stem cells which one lakh rupees and doctors hope that
have the ability to cure diabetes, then this will mean the final word in diabetes
it's the final of final and ultimate of treatment.
ultimate as far as cure for diabetes is
concerned,” says Dr. Trivedi, who is the (
director of Institute of Kidney Diseases, cell-cure-for-diabetes-in-offing-gujarat-
Ahmedabad. docs/47079-17.html)

The miracle stem cell can be  Drug’s from Spider’s venom: The
transplanted into the liver, where it not venom of a particular species of spider
can act like natural viagra. According to
only multiplies, but produces insulin as
recent report published in Live Science,
well - much like the islet cells that
a person stung by the Brazilian
produce insulin in the pancreas. With wandering spider Phoneutria nigriventer
the cells present in fat, it would side not only experiences extreme pain but
step the controversy associated with also an increase in blood pressure
embryonic stem cells. In fact, Trivedi resulting in enhanced sexual
feels this could be nature's way of stimulation.
countering insulin.
The research team member Romulo
“There is a strong reason to believe that Leite of the Medical College of
this is a back-up system generated by Georgia: “We are hoping that this will
nature. Nature has stored these insulin eventually end up in the development of
producing cells in our adipose tissue,” real drugs for the treatment of erectile
says Dr. Trivedi. dysfunction.”

The discovery couldn't be more relevant The actual compound was separated and
today, with India considered the dubbed as T X 2.6, a relatively short
diabetes capital of the world. However, string of amino acids (peptide). When
injected with the peptides, rats shoe
if Dr. Trivedi's team manages to
enhanced sexual stimulation.
develop this, it would mean treatment
for a condition that is the 4th leading It may be noted that in the past too
cause of death in the world. some experiments with spider venom on
rats proved to be successful. This has
So what is the next step? raised the hopes of using spider’s
venom for the development of new
To begin with, the team will now seek
permission from the Internal Review (Courtesy: Science Reporter, October,
Board of the institute to start using this 2007)
technique on patients.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 9

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS (IN 4. Asymmetric catalysis of the

ORGANIC CHEMISTRY) transannular Diels-Alder reaction:
Transannular chemical reactions are
1. First total synthesis of unparalleled in their ability to generate
Azadirachtin: Azadirachtin is a natural high degrees of stereochemical and
insecticide isolated from the Indian architectural complexity in a single
neem tree in 1968, but its structure was transformation.
not correctly determined till 1985. For
next two decades the molecules
synthesis frustrated many synthetic E. Jacobsen et al recently reported a
chemists. catalytic, asymmetric transannnular
Diels-Alder (TADA) reaction that
affords polycyclic products in high
Recently Steven Ley et al. synthesized
enantiomeric excess. Additionally, the
this complex natural product, which
catalytic enantioselective TADA has
involves 16 adjacent chiral centers.
been used as the key step in a total
(Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007, 46, 7629.
synthesis of the sesquiterpene 11,12-
and Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007, 46,
diacetoxydrimane; this route provides a
general approach to the polycyclic
2. Peptide synthesis without amino carbon framework shared by many
acids: Traditionally peptides are terpene natural products. (Science 2007,
synthesized by stacking amino acids 317, 1736)
together using a series of solid supports
(Merrifield’s synthesis). It requires first (Compiled by Dr. Joshodeep Boruwa,
making of amino acids then activation University of Konstanz)
and protection with reagents to make
sure that they react in the right order.

H Sun et al. developed a Co-based

catalyst, which strings together CO and
imine. (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007,
46, 6068)

3. Epoxide opening cascades

promoted by water: Biosynthetic
pathway of ladder polyether natural
products like brevitoxin B, yessotoxin,
the ciguatoxins etc is still a question.
More than 20 years back Nakanishi
proposed that these are formed via a
“You cannot hope to build a better world
cascade of epoxide opening. But in
without improving the individuals. To that
principle this type of epoxide opening
end, each of us must work for our own
reaction leads to THF ring rather than
improvement and, at the same time,
THP ring.
share a general responsibility for all
humanity, our particular duty being to aid
T. F. Jamison et al showed water acts as those to whom we think we can be most
a promoter in epoxide opening cascade useful.”
reactions, which favours THP ring —Marie Sklodoeska Curie, Physicist
formation. (Science 2007, 317, 1189) (1867-1934).

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 10

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Agricultural University, Jorhat, Assam;

M.Sc. (Rural-regional Dev. Plang.)
from Asian Institute of Technology,
Bangkok, Thailand; M.S. (Agricultural
ORTH EAST Economics) from University of
INDIANS MADE US PROUD Nebraska-Lincoln; M.S. (Agricultural
Economics) University of Connecticut;
1. Prof. Jugal Kalita: Prof. Jugal Kalita Ph.D. (Agricultural Economics) from
(from Nagaon, Assam) was a member University of Connecticut. He has
of the first graduating computer science several book chapters and one book
and engineering B. Tech. Class in India (Bhuyan, S., H. Demaine, and K.E.
in IIT, Kharagpur (1982). Subsequently Weber, 1990. "Market regulation or
he received a M.Sc. in computational regulated market? The case of Assam,
science from the university of India," HSD Monograph no. 19, Asian
Saskatchewan, Canada; an MS (1988) Institute of Technology, Bangkok,
and a Ph.D. in computer and Thailand) to his credit in addition to
information science from the university research papers.
of Pennsylvania. Currently, he is a
Professor of computer science at the
University of Colorado at Colorado

2. Dr. Jukti Kalita: Dr. Jukti Kalita,

marketing professional, is a graduate of
the Indian Institute of Technology,
Kharagpur (Mechanical engineering, B.
Apart from research contributions he Tech.), the Indian Institute of
has also authored a book titled, ‘On Management, Kolkata (MBA) and
Perl: Perl for students and Columbia University, New York (Ph.D.
professionals.’ in Marketing). He taught at the City
University of New York for seven years
before leaving to work for Merrill
Lynch in Princeton New Jersey. He
became vice president there. Currently,
he is a Vice President at the Health
Products Research, Inc. in Sommerset,
New Jersey. He has written several
short-stories and translated several
2. Dr. Sanjib Bhuyan (hailing from Assamese stories to English.
Titabar, Assam) is an Associate
Professor at the Department of
Agricultural, Food & Resource
Economics, State University of New
Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey,
U.S.A. Currently he is also the Director
of the Graduate Program at Rutgers. He
completed B.Sc. from Assam

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 11

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

and assist with content management and

development using an m-learning
authoring tool. Through an online
portal, students will have centralized
access to lecture notes, discussion
forum and online quizzes.
• IIT- Guwahati to receive $75,000 “IIT, Guwahati has successfully
worth technology grant: Though demonstrated how HP mobile
higher education is growing along with technology can be integrated to redesign
the economic boom in the country, key courses to enhance teaching and
shortage of faculty has hit the higher student learning,” said Ravindranath,
education scenario necessitating the use adding that HP technology for teaching
of technology to fill the void of initiatives was aimed at supporting the
teachers. This observation was made by development of mobile technology
Prof. Gautam Barua, Director, IIT, environment in higher educational
Guwahati. Prof. Barua is also of the institutions.
opinion that use of technology would
greatly improve the teaching process. This year 13 universities in the Asia
Pacific and Japan region have been
It may be mentioned here that IIT, selected for the HP technology for
Guwahati has been selected by Hewlett- teaching grants, IIT, Guwahati being the
Packard for its technology for teaching only institute selected from India. IIT,
grants to transform the method of Guwahati’s submission was reviewed
teaching. The institute will receive by a panel comprising of representatives
approximately US$75,000 worth of from the International Society for
technology such as HP tablet PCs, Technology in Education (ISTE) and
external storage and optical drives, mobile technology experts from HP.
wireless networking cards and printers The 13 winning universities will get the
etc. chance to exchange ideas in the early
part of 2008. (Courtesy: Assam
According to Prof. Barua the selection Tribune).
for the technology grant would do away
with the barriers between the learners
• RKB Memorial Award to Dr.
and the teachers, and open up new
Paran Boruah: Dr. Paran Boruah,
possibilities for teaching and learning.
Scientist, North East Institute of
In this way the institute is very keen to
Science &
have interaction with various industries
so that the students get the exposure to
(NEIST), Jorhat-
the things happening in the sector lately.
785006 (Formerly
Regional Research
P. Ravindranath, Director, Government
Laboratory) Assam,
and public affairs, HP, India Sales,
was awarded the
announced that the company would help
Rohini Kanta
IIT, Guwahati to establish a mobile
Baruah (See North East India Research
learning (m-learning) centre where
Forum News Letter, Vol. 1 issue 1, p4)
students taking computer science and IT
Memorial Award by Assam Science
courses can access content using hand
Society in 2007 for his outstanding
held computers. The centre will
research contributions in the area of
maintain a portal and a digital library
Plant Pathology and related aspects. Dr.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 12

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Boruah’s research results have been Bhatnagar awardee, he was also

able to throw new lights on the conferred FNA.
causative factors of many of the plant
diseases and their control. He also made
notable contributions towards the
development of plant based fungicides
and successfully perfected method to ORTH EAST INDIA
separate the gum from traditional Ramie RESEARCH FORUM MEMBERS
plants of Assam thereby enabling to IN NEWS, AWARDS
extract the natural ramie fiber through /RECOGNITION/ HONOUR/
safe biotechnological means instead of FELLOWSHIP RECEIVED BY
the use of deadly chemicals which is MEMBERS
expected to contribute a lot towards 1. One of Dr. Prodeep Phukan's
rejuvenating the dying ramie industry of (Reader, Department of Chemistry,
the states. Gauhati University) papers in
Tetrahedron letters (published in 2004)
Dr. Boruah was conferred the Fellow of has been recognised among the 'Top-50
Indian Phyto-pathological Society, New most cited articles' published during
Delhi this year for his significant 2004-2007. So, in order to felicitate
research contributions in plant him, the Publisher (Elsevier)
pathology. Indian Phyto-pathological invited him for Dinner in Boston during
Society was established in the year American Chemical Society Meeting on
1947 as a premier scientific body in the 18th August.
filed of Mycology and Plant Pathology
Research in the country which as 2. The Review article (Catalytic
considered to be the third largest society asymmetric Henry reaction,
of the plant pathologist of the world. A Tetrahedron: Asymmetry, Volume 17,
recipient of ASPEE Gold Medal from Issue 24, 1 December 2006, Pages
Agricultural Research and Development 3315-3326) by Dr. Joshodeep Boruwa,
Foundation (Mumbai), Scroll of Honour Dr Naminita Gogoi, Partha Pratim
from Indian Phyto-pathological Society, Saikia and Dr Nabin C Barua is rated
Dr. Boruah is having 27 years R&D among the top 25 hottest article
experiences in disease control of published in Tetrahedron Asymmetry.
medicinal, aromatic, horticultural and
utilization of plant resources of North 3. Dr. Sasanka Deka, a post-
East India, microbial ecology, diversity doctoral fellow at the National
and resource utilization, bio-fungicides Nanotechnology Laboratory of INFM,
from NE India plant species and Lecce, Italy, has been chosen as the
mushroom biotechnology. Dr. Boruah recipient of the TMS award/honour
was also Assistant Professor of Plant (2008 SHRI RAM ARORA AWARD)
Pathology at Assam Agricultural from USA ( This award
University, Jorhat and Agricultural is presented to recognize, encourage,
Extension Officer under Govt. of and support the quest for knowledge
Assam. within the international materials
science and engineering community. He
• Prof. Mihir Kanti Chaudhary has will receive the award during the
taken over the charge of Vice Awards Dinner of the Society on March
Chancellor of Tezpur University, 11th 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana,
Assam in July 2007. An eminent USA, during the 137th TMS Annual
researcher and Shanti Swarup Meeting.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 13

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum


1. Dr. Kamlesh Prasad (Scientist C at
Mr. Kamal Kumar Tanti, a research the Central Salt and Marine Chemical
scholar in Astrophysics and Astronomy Research Institute, Bhavnagar) will visit
at Tata Institute of Fundamental Department of Nano-structured and
Research (TIFR), Mumbai, is a Advanced Materials, Graduate School
promising young writer. He regularly of Science and Engineering, Kagoshima
writes in Assamese dailies and weeklies University, Korimoto, Kagoshima 890-
like Asomiya Pratidin, Asomiya 0065, Japan, as a visiting Scientist for
Khabar, Ajir Dainik Batori, Sadin and one year (From Jan 2008 to Jan 2009)
periodicals like Gariyoshi, Prantik and on deputation from CSIR. There, he
Satsori. He has also been contributing a will be working on nano structured
column ‘Mumbai Parikrama’ regularly polymeric materials and behaviour of
in the daily newspaper Asomiya polysaccharides in ionic liquids.
Khabar. His short story in Assamese
‘Dhekiya Gojar Din’ and other short 2. Arup K. Baishya from Nalbari has
stories are well criticized and well been pursuing BS course in
acclaimed. Biotechnology at the State University of
New Jersey, USA under PLUS
He has also published two books. The (Partnership for Learning
first book ‘Maaraangburu Aamaar Undergraduate Studies) scholarship,
Pitaa’ was published in July 2007 and 2006-2008, from the US Department of
the second ‘Nimnaborgo Somaaj States. (Website:
Oitijya’ was published in 5th of He is also a
Septmeber 2007. recipient of Hilda S Foster
Scholarship, 2007-2008, SEBS,
A hearty congratulation to Mr. Tanti Rutgers University, NJ and NIUS
from the forum! (National Initiative on
Undergraduate Studies) fellowship
♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣ 2004-2005 from Tate Institute of
Fundamental Research (TIFR),
The Curies’ honeymoon trip was a Mumbai.
tour of France on bicycles
purchased with a wedding gift.
Albert Einstein in a different

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 14

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

processes, including sample

introduction and aerosol generation,
ionization by an argon plasma source,
mass discrimination, and the detection
NSTRUMENT OF THE system. The schematic below illustrates
ISSUE this sequence of processes.
Inductively coupled plasma mass Sample Introduction: Unlike the atomic
spectroscopy (ICP-
(ICP-MS) emission spectrometer, ICP-MS
spectrometers can accept solid as well
Introduction as liquid samples. Solid samples are
introduced into the ICP by way of a
Inductively coupled plasma mass laser abalation system. Aqueous
spectroscopy (ICP-MS) was developed samples are introduced by way of a
in the late 1980's to combine the easy nebulizer which aspirates the sample
sample introduction and quick analysis with high velocity argon, forming a fine
of ICP technology with the accurate and mist. The aerosol then passes into a
low detection limits of a mass spray chamber where larger droplets are
spectrometer. The resulting instrument removed via a drain. Typically, only 2%
is capable of trace multielement of the original mist passes through the
analysis. Some elements can be spray chamber. This process is
measured down to part per quadrillion necessary to produce droplets small
range while most can be detected at part enough to be vaporized in the plasma
per trillion levels. ICP-MS has been torch.
used widely over the years, finding
applications in a number of different Argon Plasma/Sample Ionization: Once
fields including drinking water, the sample passes through the nebulizer
wastewater, natural water systems/ and is partially desolvated, the aerosol
hydrogeology, geology and soil science, moves into the torch body and is mixed
mining/metallurgy, food sciences, and with more argon gas. A coupling coil is
medicine. used to transmit radio frequency to the
heated argon gas, producing an argon
plasma "flame" located at the torch. The
hot plasma removes any remaining
solvent and causes sample atomization
followed by ionization. In addition to
being ionized, sample atoms are excited
in the hot plasma, a phenomenon which
is used in ICP-atomic emission
spectroscopy. The aerosol moves into
the bottom of the torch body.
Instrument Description and Theory
ICP-MS Interface: Because atomisation /
ICP technology was built upon the same ionisation occurs at atmospheric
principles used in atomic emission pressure, the interface between the ICP
spectrometry. Samples are decomposed and MS components becomes crucial in
to neutral elements in high temperature creating a vacuum environment for the
argon plasma and analyzed based on MS system. Ions flow through a small
their mass to charge ratios. An ICP-MS orifice, approximately 1 mm in diameter,
can be thought of as four main into a pumped vacuum system. Here, a

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 15

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

supersonic jet forms and the sample ions chosen which allows an array of
are passed into the MS system at high different m/z ratio ions to be detected.
speeds, expanding in the vacuum
system. The entire mass spectrometer Detector: The most common type of ion
must be kept in a vacuum so that the detector found in an ICP-MS system is
ions are free to move without collisions the channeltron electron multiplier. This
with air molecules. Since the ICP is cone or horn shaped tube has a high
maintained at atmospheric pressure, a voltage applied to it opposite in charge
pumping system is needed to to that of the ions being detected. Ions
continuously pull a vacuum inside the leaving the quadrupole are attracted to
spectrometer. In order to most efficiently the interior cone surface. When they
reduce the pressure several pumps are strike the surface additional secondary
typically used to gradually reduce electrons are emitted which move farther
pressure to 10-5 mbar before the ion into the tube emitting additional
stream reaches the quadrupole. If only secondary electrons. As the process
one pump were used, its size would be continues even more electrons are
excessive to reduce the pressure formed, resulting in as many as 108
immediately upon entering the mass electrons at the other end of the tube
spectrometer. after one ion strikes at the entrance of
the cone.
Mass Spectrometer (MS): In the first
stage of the mass spectrometer ions are ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣
removed from the plasma by a pumped
extraction system. An ion beam is BRAIN EXERCISE
produced and focused further into the
actual unit. There are several different
types of mass analyzers which can be
employed to separate isotopes based on
their mass to charge ratio. Quadrupole
analyzers are compact and easy to use
but offer lower resolution when dealing
with ions of the same mass to charge
(m/z) ratio. Double focussing sector
analyzers offer better resolution but are
larger and have higher capital cost.

The quadrupole mass filter is made up of

four metal rods aligned in a parallel
diamond pattern. A combined DC and
AC electrical potential is applied to the
rods with opposite rods having a net
negative or positive potential. Ions enter
into the path between all of the rods.
When the DC and AC voltages are set to Can you find what are the chemical
certain values only one particular ion is structures there in the picture?
able to continue on a path between the
rods and the others are forced out of this Courtesy: Ashim J Thakur
path. This ion will have a specific m/z
ratio. Many combinations of voltages are

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 16

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

finally constructed and commissioned at

site by the International team in
collaboration with the member
countries. ITER is one of the largest
RTICLES SECTION international experiments ever
undertaken by mankind.
Invited Article
ITER means “the way” in Latin. It is an
intermediate step between the
ITER AND INDIA'S CONTRIBUTION experimental studies presently known in
plasma physics and electricity-
producing fusion power plants of the
future. For those of you who are not
familiar with this project, it is an effort
to build the first FUSION SCIENCE
EXPERIMENT which will be capable
of producing a self-sustaining fusion
Prof. Dhiraj Bora reaction, called the “burning plasma”. It
will be unique in the sense that it will
In the quest for new energy sources, the be able to continuously operate for long
world is pinning its hope on controlled durations and at power levels of about
fusion as one of the promising futuristic 500 MW. This will be a demonstration
alternate source of energy. Once of physics of the burning plasma in a
realised, it would have endless source of power plant like environment. It will
fuel to continue and very limited also serve as a test-bed for additional
controlled radioactive waste. Thus an fusion power plant technologies.
environment friendly energy source is
in the horizon. It is particularly attractive as a future
energy source since it is
It is well known to the Plasma Physics environmentally benign. The fuel is
community that at present magnetically extracted from heavy water and from
controlled fusion research has come a lithium.
long way to start building a test
experimental reactor that would pave The simplest fusion reaction is when
the way to harness fusion energy two nuclei of heavy forms of hydrogen
commercially. It is heartening to note (Deuterium and Tritium) fuse together
that finally the ITER (International to produce Helium and liberate energy
Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in the form of fast neutrons:
project has started functioning as an
International Organisation. The site to D+T He+2 (0.5 – 3.5 MeV) + n
build the machine has been finalized at (14.1 MeV)
Cadarach in France.
Fast neutrons can be trapped in a
It is a unique international collaboration blanket, producing heat, which may be
among seven participating teams used to generate steam and produce
namely China, the EU, India, Japan, electricity using conventional turbines.
South Korea, Russian Federation and Once realised, it would have endless
the United States of America. Partners source of fuel to continue and very
of the project will contribute in kind to limited controlled radioactive waste.
the various sub systems, which will be

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 17

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

The ITER project originated when the design and recommended a unanimous
need for a next-step experiment aimed opinion that the design meets the
at demonstrating the scientific and programmatic objective of
technological feasibility of fusion demonstrating the scientific and
energy for peaceful purposes was technological feasibility of fusion.

recognised among the leading fusion

programmes worldwide. A conceptual In the meantime by 2003 China and
design was initiated by the European South Korea also joined the ITER.
Union, Japan, the Russian Federation, Realising that ITER is an important step
the Unites States of America in 1987 on the path to develop fusion energy,
and was completed successfully in India initiated the process of joining
1990. It was pursued under IAEA ITER as equal partner by showing its
auspices. However towards the end of desire to the already existing six
the engineering design phase, it was partners. After a series of steps and
recognized by the Parties that due to negotiations India has become a partner
financial constraints, it was difficult to in the ITER project in December 2005.
procure a financial commitment towards
the construction of ITER. Therefore, A common understanding on
new technical guidelines for minimizing procurement packages for each partner
costs by reducing goals, but still was reached in the Jeju (South Korea)
retaining the overall programme meeting in December 2005 and
objectives of the ITER/EDA agreement finalized. The Procurement Allocation
were established. amongst the seven Parties has been
developed to enable the successful
A Special Working Group (SWG) was realization of ITER construction,
constituted under the terms of the ITER according to the available resources and
EDA Agreement, which reviewed the overall project schedules. The allocation

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 18

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

has been made aiming at reduction of cryostat, 2) Vacuum vessel in-wall

project risks and definition of clear shields, 3) Cryodistribution lines and
responsibilities. The sharing ratio of in- Cryolines, 4) ITER water cooling
kind procurements by the seven Parties system (Tokamak Cooling Water
is about 4:2:1:1:1:1:1 respectively with System, Heat Rejection System,
EU and Japan sharing the first two Component Cooling Water System and
portions. Chilled Water System), 5) 9 numbers of
RF power sources each of 2.5 MW in
ITER is a long pulse tokamak with the frequency range from 35 to 55 MHz
elongated plasma and a single null (Total power of 20 MW) and associated
poloidal divertor. ITER machine will power supplies, monitoring and control
have a major radius of 6.3 m and a system, 6) ECH Assisted Plasma Start-
minor radius of 2.0 m. The toroidal Up System (rf sources), 7) 8 numbers of
magnetic field will be 5.3 T created Regulated High Voltage Power
with the help of a set of super Supplies ( 26 kV, 175 A) for Ion
conducting large coils encampusing the Cyclotron Heating and Current Drive
large ultra high vacuum vessel with Systems, 3 numbers of Regulated High
special walls to confine the plasma Voltage Power Supply Systems (80
which will have volume of more than kV,30A) for Gyrotrons of Plasma Start-
800 m3. The plasma will carry a Up System, 1 number of Regulated
maximum current of 15,000,000 High Voltage Power Supply (100 kV,
amperes. The plasma will be shaped 70A) System for Diagnostic Neutral
with help of another set of supe- Beam (DNB) and Plasma Arc Power
conducting poloidal coils. All these Supplies (1 MW) for the Beam Source,
components will house in another high 8) 3.2% of the ITER Diagnostics
vacuum chamber called the cryostat, consisting of Optical Emission Plasma
which will be 28 meters in diameter and Diagnostics and 9) Diagnostic Neutral
about 26 meters in height. To further Beam (100 kV, 24 A).
raise the plasma temperature to fusion
grade, multi megawatt heating systems India is also making in-cash
in the form of high energetic neutral contribution of 2.1% for Procurement
beams and RF waves will be introduced Packages that require strong design
through special openings in the vessel. integration and/or the ITER
The plasma will be diagnosed with Organization and will be procured on-
numerous extremely sophisticated site installation.
diagnostics. The whole installation will
be controlled and protected with the The construction period of ITER is ten
help of a complex central control years, which will be followed by
system. operation in two phases. Third is the
decommissioning phase.
Since it is nuclear set-up, safety and
licensing are of utmost importance. At India has committed in this long-term
present the safety report will be international programme.
submitted to French Regulatory
Authority. At their certification, actual
For the present, it is a matter of pride
construction at site will begin.
that the Indian fusion research activities
have been recognised by the
The committed scope of the Indian
International community and as a result
contribution towards ITER in kind is
of which India has become the seventh
shown in Fig. 1. It includes 1) the ITER
partner in the ITER project.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 19

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About the author secret to a successful research group?”

Dr. Dhiraj Bora was designated as he replied, “Good students and
ITER Deputy Director-General for postdocs- it’s all about them. Any
CODAC, Heating and Current Drive professor will say that you gradually get
Systems, and Diagnostics, in July 2006. further removed from what your
ITER is a joint international research research group actually does on a day-
and development project that aims to to-day basis. The real role of a professor
demonstrate the scientific and technical is to try to inspire the group.” He further
feasibility of fusion power. The partners added, “Yah, it’s great having students
in the project - the ITER Parties - are who inspired and enjoy what they do.
the European Union (represented by It’s pretty amazing to see a student or a
EURATOM), Japan, the People´s postdoc take a project in a particular
Republic of China, India, the Republic direction and get exited about what they
of Korea, the Russian Federation and have achieved. That’s the best bit”. Dr.
the USA. ITER will be constructed in Ashwini Nangia, professor of chemistry
Europe, at Cadarache in the South of at the University of Hyderabad, has
France. expressed similar view about running of
a successful research group in the same
♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣ journal,3 “I think the success of any
research group, anywhere in the world,
IS IT TIME TO CHANGE THE is down to the students. You can have a
TRACK? lot of good ideas, but what drives the
idea to reality, at least for experimental
chemists, is the student who implements
the idea. I have a good group of
research students who are able to see
the plan or vision that I have when I
suggest a problem. Like all research
plans, I will be frank enough to admit
that many of them don't see reality, but
the students are able to get the sense
that if one thing doesn't work,
Dr. Utpal Bora something else has to be tried”.
“Most important, I thank the roughly 75
members of my research group who Scenario in our region
have put their hearts, minds, and hands We have universities, we have good
into this work. It is their ideas, professors, we have good students, but
concepts, analysis, and hard work in the we do not have well organized research
laboratory that I reported in this groups in our universities. Is this the
manuscript.” This acknowledgement reason why our universities are able to
was made by Professor John F Hartwig, produce only postgraduate students with
(well known for the Buchwald-Hartwig first class but not good professionals? Is
reaction) in one of his article published this the reason why we are legging
in Synlett.1 Niel Champness is the behind in research and development in
professor of chemical nanosciences at all the subjects? Is the lack of well
the University of Nottingham, UK and organized research group is responsible
currently chairs the CrystEngComm for poor R&D infrastructure or vise
editorial board. In an interview versa? In our universities who will
published in Chemical Sciences2 he was implement the ideas of professors? Will
asked by Nicola Nugent “what is the

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 20

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

a research oriented postgraduate course About the author

be answer to this problem? What about Utpal Bora received his Master’s
our attitude and approach towards degree (Chemistry) in 1999 from
research and development work? Is it Gauhati University, Assam, India. He
true that many of us pursue research then joined Dr. R.C. Boruah’s research
only when we do not have alternative group in the Medicinal Chemistry
job options? Is it true that we have lust Division at the North East Institute of
only for Ph.D. degree but not for Science & Technology (NEIST), Jorhat-
research? What about the multifarious 785006, Assam, India to pursue his
and ever discussed relationship between Ph.D. At present he is working as a
mentor and students in our region? For JSPS postdoctoral research fellow at the
every researcher it is very important to Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Gifu,
have a good mentor. How many Japan. His current research interests
mentors of our region are able to include development of heterogeneous
motivate the students towards catalyst for various organic
innovative scientific research? transformations.
In the same interview in Chemical
Sciences Professor Nangia mentioned ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣
about the challenges faced by
researchers in India, “The main DILUTED MAGNETIC
challenge is the issue of attitude. The SEMICONDUCTORS: MAKING
school system puts a lot of emphasis on NONMAGNETIC
achieving good grades rather than SEMICONDUCTORS
encouraging innovative thinking and FERROMAGNETIC
risk taking. The students are wedded to
the fact that whatever they do should
work, and the first setback they face in
research is that most things don't work.
But a negative result is not always a bad
thing in science. One negative result
today may lead to a positive result
tomorrow. A shift in thinking is really
the biggest challenge.” Professor
Nangia’s interview was concluded with Dr. Sasanka Deka
his advice to the young scientists “For
any scientist at any point in their life, ‘Making Nonmagnetic Semiconductors
the most important thing is to do Ferromagnetic’, is a relatively new and
something innovative and challenging. very important interesting research field
And most of all, whatever you do, you in materials science. In 1998, an article
should enjoy it. If you're not enjoying it, published in Science journal with the
you cannot do it for a lifetime. You same title as the topic. This is one of the
should do something that comes from highest cited article (1480 times, ISI
your heart.” web of knowledge, the Thomson
Corporation) in relevant fields, authored
Is it time to change the track? by H. Ohno.1 After this publication,
Dietl et al.2 reported in the same journal
References about the mechanism of making
1. Synlett, 2006, 1283. nonmagnetic semiconductors
2. Chemical Science (27 March 2007). ferromagnetic at room temperature
3. Chemical Science (24 May 2007). (1875 times citations till date).3 Readers

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may be surprised by my specified

citation reports in the above paragraph. The studies on DMSs materials become
It’s because, after these very much important from the last
decade due to few interesting properties
or functions as shown in Figure 2; such
as (a) information is stored (written)
into spins as a particular spin
orientation (up or down), (b) the spins,
A B C being attached to mobile electrons,
Nonmagnetic element I carry the information along a wire, (c)
Nonmagnetic element II the information is read at a terminal.
Magnetic element III Spin orientation of conduction electrons
survives for a relatively long time, (d)
Figure 1. Schematic representation of which makes spintronics devices
(A) nonmagnetic semiconductor (B) particularly attractive for memory
magnetic semiconductor and (C) diluted storage and magnetic sensors
magnetic semiconductor. applications. As mentioned, in the
spintronics devices spin of electron is
particular reports, the area of making the most important part along with its
semiconductors ferromagnetic become charge. Spintronics devices create spin-
prominent to most of the materials polarized currents and use the spin to
scientist and physicist. control current flow. Some of the
already used and predicted applications
Diluted magnetic semiconductors of DMSs and spintronics materials are
(DMSs) are simple semiconductor in photonics plus spintronics, improved
materials doped with very low spin transistor, transistors spin toward
quantum computing, magnetic spins to
concentration of magnetic impurity.
store quantum information, microscope
Because of their structural similarities
to view magnetism at atomic level,
with standard semiconductors and their
ballistic magnetoresistance, missile
large spin-polarization at the Fermi
guidance, fast accurate position and
energy they (DMSs) are considered as
motion sensing of mechanical
ideal materials for spin injection into
components in precision engineering
semiconductors. A comparison of non-
and in robotics, automotive sensors, etc.
magnetic semiconductors, magnetic
semiconductors and diluted magnetic
The reason behind the popularity of
semiconductors are shown in Figure 1.
magnetic doping in semiconductors are:
In these materials magnetism and
plausibility of incorporation of hole and
transport properties are combined in a
single material offer potential electron dopants, potential spin-
technological applications such as in polarizer [injector] with similar crystal /
spintronics. There are several theory put electronic structures, easy to integrate
forwarded to calculate and find the into semiconducting devices,
magnetic interaction in the impurity nonvolatility /enhanced data processing
doped ferromagnetic semiconductor speed and low electric power
system. Some of the considered theories consumption.
or magnetic interactions are, Ruderman
- Kittel – Kasuya - Yosida (RKKY) There are several semiconductors
interation, Zener model (theory), double system used as host. The main ones are
resonance mechanism, disordering III0V and II-VI semiconductor system.
effect, etc.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 22

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other hand, there are some groups, who

Transport medium (SM) found external impurity as the origin of
ferromagnetism in the II-VI DMSs
system. Although Mn-doped III-V
etic injector
DMSs system is established with lower
Curie temperature, DMSs based on II-
VI system is still under on exploration.
Figure 2: Storing, processing and Hope we will found DMSs with room
reading of informations in spintronics. temperature ferromagnetism in near
future for the tremendous applications.
The most popular DMS system is low
concentration manganese (Mn) doped References
GaAs. Generally its written as 1. H. Ohno, Science 281, 951
(GaMn)As or Ga1-xMnxAs, where x is (1998).
the dopant concentration. Here Mn is an 2. T. Dietl, H. Ohno, F. Matsukura,
acceptor and creates a hole in III-V. J. Cibert, and D. Ferrand,
Thus, there is exchange interaction Science 287, 1019 (2000).
between holes and Mn2+ ions and strong 3.
correlation between Curie temperature
(TC) and the hole density p. Some other ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣
examples of III-V DMSs systems are
(InMn)As, (GaMn)N, (InMn)P,
(InMn)N, etc. All works have been A TRIBUTE TO THE LEGEND, F.
carried out on thin films. But the main A. COTTON
disadvantage of the III-V system is that,
till date, ferromagnetism is observed Dr. Manab Sharma
only below room temperature. This
makes the materials inapplicable for
In the field of chemistry, the name
general use. To overcome this problem,
"Cotton and Wilkinson" is enough to
transition metal ion (TM) doped II-VI
refer to the text book Advanced
semiconductors are considered with or
Inorganic Chemistry, which was written
without hole doping. Some popular
by Frank Albert Cotton and Sir
systems are Co and/or Mn-doped ZnO,
Geoffrey Wilkinson. Probably without
Ni-doped ZnO, Fe-doped ZnO.
this book, for the beginners /
Moreover, Co-doped SnO2 and TiO2
researchers, the chemistry would have
systems are also studied. But the most
been an area of soil without fertilizer.
considered host material is ZnO. ZnO is
a natural diamagnetic semiconductor
But the legend, F.A. Cotton, is no more
with bulk band gap 3-3.5 eV. It is white
with us today. The 20th February 2007
in color.
may be considered as a black day for
the field of inorganic chemistry, as at
Doping of different transition metal ions
the age of 76 Frank Albert Cotton
in ZnO leads to different results to
expired in the St. Joseph Regional
different researchers. Wherever, most of
Health Center in Bryan. He was
the studies carried out on thin films, but
admitted to the hospital in mid-October
few studies on bulk and nanoparticles
2006, probably after suffering an injury
too. Few research groups found room
due to heart attack. Since then he was in
temperature ferromagnetism in the TM-
coma and ultimately on 20th Feb of this
doped ZnO, whereas, others found no
year he travelled his last journey.
ferromagnetism down to 2 K. On the

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 23

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I think, this is a good opportunity and whereby ligands

right forum to give a tribute to this interchange co-
legend of chemistry of this Millennium. ordination sites on
Definitely, he was the brightest star spectroscopically
among the galaxy of chemists of this era. observable time-
Frank Albert Cotton was born on 9th scale. Prof. Cotton
April 1930 in Philadelphia, elucidated many key
Pennsylvania. He started his school life aspects on the rates
in local public school before and mechanisms of
undergraduate study at Drexel Institute fluxional processes.
of Technology and then Temple Another major contribution lies in the
University, both in Philadelphia. Initially area on the structure of staphylococcal
he started his carrier in the branch of nuclease (Journal of Biological
chemical engineering, but finally his Chemistry 241 (1966) 4389; 246 (1971)
interest was turned to Chemistry and in 2302) and was one of the first high-
1951 he joined Nobel laureate late Sir resolution enzyme structure
Geoffrey Wilkinson at Harvard determinations. This structure today
University to pursue his Ph.D. work. provides the basis for extensive studies
They were the pioneers about the non- of enzyme catalysis employing site-
classical nature of transition-metal specific mutagenesis. Lately, he started
organometallics, which definitely to work in the field of supramolecular
changed the whole scenario of this structure and has shown how a great
branch of chemistry. In 1955, he variety of such structures may be created
received his Ph.D. and subsequently by using dimetal units as key building
joined MIT as an instructor. But, later in blocks. He had such variety of research
1961, at the age of 31 he became the field that it is almost impossible to cover
youngest person to receive a full his all area. As a whole, undoubtedly he
professorship in MIT. Initially, Al was one of the most distinguish scholar
Cotton, as he was commonly known, and philosopher of this era.
concentrated his research work in the
field of physico-chemical techniques to In 1972 he moved to Texas A&M
understand structure and bonding in University as Robert A. Welch Professor
transition-metal complexes. The most and shortly thereafter hold the positions
sparkling outcome of his research was of Doherty-Welch Distinguished
the discovery and analysis of bonding in Professor and Director of the Laboratory
the first isolable molecule to have a for Molecular Structure and Bonding.
metal-to-metal quadruple bond {F.A. Here, he focused his research work
Cotton, et. al., Science, 145, (1964) mainly in the field of synthesis and
1305}. He was also an early promoter of chemistry of compounds with multiple
single crystal X-ray diffraction as a tool and/or single metal-metal bonds and
for elucidating the extensive chemistry other unusual types of structures. If we
of metal complexes. His works on say that he made us understanding of
organometallic chemistry paved the path how the chemistry of about half the
to peep inside the bonding and reactivity elements in the periodic table really
of complexes and demonstrated the most works, is not much about him.
interesting features, "fluxionality",

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 24

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Al Cotton was scientifically active until Joseph Priestley Medal - the highest
his death and with more than 1600 honor given by the American Chemical
articles in peer-reviewed journals he Society-the Award in Chemical Sciences
made the record of publishing maximum of the National Academy of Sciences
numbers of articles in 130 years of and the highly prestigious Wolf Prize,
history of Texas A&M University. viewed by many scholars as having the
Cotton was immensely proud of his large status of a Nobel Prize. The jury for the
family of academic progeny-graduate Wolf Prize called him the "preeminent
students (around 116 Ph.D. recipients), inorganic chemist in the world." In 2006,
more than 150 postdoctoral fellows, and Cotton received the George Pimentel
many visiting scientists. He was a never- award, the American Chemical Society's
tired researcher. Even one can find his highest recognition for achievements in
paper in "Journal of American Chemical chemical education. He was awarded 29
Society" on the web published issue of honorary doctorates by universities
2nd October 2007. In an interview he around the world, believed to be the
said, "The thrill of discovery and the most in school history.
challenge of finding out something that
perhaps no one has yet-those things are Cotton left behind his wife, Diane
still very, very exciting to me. Maybe I "Dee", and two daughters, Jennifer and
was born with a lot of energy, because I Jane. For Cotton, there will never be any
still love what I'm doing, and seeing my traditional funeral, as he will be forever
students walk across the stage and get with us with his works. He is physically
their degrees still gives me a big kick. unreachable, but chemically will be with
That's the part I'll never get tired of…." us, till the time will go and thus he is
immortal. At the same time, his absence
He had written five text and reference will definitely make an "Ozone hole" in
books that have sold in excess of half-a- the branch of Inorganic chemistry.
million copies, including editions in 40 (N.B. data are collected from Internet
foreign languages. and from his site)
The texts – including
Advanced Inorganic About the author
Chemistry, Basic Dr. Manab Sharma (Ph.D. from North
Inorganic Chemistry, East Institute of Science & Technology
Chemical (NEIST), Jorhat-785006, Assam, is a
Applications of Lady-Davy Postdoctoral Fellow at the
Group Theory, and Department of Chemistry, Technion-
the high school text Israel Institute of Chemistry, Haifa,
Chemistry, an Israel.
Investigative Approach – very simply
convey chemical principles. ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣

He received numerous awards, medals, "Just because something doesn't do

prizes, learned society memberships. what you planned it to do doesn't
Among others, he was awarded the mean it's useless." -
National Medal of Science, the Robert Thomas Alva Edison
A. Welch Award in Chemistry, the

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 25

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

THE CONCEPT OF HYDROGEN interpretations of the anisotropies in the

BOND Compton profile of ordinary ice, that the
hydrogen bond is partly covalent. NMR
data on hydrogen bonds in proteins also
seemed to indicate covalent bonding.
However, these interpretations were
overthrown by argument by Ernest R.
Davidson and coworkers. It is now
commonly assumed that for hydrogen
bonding the same effects (exchange,
electrostatic, polarization, and
dispersion) plays a role as for "ordinary"
Mr. Bipul Sarma
intermolecular forces, with electrostatics
Introduction plus Pauli (hard sphere) repulsion being
dominant for hydrogen bonds. Initially
The Hydrogen bond was discovered
people thought the hydrogen bond is
almost 100 years ago but still a topic of
primarily of electrostatic origin, the
vital scientific research. Because its
hydrogen bond attraction is mainly due
eminent importance for the structures,
to the interaction of permanent dipoles
function and dynamics of a vast number
and higher permanent multipoles of the
of chemical systems which range from
molecules participating in the bond. In
inorganic to biological chemistry i.e.
1983 Buckingham and Fowler modeled
mineralogy, material science, general
the interaction of a large number of
inorganic and organic chemistry,
hydrogen bonded Van der Waal’s
supramolecular chemistry, biochemistry,
molecules. They considered atomic hard
molecular medicine and pharmacy.
sphere repulsion and distributed over
There are dozens of different types of
multiple interactions. They have noticed
hydrogen bonds that occur commonly in
a sufficient qualitative agreement
the condensed phases and in addition
between predicted and measured
there are innumerable less common
structures. Thus the hydrogen bonds
ones. Dissociation energies spans a wide
have major effect to determine a definite
range so the nature of interaction is not
constant. It has broad transition regions
that merge continuously with the
Definition of Hydrogen Bond
covalent bond, the Van der Waal’s
interaction, the ionic interaction and also The first and modern definition of
the cation-π interaction. All hydrogen hydrogen bond was developed by
bonds can be considered as incipient Pimental and McClellan in 1960.
proton transfer reaction and for strong Accordingly a hydrogen bond is said to
hydrogen bond the reaction can be in a be exist when,
very advanced state. (i) There is evidence of bond &
(ii) There is evidence that this bond
Theoretical approach sterically involves a hydrogen
atom already bonded to another
Recently controversy rose about the
nature of the hydrogen bond. Most of the
published articles claimed from

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 26

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

A drawback of Pimental and Mc Clellan Terminology

definition is that in the strict sense it
includes pure Van der Waal contacts and A
also includes 3c−2e interactions where
electron deficient centre (agostic X H
interaction) is present. Modern
viewpoint modifies point no. ii and d2
proposed as A
An X−H···A interaction is called a
hydrogen bond if,
Prototype hydrogen Bifurcated hydrogen
(i) It constitute a local bond and
bond bond
(ii) X−H acts as a proton donor to A.
This definition implicates the incipient d1
proton transfer reaction from X−H to A.
The direction of formal and real electron
d X H A
transfer in a hydrogen bond is reverse to
the direction of proton donation. Some d2 A
specialized definitions of hydrogen bond
are based on the following sets of Normal hydrogen Trifurcated
properties, bond hydrogen bond
(a) Interaction geometries on crystal
structures (short distances, fairly
linear angle) Water molecule can be taken as the
(b) certain effect in IR and NMR prototype of all hydrogen bond. The
spectra. large difference in electro negativity
(c) experimental electron density between it and O atom makes the O−H
distribution (existence of bond at bonds in a water molecule inherently
critical point between H and A). polar with partial atomic charges of
around +0.4 on each H atom and −0.8 on
Scientist often requires a technical the O atom. The orientation of other H2O
definition. Thus the Van der Waal cut- molecule results O−H···O interactions,
off definition for identifying hydrogen the intermolecular distance is shortened
bonds on structural basis (requiring that by around 1Å compared to the sum of
the H···A distance is substantially shorter Van der Waal radii for the H and O
that the sum of the Van der Waal radii of atom. Dissociation energy of this bond is
H and A) is for too restrictive and should 3−5 kcalmol-1. For an X−H group to be
no longer be applied. If distance cut off very electronegative, it is only necessary
limit must be used, X−H···A interaction that X−H is at least slightly polar. e.g.
with H···A distances upto 3.2 Å should C−H, P−H, metal hydrides. X−H group
be considered as potentially hydrogen of reverse polarity Xδ+−Hδ- can form
bonding. An angular cut off can be set at directional interactions than parallel
>90° or somewhat more conservatively hydrogen bonds. In simple hydrogen
at >110°, linear X−H···A angle must be bonds the donor (X−H) interacts with
statically favoured over bent one. one acceptor (A). Since hydrogen bond

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 27

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

bond energies at an inflationary rate,

many obtained at high levels of theory
and even more in rather routine
calculations using black box method. It
appears that hydrogen bond energies
cover more than two orders of
magnitude, about −0.20 to −4.00

Following table gives us some literature

values of calculated hydrogen bond
energies (kcalmol-1) in some gas phase
has long range a donor can interact with dimers.
two and three acceptor simultaneously.
The term bifurcated and trifurcated are Dimer H-bond energy
commonly used. More than three (kcalmol-1)
acceptors are also possible but rarely
[F−H···F] − 39
found in practice because they require
very high spatial densities. [H2O−H−H2O]+ 33

Constituent Interactions and Energies [H3N−H−NH3]+ 24

The above figure shows schematic [HO−H−HO] − 23
representation of a typical hydrogen
bond, A hydrogen bond length differing [NH4+···OH2] 19
from d0 implies a force towards a HOH···OH2 4.7-5.0
geometry of lower energy that is by
attraction if d>d0. MeOH···Bz 2.8
The total energy of a hydrogen bond CH4···Bz 1.4
splits into electrostatic (Eel), polarization HSH···SH2 1.1
(Epol), charge transfer (Ect), dispersion
(Edisp) and exchange repulsion energies CH4···OH2 0.3- 0.8
(Eer). Eel reduces slowest with increasing
CH4···F−CH3 0.2
distances. Thus hydrogen bond potential
is dominated by electrostatics at long
distances even if charge transfer plays an Transition to other interaction type
important role at optimal geometry. In Transition to pure Van der Waal
normal hydrogen bond Eel is the largest interaction is common. Reducing the
term, but a certain charge transfer polarity of X−H or A (or both) in the
contribution is also present. The Van der array Xδ-−H δ+···A δ- by suitable variation
Waal term too is always present and for of X and A we can reduce the
the weakest kinds of hydrogen bonds electrostatic part whereas the Van der
dispersion may contribute as much as Waal part is not affected and Van der
electrostatics to the total bond energy. Waal interaction gains relative weight. If
The energy of the hydrogen bond cannot polarities are reduced to zero the
be measured directly. Computational interaction is purely Van der Waal. e.g.
chemistry produces results on hydrogen

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 28

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

the directionality of C−H···O=C In NMR, the proton is increasingly

gradually disappears when the donor is deshielded with increasing hydrogen
varied from C C−H to C=CH2 to bond strength which leads to downfield
C−CH3. On the other hand there is a shift that are correlated with the length
continuous transition to covalent bond or of H bond. Chemical shift of X and A,
so called “Symmetric Hydrogen Bond”. X/N and X/A coupling constant and
If in an interaction Xδ-−H δ+···Y δ-−H δ+, differences in the 1H and 2H signals in
the net charges on X−H and Y−H are H/D exchange experiment can give
zero, the electrostatics are of dipole type. additional information on X−H···A
These situation leads to ionic bonds.
interactions between charge centers with
energy having a.1/r distance dependence. Category of hydrogen bonds
e.g. salt−bridges between primary Hydrogen bond exists with continuum
ammonium and carboxylate groups in strength. For practical reason it is
biological structures. classified into three (By G. A. Jeffrey).
(i) Strong Hydrogen Bond.
In case of cation−π interaction e.g. (ii) Moderate Hydrogen Bond.
K+−benzene, there is a transition of (iii) Weak Hydrogen Bond.
hydrogen bond. This interaction can be Unlike moderate and weak hydrogen
considered as electrostatic monopole- bonds, strong hydrogen bonds are quasi-
quardrupole- interaction also fades to covalent in nature. Strong hydrogen
zero. bonds are formed only if the pKa values
of the partners are suitably matching. If
IR and NMR spectroscopic properties the pKa values are very different, either
Formation of a hydrogen bond affects a moderate X−H···Y or an ionic
the vibrational modes of the groups X−···H−Y+ hydrogen bond is formed,
involved in several ways and can be both of which are not very covalent.
studied by solid state IR-spectroscopy. Some examples of strong hydrogen
The frequency of the donor X −H bonds,
stretching vibration (νX-H) is best studied
because the formation of hydrogen bond _ + P
leads to red shift of absorption band, O H O O H O
band broadening or intensification. For H P
weaker hydrogen bond, these bands are
in the far infrared and are investigated
rarely. A direct effect of hydrogen bond
can often be observed also on the +
acceptor side. In X−H···O=C bonds e.g.
O=C bond is weakened leading to a
lowering of the stretching frequency.
Blue shift indicates different interaction, Weak hydrogen bonds (energy ranges
which is not a proper hydrogen bond and from 0.4 to 4 kcalmol-1) with C−H
we may called as “improper hydrogen groups as donor are studied best.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 29

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Different hydrogen bonds with some π-bonds. Then it is called π-bond

numerical data are tabulated below (By cooperativity or Resonance Assisted
G. A. Geffrey), Hydrogen Bonding.

Hydrogen bond
has tremendous
use in various
fields. This
article is a
concept and
overview of
bonding in the
solid state. It
only focuses the
properties. Now
a day it is
related to the
broad spectrum
of fields involving material science,
Hydrogen bonds are non additive. That inorganic and organic chemistry, biology
means n−interconnected hydrogen bonds and pharmacy.
are not just the sum of those of n isolated
bonds. Two principal mechanisms are References
responsible for this non additivity and 1. G.A. Geffrey, An Introduction to
both operate by mutual polarization of Hydrogen Bonding, Oxford
the involved groups, University Press, Oxford, 1997.
(i) σ-bond cooperativity or 2. G.R. Desiraju, T. Steiner, The
Polarization Assisted Hydrogen Bonding Weak Hydrogen Bond in
(PAHB) Structural Chemistry and
(ii) π-bond cooperativity or Biology, Oxford University
Resonance Assisted Hydrogen Bonding Press, Oxford, 1999.
(RAHB). 3. G.R. Desiraju, Angew. Chem.,
1995, 107, 2541-2558; Angew.
If an Xδ-−H δ+ group forms a hydrogen Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 1995, 34,
bond Xδ-−H δ+···A δ-, it becomes more 2311-2327.
polar. Same also true if it accepts a 4. T. Steiner, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.
hydrogen bond, Yδ-−H δ+···X δ-−H δ+. 2002, 41, 48-76.
Thus in a chain with two hydrogen 5. J. Kroon, J.A. Kanters, Nature,
bonds, Y−H···X−H···A, both becomes 1974, 248, 667-669.
stronger. This effect is called σ-bond
About the author
cooperativity or Polarization Assisted
Bipul Sarma (born in Nalbari district,
Hydrogen Bonding. X−H groups may
Assam) received his bachelor degree in
also be polarized by charge flow through

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 30

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

chemistry from B. Barooah College, emphasis mainly on powder diffraction

Guwahati and finished masters degree techniques, because it was apparent that
from Cotton College (Gauhati no large, single crystals could be grown
University) in 2003. After qualifying of the materials that were then of
CSIR-JRF, he joined in a DST interest. Determination of structures with
sponsored project under the supervision compounds more complex and of lower
of Prof. J.B. Baruah in IIT-Guwahati. symmetry was quite difficult due to the
Then he moved to School of Chemistry, overlap of peaks which was severe and
University of Hyderabad and joined as a separating them became practically
Ph.D. Research Scholar under the impossible. In an effort to overcome this
supervision of Prof. Ashwini Nangia in problem, H M Rietveld declared a new
July 2004. Presently he is working in the methods for structural determination
area of organic more precisely crystal using X-ray powder diffraction intensity
engineering and polymorphism in profiles which was later known as
organic molecules including drug and Rietveld Method. It refines various
synthesis. parameters including lattice parameters,
peak width and shape, and preferred
Phone: 09441034837 orientation to derive a new diffraction
Tele-Fax: +91-40-23011338 pattern.
The method was first reported at the
seventh Congress of the International
Union of Crystallography in Moscow in
THE RIETVELD METHOD: A 1966. The response was slight, or, rather,
non-existent, and it was not until the full
RETROSPECTIVE VIEW implementation of the method was
published, that reactions came. At this
time, the method was mainly used to
refine structures from data obtained by
fixed wavelength diffraction. A total of
172 structures were refined in this way
before 1977. Dr. H.M. Rietveld
developed a program for the method,
written in Algol (Rietveld 1969b) and
later in 1972, in FORTRAN IV. Twenty-
Mr. Binoy Kumar Saikia
seven copies of this were distributed to
institutes all over the world. It had been
After obtaining the Ph.D. degree in the suggested that the method could also be
subject of X-ray and neutron diffraction applied to X-ray data, but it was not until
techniques from University of Western 1977 that the method became generally
Australia in 1964, a young fellow, Hugo accepted for X-ray as well as neutron
M. Rietveld joined the neutron powder diffraction. This is reflected in
diffraction group of the Reactor Centrum an increasing number of citations to the
Nederland (now Netherlands Energy original papers (Rietveld 1967 and
Research Foundation ECN) in the 1969b) as published in the Science
Netherlands. There he was giving Citation Index. In the period January

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 31

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

1987 to May 1994 a total of 350 papers values up to one part in 1000 can be
were published with reference to or obtained on solid samples without an
using the Rietveld Method, of which internal standard. Additionally, accurate
nearly half used neutron diffraction. cell dimensions can be computed on low
Many more papers on the method have symmetry materials.
appeared with unexpected applications. Accurate Phase Quantification: Scale
factors are refined and are related to
In the day of digitized X-ray diffraction weight percent of each phase. Complex
patterns, Rietveld Analysis has become mixtures with overlapping reflections are
increasingly of interest. This is a "whole quantified with a high degree of
pattern" treatment rather than a limited accuracy (about 1 wt.%)
number of reflections of the X-ray data Crystallite Size and Strain: A
and it gives the type of structural mathematical function is used to model
analysis normally obtained by a single the profiles and to separate diffraction
crystal diffractometer. It was originally peak broadening due to size from that
conceived as a refinement method for due to strain. Size and microstrain values
crystal structures using neutron are derived simultaneously from the
diffraction data. But today it is also used XRD pattern.
for X-ray diffraction. Briefly, the Site Occupancies: Yields quantitative
Rietveld method requires a knowledge information as to the extent of solid
of the approximate crystal structure of solution or isomorphous substitution.
all phases of interest. The input data Atom Positions: Positions of selected
required to calculate a synthetic pattern cations in the unit cell can be computed.
includes the space group symmetry, Rietveld Method has contributed to a
number of atoms, atomic positions, renewed interest in powder diffraction
temperature factor, site occupancies, and techniques, even to the extent that in
lattice parameters. The refinement is some applications it replaces single
conducted by minimizing the sum of the crystal techniques. The method is proven
weighted, squared differences of this to be sound and has given results at least
calculated pattern and the observed as good as single crystal data.
intensities every step in a digital powder
pattern. In a typical refinement, References
individual scale factors (related to the 1. Rietveld, H.M. (1966a). Acta
weight percents of each phase) and Crystallogr., 20, 508.
profile, background, and lattice 2. Rietveld, H.M. (1967). Acta
parameters are varied. In favorable cases Crystallogr., 22, 151-2.
the atomic positions and site 3. Rietveld, H.M. (1969b). J. Appl.
occupancies can also be successfully Crystallogr., 2, 65-71.
varied. Since the method uses all lines,
severely overlapping reflections are not About the author
a problem. The method can be used to Mr Binoy K Saikia a graduate from
obtain the following crystallographic Dibrugarh University obtained his
information: masters degree in Inorganic Chemistry
Lattice Parameters: Since systematic from Cotton College (Gauhati
errors (caused by sample displacement) University) in 2000. He then joined in
are corrected during refinement, accurate North East Institute of Sciences &
Technology (Formerly Regional

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 32

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Research Laboratory), Jorhat-785006, formally founded in 1990, coordinately

India on January 2002 as a Project by the U.S. Department of Energy and
Assistant and completed his research the U.S. National Institute of Health
work on X-ray diffraction and (NIH). Mainly, the HGP was carried out
spectroscopic investigation of Assam by an International Human Genome
coal. Presently he is in the Department Sequencing Consortium (IHGSC). In
of Chemical Sciences, Tezpur addition to the United States, this
University, Tezpur-784028, India from international consortium of $ 3 billion
March 2005. His areas of research public project comprised geneticists in
interest are X-ray diffraction, FT-IR China, France, Germany, Japan and U.K.
spectroscopy, coal chemistry, acid mine However, some research was done
drainage, water & soil pollution. independently by a private company
“Celera Genomics”, which was launched
♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣ by the American researcher Craig Venter
in 1998 (Venter et al, 2001).
UNFOLDING THE MYSTERY Goals of Public HGP were to-
• Identify all the approximately
OF HUMANITY 20,000-25,000 genes in human
• Determine the sequences of the 3
billion chemical base pairs that make
up human DNA;
• Store this information in database;
• Improve tools for data analysis;
• Transfer related technologies to the
private sector; and
Nabanita Bhattacharyya • Address the ethical, legal and social
After all it is the genetic make up of issues (ELSI) that may arise from the
Homo sapiens, where the humanity is project.
hid, and the molecular biology is on the
way to unfold this mystery. A human According to the definition employed by
body is made up of about 50,000,000 to the International HGP, it was announced
100,000,000 cells. Each cell contains, in earlier that HGP was completed in April
its nucleus, all the coding instructions 2003. But in real sense, it was completed
necessary to direct the cell's activities in May 2006, when the sequence of the
and manufacture the required proteins. A last chromosome was published in the
complete set of those raw coding journal “Nature”. But in any case, it is
instructions is referred to as a genome. only 92% of the total human genome
To understand the genetic make up of that have been completed. Remaining
the human species, it was necessary to 8% of the total genome, which include
identify and map all the genes of human some heterochromatic regions
genome. containing repetitive sequences like
centromeres, telomeres and multigene
For this purpose, the Human Genome families, are yet to be completely
Project (HGP) was undertaken and sequenced.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 33

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

2. Venter, J.C., et al (2001). “The

sequence of the human genome”.
Science 291: 1304-1351.

About the Author

Ms. Nabanita Bhattacharyya has been
working as a lecturer Department of
Botany, Nowgong College, Assam. Her
research area is Plant Physiology and
Biochemistry. The title of her Ph.D
thesis is ‘Investigation on physiological
performances on Houttuynia cordata
Thunb (Masandari)- with reference to its
phytoremediation potential in
uncultivable land.’
However, detailed knowledge of the
human genome can be gained only after ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣
elaborate interpretation of genome data,
which is still in its initial stage. Such MYCOREMEDIATION: AN
knowledge will provide new avenues for APPROACH TO CLEAN UP
advances in medicine and ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTANT
biotechnology. Successful interpretation SITES
may lead to the deeper understanding of
the disease processes at the level of
molecular biology to determine new
therapeutic procedures for some
complicated illnesses including breast
cancer, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s
disease, disorders of hemostasis, liver
diseases and many others. Mahananda Chutia
Again, many questions about the Mycoremediation is a form of
similarities and differences between bioremediation, the process of using
humans and our closest relatives (the fungal mycelium to return an
primates and indeed the other mammals) environment (usually soil) contaminated
are expected to be illuminated by the by pollutants to a less contaminated
analysis of the data from this state. The term was coined by Paul
project,which may open new avenues in Stamets and refers specifically to the use
the study of the theory of evolution. of fungal mycelia in bioremediation.
Potential applications for
References mycoremediation technologies include:
1. International Human Genome agricultural waste reduction, creation of
Sequencing Consortium (2001). buffer zones, nonpoint source pollution
Initial sequencing and analysis of the reduction in watersheds, contaminated
human genome. Nature. 409: 860- sediment cleanup, reduction of material

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 34

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

relegated to confined disposal facilities, effects on nutrient cycling, pathogens,

decontamination etc. (Allard and soil aeration and soil water uptake (Chen
Neilson, 1997). The mycelium secretes et al, 2007). Many fungi species play an
extracellular enzymes and acids that important role in the recycling of
break down lignin and cellulose, the two complex wood debris and garden wastes.
main building blocks of plant fiber. Many of them thrive in varied and
These are organic compounds composed complex environments.
of long chains of carbon and hydrogen,
structurally similar to many organic European and Asian nations are
pollutants. evaluating the possible uses of fungi and
it’s by products as a tool for remediation.
The fungi mostly used are wood-rot More than 10% of the growing medium
Basidiomycetes capable of degrading or "substrate" in mushroom cultivation
lignin cellulose etc. The ability of fungi (straw, sawdust, compost, most
to degrade lignin is due to a complex of agricultural and forest debris) can be
extracellular enzymes viz. lignin converted into a protein- and vitamin-
peroxidase, manganese dependent rich food. These mushrooms are not only
peroxidase, hydrogen peroxide nutritious; they have also demonstrated
generating oxidases, and phenol abilities in enhancing the human
oxidases such as laccase. The lignin immune system and produce a slew of
peroxidases were first discovered in the natural antibiotics. Yet it is the residual
Basidiomycetes Phanerochaete mycelium in that substrate that holds the
chrysosporium Burds and in the 1980s greatest potential for ecological
this fungus was the main experimental rehabilitation.
model in lignin degradation research.
Due to the nonspecific character of Mycelia can serve as unparalleled
radical-mediated reactions of biological filters. Lignin peroxidases
ligninolytic enzymes, the degradation of dismantle the long chains of hydrogen
a wide variety of xenobiotic compounds and carbon, converting wood into
having an aromatic structure like lignin simpler forms. These enzymes are
has become a subject of extensive superb at breaking apart hydrocarbons,
research. the base structure common to oils,
petroleum products, pesticides, PCBs
(Polychlorinated biphenyl) and many
other pollutants.

Oyster mushrooms can remove more

than 95% of the PAH (polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons) which is
reduced to non-toxic components and
the mushrooms were also free of any
petroleum products. Stamets claimed
Again, under natural conditions plants that one mushroom species has been
live in close association with soil fungi found to break down VX, the potent
(mycorrhizal association, about 90%) nerve gas agent. This discovery is
living in the root zone which influence significant, as VX is very difficult to
the ability of plants to establish through

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 35

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

destroy. Again, Pleurotus ostreatus can Armillaria, Ganoderma, Pleurotus,

remove up to 90% of the phenol content Polyporus, Coprinus, and Volvariella
from its substrate (Setti et al, 1998). In were all able to remove PCP in a batch
an experiment conducted in US, a plot of cultivation system (Chiu et al, 1998).
soil contaminated with diesel oil was Although, the capacities of the
inoculated with mycelia of oyster mushrooms to absorb and degrade the
mushrooms; traditional bioremediation contaminant varied considerably.
techniques (bacteria) were used on
control plots. After four weeks, more Mycorrhizal association together with
than 95% of the PAH (polycyclic mushroom mycelia would appear to
aromatic hydrocarbons) had been offer a number of possibilities in the
reduced to non-toxic components in the field of bioremediation (Chen et al,
mycelial-inoculated plots. It appears that 2007). Other than that fungi have been
the natural microbial community shown to accumulate radio-nucleotides,
participates with the fungi to break down metals, and even rare earth elements;
contaminants, eventually into carbon fungi are great biodegraders and has the
dioxide and water. Wood-degrading ability to enhance plant growth in
fungi are particularly effective in extreme environment etc (Quintero et al,
breaking down aromatic pollutants (toxic 2007). Presently it is a potential are of
components of petroleum), as well as environmental remediation research to
chlorinated compounds (certain clean up our pollutants sites. Little work
persistent pesticides). has been done so far. Mushrooms can
colonize in the areas of contaminated
Fungi mainly mushrooms are the natural substrate and uptake and degrade
decomposers because they secrete exogenous toxins suggests that there is
enzymes and acids that degrade organic considerable potential in this approach.
polymers into simpler moieties.
Agaricus bisporus is capable of References
accumulating silver whereas Boletus 1. Allard A.S., Neilson A.H.
badius is particularly efficient in Bioremediation of organic waste
accumulating gold and arsenic, which sites: A critical review of
are stored in different parts of the microbiological aspects. Int.
mushrooms. The highest concentration Biodeterior Biodegrad, 1997,
of cadmium (35 mg/kg) was also found 39:253–85.
within the genus Agaricus, although in 2. Chen B., Xiao X., Zhu Y.G., Smith
contrast, the best cadmium- F.A., Xie Z.M. and Smith S.E. The
hyperaccumulating plant Thlaspi arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus
caerulescens can accumulate over 100 Glomus mosseae gives contradictory
mg/kg (McGrath, 1998). Lentinus effects on phosphorus and arsenic
edodes (Shiitake) can remove more than acquisition by Medicago sativa Linn.
60% of pentachlorophenol (PCP) from Science of the Total Environment.
soil and convert it into 2007, 379 (2-3): 226-234
pentachloroanisole (Okeke et al, 1993) 3. Chiu S.W., Ching M.L., Fong K.L.
among other products. Many and Moore D. Spent oyster
Basidiomycetes have the ability to mushroom substrate performs better
absorb and degrade chlorophenols. than many mushroom mycelia in

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 36

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

removing the biocide any other interdisciplinary research

pentachlorophenol. Mycol Res. 1998, works.
102:1553–62. Email: ,
4. McGrath S.P. Phytoextraction for
soil remediation. In: Brooks R.R.,
editor. Plants that Hyperaccumulate ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣
Heavy Metals. Wallingford: CAB
International, 1998. pp. 261–87. COMPUTATIONAL FLUID
5. Okeke B.C., Smith J.E., Paterson A. DYNAMICS (CFD), AS A TOOL IN
and Watson-Craik I.A. Aerobic INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH WITH A
metabolism of pentachlorophenol by CASE STUDY OF FLOW OF
spent sawdust culture of Shiitake TURBULENT RECTANGULAR JET
mushroom (Lentinus edodes) in soil. IN CROSS-FLOW
Biotechnol Lett. 1993, 15:1077–80. Manabendra Pathak
6. Quintero J.C., Lú-Chau T.A.,
Moreira M.T., Feijoo G. and Lema The importance of study of fluid
J.M. Bioremediation of HCH present dynamics is endless. Starting from our
in soil by the white-rot fungus breathing to blood circulation, from
Bjerkandera adusta in a slurry batch swing of cricket ball, to flying of an
bioreactor. Int. Biodeterior. & aeroplane, everywhere fluid dynamics is
Biodegrad. (Article in Press). involved. In the past, most of the
7. Setti L., Maly S., Iacondini A., problems of fluid dynamics are tackled
Spinozzi G. and Pifferi P.G. with either experimental or theoretical
Biological treatment of olive milling approach. The foundations of
waste waters by Pleurotus ostreatus. experimental fluid dynamics started in
Annali Chim. 1998, 88:201–22. seventeen century in Europe and the
gradual development of theoretical fluid
About the author dynamics are witnessed in the eighteen
Mahananda Chutia was born in
and nineteen century again in Europe
Dhemaji district of Assam. He graduated
(Rouse & Simon, 1967). However in the
with 1st position and distinction from
late of twenty century, the advent of
Dibrugarh University (2000) and
high-speed digital computer combined
completed his Masters degree in Botany
with the development of accurate
with specialization in Microbiology from
algorithms for solving physical problems
Gauhati University (2003). Presently, he
on these computers has revolutionized
is a Research Fellow at North East
the study of fluid dynamics. It has
Institute of Science & Technology
introduced a fundamentally important
(NEIST), Jorhat. He has also worked in
new third approach in fluid dynamics;
different research projects in the
the approach of computational fluid
Department of Biotechnology and
dynamics (CFD). Gradually CFD is
Botany, Gauhati University after his
becoming an equal partner with pure
MSc. He has already published a few
theory and pure experiment in the
research papers in reputed international
analysis and solution of the fluid
and national journals and filed one
dynamics. In present time CFD is
patent. His research interest is
extensively used in the research works of
Mushroom Biotechnology,
many process industries due to its
Microbiology, Molecular Biology and

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 37

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

relatively less cost compared to the discrete points in time and/or space.
experimental and thus experimental Thus CFD is a highly interdisciplinary
technique is virtually replaced. research area, which lies at the interface
of physics, applied mathematics, and
computer science.
What is CFD
For deriving the basic equations of fluid
Components of CFD technique
flow, the approach of continuum
Four steps are required to apply a
mechanics is applied in which, the
general-purpose CFD technique to solve
existence of molecules is ignored, and
a fluid dynamics problem. First step is
matter is treated as a continuous
the creation of the geometry and
medium. The mapping of the laws of
discretisation or meshing of the flow
mass, momentum, and energy
domain. This involves the constructing
conservation to the continuum results in
the geometry for the problem, which is
field equations that describe the
typically done using a computer-assisted
dynamics of the continuum. These field
design (CAD) like preprocessor. Within
equations, that are derived from the
the geometry of the domain, relevant
conservation laws of mass, momentum,
physics are defined, appropriate models
energy and species set over a physical
are specified, boundary and initial
domain are nonlinear, partial differential
conditions are applied, and solver
equations that can be solved, in
parameters are specified. In CFD
principle, when combined with the
technique the governing non-linear
appropriate constitutive information and
partial differential equations are
boundary conditions. These equations
discretised on the specified geometry. So
are then solved numerically to generate
the domain discretisation must be
the velocity and other scalar fields in the
specified. This process, known as
flow domain. The Navier-Stokes
meshing or grid generation, is the second
equations which are derived from the
step in the CFD technique. In the third
conservation of momentum consist of
step, the equations are discretised over
the nonlinear partial differential
the specified grid, and the resulting sets
equations with an intricate dependency
of algebraic equations are solved. The
on velocity components within the
development of solvers is still an active
system of equations. Apart from some
area of research, the goal being to
specific cases, these partial differential
improve the likelihood and rate of
equations are not solvable using the
convergence. The fourth step, after
mathematical tools. There are only a
satisfactory convergence is obtained, is
very small number of flows that entitle
to interpreting the solution in terms of
one to simplify the governing equations
plots, graph or animation. This step is
in such a way that it is possible to
known as also post processing. The
achieve a theoretical study by analytical
quality of CFD results depends on (i) the
solution. Consequently for most cases,
mathematical model and underlying
one is required to solve the Navier-
assumptions, (ii) approximation type and
Stokes equations numerically using CFD
stability of the numerical scheme (ii)
techniques. CFD is a technique of
mesh, time step, error indicators and
replacing the partial derivatives with
stopping criteria.
discretised algebraic form, which in
turns are solved for flow field value at

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 38

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

CFD in Current Industrial A case study using CFD: The flow

Applications field of turbulent jet in cross-flow
CFD is routinely used today in a wide As a case study of CFD investigation,
variety of disciplines and industries, we have presented here the CFD results
including aerospace, automotive, power of flow and heat transfer characteristics
generation, chemical manufacturing, of turbulent rectangular jets in cross-
polymer processing, petroleum flow. This type of problem is
exploration, medical research, encountered in numerous engineering
meteorology, and astrophysics. The use applications. Some examples are the
of CFD in the process industries has led internal cooling of turbine blades by air
to reductions in the cost of product and jets, vertical and short take-off and
process development and optimization landing (VSTOL) aircraft, dilution by air
activities (by reducing down time), jets in combustion chambers of gas-
reduced the need for physical turbine engine, cross winds on chimney
experimentation, shortened time to stacks or flames from petrochemical
market, improved design reliability, plants, discharge of sewage or waste
increased conversions and yields, and heat into rivers or oceans, thermal
facilitated the resolution of plumes rising into cross winds in the
environmental, health, and right-to- atmosphere etc. The configuration of a
operate issues. It follows that the rectangular jet in cross-flow is shown in
economic benefit of using CFD has been Fig. 1. The axis of the jet is usually
substantial, although detailed economic defined as the locus of the maximum
analyses are rarely reported. A case velocity or total pressure. The main
study of the economic benefit of the parameter which characterizes jet in
application of CFD in one chemical and cross-flow is the jet-to-cross-flow
engineered-material company over a six- velocity ratio, R (= vj/ua) or the
year period conservatively estimated that ρj 2
the application of CFD generated momentum flux ratio J (= R ) . The
approximately a six-fold return on the
total investment in CFD (Davidson, low velocity ratio (R < 0.5) is seen in the
2001). case of turbine blade cooling whereas 1<
R < 10 is found in the case of jet
stabilisation in the combustion chamber.
The jet with R > 10 is characterised with
free jet characteristics.

Problem formulation
We have considered the flow field of a
heated rectangular jet, discharged from
the rectangular slot in the channel bed
whereupon the channel flow forms the
cross-flow. The velocity ratio of the jet
to cross-flow is 6 i.e. r = 6. The jet is
slightly heated (6.10 c) compared to the
Figure 1: Configuration of a jet in cross- cross-flow. Both the cross-flow and jet
flow. flow are fully turbulent. The 3d, steady
state, reynolds-averaged navier-stokes

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 39

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

equations for the incompressible flow and observed to be lifted upward by the
form the governing equations. Standard jet fluid and to be carried downstream
k-ε model (Launder & Spalding, 1974) is together with it. The vertical penetration
used to resolve the turbulence of the of the jet is more at the central plane (z/d
flow field. The details of the flow = 0) than at the other plane (z/d = 3) due
domain, grids, boundary conditions, to the lateral spread of the jet near the
numerical methods used and code side edge of the jet discharge slot. it is
validations can be found in (Pathak et also observed that the structures and
al., 2006). extent of the reverse flow regions
downstream of the jet are different at the
three spanwise planes,
thereby demonstrating
the three-
dimensionality of the

Iso-contours of the
mean temperature at
three different
spanwise planes (z/D
Figure 2: Mean velocity vector plots = 0, 5 and 6) are presented in Fig. 3. The
superimposed with streamline at temperature contour shows shapes
different spanwise locations, z/D = 0 and somewhat similar to the well known
3 in x-y plane. Gaussian distribution. The mean
temperature variations of the heated free
Results jet are small (Sherif & Pletcher, 1991).
The predicted non-dimensional mean Therefore all the temperature
velocity vectors superimposed with fluctuations in the cross-flow jet may
streamline plot at two different x-y result from the mixing and the
planes in the spanwise direction are interaction between the jet and cross-
shown in fig. 2. The two planes chosen flow. At the upper part of the jet, the
are the central vertical plane (z/d = 0) distribution of the contour is dense, thus
and planes at z/d = 3. The jet trajectory indicating that the mixing between the
is deflected in the streamwise direction jet and the cross-flow is rather active. In
and the direction of the cross-flow is contrast, relatively sparse contours are
altered as if an obstacle blocks it. developed widely at the inner part of the
However, due to the effect of the jet jet. This originates from a low-velocity
entrainment and the motion of the jet, reverse flow region, which may promote
the flow field of a jet in cross-flow is not the process of thermal spread at the inner
exactly the same as that over a rigid part of the jet. The spread of the mean
obstacle. a wake-like region with a temperature is affected by the mean
complex flow pattern is formed in the velocity field at different spanwise
lee side of the jet. Very close to the locations. At the edge and outside of the
bottom wall, a reverse flow region is slot, the spread of the temperature is less
formed and the cross-stream fluid has compared to that at the centre, which is
been observed to enter this region. After Similar to the case of the mean velocity
entering, the cross-flow travels upstream

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 40

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

field distribution.

About the author

Figure 3: Mean temperature contours Dr. Manabendra Pathak is a
at three different spanwise (x-y) planes postdoctoral research fellow at the
at different locations, z/D = 0, 5 and 6. Department of Chemical Engineering,
Technion- Israel Institute of Technology,
References Haifa-32000, Israel.
1. Davidson, D.L. 2001, The
Enterprise-Wide Application of
Computational Fluid Dynamics in ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣
the Chemicals Industry. Proceedings
of the 6th World Congress of MODIFICATION OF WOOD WITH
Chemical Engineering, Melbourne, POLYMERS: PROPERTIES AND
2. Launder, B.E. & Spalding, D.B.
1974, The numerical prediction of
turbulent flow, Computer Methods in
Applied Mechanics and Engineering.
3, 269-289.
3. Pathak, M., Dewan A. & Dass, A.K.
2006, Computational prediction of a
slightly heated turbulent rectangular
Rashmi R. Devi
jet discharged into a narrow channel
cross-flow using two different
Wood, a natural, cellular, composite
turbulence models, International
material of botanical origin possesses
Journal of Heat Mass Transfer 49,
unique structural and chemical
characteristics that render it desirable for
4. Rouse, Hunter and Simon Ince, 1957
a broad variety of end uses. It has a wide
History of Hydraulics, Iowa Institute
spectrum of applications as construction
of Hydraulic Research, Ames, Iowa.
materials, pulp, paper, and fire-board
5. Sherif, S.A. & Pletcher, R.H. 1991,
products as well as source of energy and
Jet-wake thermal characteristics of
raw material for various industrially
heated turbulent jets in crossflow,
important chemicals. Solid wood in its
Journal Thermophysics 5, 181-191.
many forms and adaptations has been the
most versatile material for buildings,

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 41

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

constructions, or furniture because of cross linking of wood via impregnation

superior material properties such as with formaldehyde in the presence of
pleasing appearance, favourable acid catalyst. Several liquid monomers
mass/strength ratio, low thermal (e.g. methyl methacrylate (MMA) and
conductivity, biodegradability and also styrene) were also incorporated into
due to its neutral carbon dioxide wood samples with up to 160 wt %
balance. There are however, some weight gain, and then polymerized in the
properties such as dimensional lumens to improve wood’s dimensional
instability with moisture content, low stability. The properties of wood can be
natural durability of many species, modified for the purposes other than
photoyellowing, unstable mechanical preservation or protection from fire.
properties with moisture etc. that are Different methods can be used to reduce
often considered as negative by the end swelling and shrinking under conditions
user. A promising way to improve wood of fluctuating relative humidity by
properties is through controlled chemical bulking the cell wall with leachable and
modification. Many research papers and nonleachable, or bonded chemicals that
literature reviews have been published leave the wood in a swollen state. The
on chemical modification of wood. chemicals to be used for modification
Chemical modification of wood is any should penetrate easily into the cell wall
chemical reaction between same reactive and must react with hydroxyl group of
part of a wood component and a simple wood for improvement of strength,
single chemical reagent, with or without dimensional stability and other allied
catalyst that forms a covalent bond properties.
between the two components. The most
reactive chemical sites of wood are the Wood can be modified by impregnating
hydroxyl groups on cellulose, some monomer or oligomer having low
hemicellulose and lignin. One of the viscosity along with a cross linker into
most popular methods for improving the the cell wall or lumens under vacuum or
properties of the wood cell wall material high pressure of wood followed by
is chemical impregnation under vacuum polymerization with the help of catalyst
or pressure. Compounds highly reactive or radiation. The final product is known
to the hydroxyl groups of cellulose, as wood-polymer composites (WPC).
hemicellulose and lignin components of Most widely used vinyl monomers are
wood include epoxies, isocyanates, styrene, methyl methacrylate etc. But
anhydrides, lactones and diols. All have most of these vinyl monomers were
been examined for the reduction of ineffective in improving the dimensional
dimensional instability of wood. stability to a large extent as these mainly
Chemical impregnation also proved to accommodate in lumen, not properly
be useful for reducing the susceptibility bonded to the hydroxyl groups of wood
of the wood to biological degradation. In order to enhance the properties, cross
linking of these vinyl polymers with the
Among various methods a simple wood are done by employing various
acetylation by a dip process in acetic cross linking agents, that are reactive
anhydride has been widely utilized to with both wood hydroxyl groups and
reduce swellability of wood in water. vinyl polymers. Sometimes soluble dyes
Another widely studied system is the are added to the catalyzed monomer

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 42

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

solution to color the final wood polymer varieties available hardwoods are being
composite. Increased applications of used mainly for construction purposes.
wood in industries, institutions require Softwoods are mostly used for fuel
wood to be protected from fire. In order purposes due to their poor strength and
to impart flame retardancy, solutions of dimensional stability compared to
flame retardant chemicals are used to hardwoods. These softwoods can have
impregnate into wood under pressure value added by being made into wood
and then dried to obtain retention of suitable for different applications like
chemicals. This process does not furniture, office equipment and in
improve the strength and stability to a construction through proper treatment
large extent. Flame retardancy is such as chemical modification.
generally imparted into woods by Modification through impregnation has
incorporating either chlorine or drawn the attention of researchers in the
phosphorous containing polymer, or the past and studies in this area are still
copolymerization product of these with being pursued with great interest.
more flammable polymers like
polymethyl methacrylate, polystyrene In Tezpur University, in the Department
etc. of Chemical Sciences two of the
softwoods easily available in this region
WPC has many changed and improved mainly rubber wood and pinewood were
physical properties compared with the modified by using styrene and glycidyl
parent wood. Notable are an increase in methacrylate (GMA) followed by in-situ
surface hardness, dimensional stability polymerization in the presence of heat
and the possibility of fine finishing catalyst. GMA contains both glycidyl
without surface coating. In many groups and double bond. The glycidyl
countries like Canada, Finland, Sweden, group and double bond can be exploited
Great Britain, Japan and South America for reaction with hydroxyl group of
researches on modification of wood cellulose present in wood and for
started during 60’s and commercial copolymerization with vinyl or acrylic
amounts of wood-polymer were monomers. We also developed rubber
produced for airport terminals and office wood using styrene as the monomer and
buildings. One of the most popular Diethyl allyl phosphate (DEAP) as a
products is Parquet flooring where the flame retardant monomer to increase the
increased hardness and abrasion flame retardancy by catalyst heat
resistance offered an advantage in high treatment method. Most of the physical
traffic commercial applications. Some and mechanical properties such as
other famous products are Perma Grain dimensional stability, hardness, water
products, Hartco (Tebbles Flooring Co.) absorption, biodegradation, compressive
flooring. A research group at the strength, bending strength, thermal
University of New Brunswick Canada is stability, fire retardancy etc. improved
assisting industry in setting up the more or less.
catalyst-heat process to produce knife
handles and other articles. Some examples of properties modified
after impregnation of wood with
Northeastern part of India is bestowed polymers are shown below
with huge storage of trees. Out of two

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 43

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

open the door for better applications of

wood with improved properties.

1. Encyclopedia of Polymer science
and Engineering; 2nd Ed; Wiley
Interscience; 1989; 17, 843.
2. Rowell, R.M. Advances in
Chemistry Series: The chemistry
of solid wood; Washington D.C.;
Am Chem Soc 1984.
3. Meyer, J.A. and Loos, W.E. For
Fig. 1 Weight gain of WPC (rubber Prod J 1972; 19(12), 32.
wood) in water at 300C 4. The Chemistry of Wood
Preservation; Ed. R. Thompson;
Royal Soc of Chem 1991.
5. Chan, K.Y.; Yap, M.G.S.; Chia,
L.H.L. and Neoh, K.G. Rad Phys
Chem 1989; 33 (3), 197.
6. Devi, R.R. Modification of
softwood with impregnation of
polymers, Ph.D thesis, 2006.
7. Devi, R.R.; Saikia, C.N.; Thakur,
A.J.; Maji, T.K. J Appl Polym Sci
Untreated pine wood Treated pine wood 2007, 105, 2461- 2467.
8. Devi, R.R.; Maji, T.K.; Benarjee,
Fig. 2 Decrease in the biodegradation A.N. J Appl Polym Sci 2004, 93,
of pinewood on treatment 1938-1945.
9. Devi, R.R.; Maji, T.K.; Polym.
Composite, 2007,28, 1-5.
Table. Increase in hardness of wood
on treatment About the author
Dr. Rashmi Rekha Devi has been
Type of wood Hardness working as a Scientist at the Defense
Materials & Stores Research &
Rubber 46.6 Development Establishment
(Untreated) (DMSRDE), Kanpur, UP (India).
Rubber (Treated) 69.9
Pine (Untreated) 45.4 ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣
Pine (Treated) 54.5
"Patent all your ideas, and
There is a wide scope of get yourself a good
modification of different varieties of lawyer."
wood in this region that can be modified
with polymers and industrialization of - Thomas Alva Edison
these wood-polymer composites will

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 44

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

bout Micelles……

Courtesy: Dr. Polashmoni Saikia

Darrang College
Tezpur 784 001

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 45

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

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In April 1997 Dr. Frank Baker, an emergency medicine specialist from the Chicago area,
took part in a clinical trial to test a form of artificial skin for treating insulin-dependent
diabetics whose tissue had been degraded by the secondary effects of chronic high blood
sugar. Baker, who has had diabetes for more than four decades, was in danger of losing a
foot because of hard-to-heal skin ulcers. For him the trial results were close to
miraculous: the laboratory-grown skin didn't just cover and protect his wound, it released
chemicals that caused his own tissue to grow back much faster. As Baker put it, the
artificial skin "saved my foot." The material that worked this medical wonder was
synthesized from polymers.


N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 46

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum



Guidelines for HFSP Short-Term Fellowships
12 Quai Saint-Jean
BP 10034
Tel: +33 3 88 21 51 34 Fax: + 33 3 88 32 88 97
E-mail: - Web site:
Application submission:


The Human Frontier Science Program (HFSPO) supports basic research focused on elucidating the
complex mechanisms of living organisms. Emphasis is placed on novel, innovative, and
interdisciplinary approaches to basic research that involve scientific exchanges across national
boundaries. In particular, HFSP encourages research into biological problems involving approaches and
knowledge from different disciplines such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science,
engineering, or material sciences because significant new ideas, techniques and discoveries often arise at
the boundaries between disciplines. In addition to its international and especially intercontinental
character, the HFSPO places emphasis on supporting researchers who are early in their careers and who
are expected to play an important role in generating and pursuing original research.
These guidelines are intended to assist those who wish to apply to the Human Frontier Science Program
Organization for Short-Term Fellowships (see also Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ] and Instructions).
(1) Objectives of the Short-Term Fellowships Short-Term Fellowships are reserved for those who wish
to work for a short period in a laboratory in another country for example:
to learn or develop new techniques
to use instruments or technology not available in their own country
to establish collaborations in a new area of research rather than ongoing projects
to obtain pilot results to establish a new international collaboration

Independent young researchers, early in their careers, are encouraged to apply. Doctoral students may apply
only under certain conditions [see section II. (2)].
(2) Tenure of Short-Term Fellowships Short-Term Fellowships are awarded for periods of 2 weeks to 3
months. They will not be awarded for a series of multiple visits to the host laboratory. The length of time
must be justified on the basis of need to perform experiments, learn techniques or to use facilities that are

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 47

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

only available at the host institution. The Short-Term Fellowship must start within 12 months after
notification of the award. The fellowship is not awarded retroactively and applicants cannot start to
work at the host institute before notification of award. The award will be withdrawn if:
a. The candidate starts working in the host institution before receipt of the review
b. The candidate cannot start the fellowship within 12 months after notification of award
c. The project or host institution is changed without the explicit consent of HFSPO.

(3) When to submit Applications may be submitted throughout the year. Decisions on awards will be
announced approximately 3-4 months after receipt of the complete application. Applicants must provide
adequate time for review of the application before the start of the fellowship.
It is recommended that applicants contact the Secretariat before travelling to the host laboratory, if
they have not received notification of the outcome of the application within that time frame.


(1) Research areas

The scope of HFSP funding ranges from biological functions at the molecular and cellular level up to
biological systems including cognitive functions. Within this broad area, all levels of analysis are
supported, from studies on genes and individual molecules, intracellular networks, intercellular associations
in tissues and organs, to networks underlying complex functions of entire organisms. However, projects
that involve only large-scale, systematic genome mapping, applied research (e.g. clinical) or pure ‘omics’-
type projects are not eligible to receive HFSP funding.
The HFSP does not support projects aimed specifically at developing methods of treatment and diagnosis.
Studies related to disease are only considered if they allow new insights into fundamental biological
mechanisms. Proposals directly concerned with agricultural or environmental problems (crop yield,
bioremediation) or studies at the population or ecosystem level are not supported. The HFSP views
interdisciplinary approaches as being necessary for addressing the scientific questions that it supports, and
that fellows should receive broad research training. Thus, applicants for Short-Term Fellowships should
obtain training or establish collaborations in a new research field. Individuals working in physics,
chemistry, mathematics, computer science or engineering are encouraged to utilize HFSP fellowships to
obtain training or establish new collaborations in the life sciences.

(2) Applicants (read carefully to avoid ineligible applications)

Eligibility criteria:
1. A scientist from one of the supporting countries (see below) can apply for a Short-Term
Fellowship to work in a research institution in any other country.

A candidate from a non-supporting country may apply to work in a research institution in any
of the supporting countries (see below). To be from one of the supporting is defined as being a
national of one of the HFSPO supporting countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,
Canada, Cyprus (EU part only), the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France,
Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Republic of
Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom
and the United States of America.
2. Candidates must have obtained or be about to obtain their research doctorate (Ph.D.) or a
doctoral-level degree (e.g. a research based M.D. or medical Ph.D.) with a proven record of
experience in basic experimental research. Doctoral students who submit an application must have
received their degree at the start of the fellowship.

3. Preference will be given to young investigators at an early stage of their careers. Applications
from more established investigators will be considered under exceptional circumstances.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 48

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

4. Applicants must have at least one first author or joint first author paper published or in
press in a peer-reviewed international journal when submitting their application. In a joint first
author paper the applicant may be listed in second place, even though he/she has played a primary
role. In this case the fact that the first authors contributed equally to the work must be clearly
stated in the published article. Exceptions will be made if the standard publication practice in a
given field or in a particular research institution makes first authorship impossible due to e.g.
alphabetical listing of authors. These circumstances must be explained in detail in section
“Additional Comments” of the application form.
The papers must be written in English. Review papers and patent applications are not taken
into account.
5. Applicants must have adequate language skills to carry out their proposed research at the host
6. Former holders of HFSP Long-Term/Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships who left the host
country are eligible for a return visit to complete or extend the research with their former HFSP
research supervisor. This can include experimental work or preparing manuscripts based on the
work performed during tenure of the Fellowship.

7. Holders of a HFSP Career Development Award (CDA) or Research Grant may apply for and be
awarded a STF during their CDA or Research Grant.

If you have any questions of eligibility, please contact the Secretariat before submitting your
application. The following are grounds for ineligibility:
2. Applications will not be considered from those who wish to work again with their former
research supervisors, scientific collaborators, or scientists with whom they have already co-
authored publications. Exceptions to this rule are applications from former HFSP Long-
Term/Cross Disciplinary fellows (see above, #6).

3. Applications to work in a for-profit environment are not accepted.

4. Applications to move from one laboratory to another in the same country are not eligible.

5. A candidate cannot apply to go to the country of which he/she is a national, even though he/she
has undertaken pre- or post-doctoral studies abroad or if he/she obtained/will obtain the Ph.D. in
another country.

6. The Short-Term Fellowship cannot be held in the same country or at the same institution as that
in which the candidate obtained/will obtain the Ph.D., or in which he/she performed or received
research training associated with the Ph.D., even if the applicant is not a national of that country.

7. The Short-Term Fellowship cannot be held in the same country or at the same institution in
which the candidate already carried out research (e.g. research visits during the Ph.D. or as a
postdoc) or held an independent research position. The goal of the program is to enable
investigators to obtain research experience in a new country.

8. Applications to extend the Ph.D. training are not accepted even if considering a change in

9. The Short-Term Fellowship cannot be used to precede/follow a visit to the host institution, nor
can it be awarded to extend or complement an existing financial support from another source.

10. The Short-Term Fellowship is not intended to enable researchers solely to attend workshops,
courses or symposia. Nor are they intended to provide an opportunity only to write papers, books
or reviews.

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11. Individuals are limited to two Short-Term Fellowships each at a different host country.

12. It is not possible to submit parallel applications (for a Short-Term and a Long-Term/Cross-
Disciplinary Fellowship) to work with the same host supervisor or at the same host institution. In
addition, a former Short-Term Fellowship awardee cannot apply for a Long-Term/Cross-
Disciplinary Fellowship to return to work with the same host supervisor or at the same host
ELIGIBLE EXPENSES Short-Term Fellowships will cover following expenses:
(1) Travel expenses - Round-trip travel expenses (the shortest route, the most economical means of travel)
for only one trip to and from the host institution at the start and end of the fellowship. A copy of the invoice
from the travel agency/airline showing the dates of travel or a copy of the plane/train ticket must be
submitted after notification of award.
(2) Living expenses - A daily living allowance is provided for the days spent at the host institution and for
2 travel days. The allowance varies from country to country (see table below)*:

Living allowance (per day) Currency Korea 55000 KRW

Australia 102 AUD Luxembourg 73 EUR
Austria 70 EUR New Zealand 125 NZD
Belgium 70 EUR Norway 700 NOK
Canada 90 CAD Spain 57 EUR
Denmark 630 DKK Sweden 761 SEK
Finland 75 EUR Switzerland 140 CHF
France 70 EUR The Netherlands 70 EUR
Germany 70 EUR UK 46 GBP
Italy 62 EUR USA 74 USD
India 2,200 INR
Ireland 75 EUR
Japan 11440 JPY
* For information concerning the living allowance in other countries please contact the Department of Fellowships. IV.
(1) Review procedure
Applications are assessed by external Mail Reviewers and members of the HFSP Fellowship Review
Committee. Final decision on awards is taken by the Chairman of the Fellowship Review Committee.
(2) Review criteria
The main review criteria are the accomplishments and/or potential of the candidate, the scientific
originality and excellence of the proposal, the training potential and quality of the host institution, and the
overall benefit of the international exchange to achieve the aims of the research. The scientific areas and
quality of publications, and the applicant’s intention to move into a new area of research, learn new
techniques, and/or develop a new research collaboration are taken into account. For former HFSP Long-
Term/Cross-Disciplinary fellows, the value of returning to their former host laboratory to develop a new
line of research or to complete previous projects will be assessed.
(3) Notification of the results Applicants will receive written notification about the outcome of their
applications once the review procedures are completed (approximately 3-4 months after receipt of the
application). The selection process is confidential; no information can be provided on the decision taken.


(1) The results of the research funded by the HFSPO must be published promptly in internationally
recognized scientific journals. An acknowledgement of support by "The International Human Frontier
Science Program Organization" must be included in any publication resulting from work carried out
under the fellowship.
(2) The assignment of intellectual and industrial property rights generated from research supported by the
HFSPO will be determined by the parties concerned (researchers, their
research organizations or institutions) on a case-by-case basis. When a collaborative program is conducted
between laboratories in different countries, agreement on the ownership of such rights, or on the
distribution of income derived from them, will be negotiated between the collaborating
laboratories/institutions. The HFSPO will not claim any intellectual or commercial property rights that may

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 50

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

be generated through the research it sponsors, nor will it become involved in any disputes which may arise
about the ownership of such rights.

BIOETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS The HFSPO requires that the awardee(s) observe the
highest ethical standards in conducting all research sponsored by the Organization. In accepting this award
from the HFSPO, awardees and host supervisors agree to conform strictly to the codes of practice,
regulations and laws, which govern the ethical conduct of scientific research in their own
laboratories/institutions. They are solely responsible if any of these regulations are infringed. Furthermore
they also agree not to undertake any research jointly with scientists in another country where experimental
procedures which are forbidden in their own laboratories/institutions are permissible.

VII. LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE The HFSPO will assume no responsibility for any damage or
injury to awardees in connection with research conducted under the HFSP Short-Term Fellowship. In
accepting this award from the HFSPO, awardees release the HFSPO of all liability for any damage or
injuries which may occur while carrying out the funded research project.


(1) The awardees must devote themselves entirely to research in the host institution(s) and may
not engage in any other paid activity, without the agreement of the HFSPO.

(2) Each recipient must submit a brief report to the HFSPO within two months after completion of
the fellowship.

(3) The Organization will require reimbursement of part of the award if the duration of the
fellowship is shorter than was originally calculated.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 51

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By Ashim J Thakur

Haber’s Ammonia Chamber, Freezing the emotions

University of Karlsruhe, Germany

By Mr. Binoy Kr. Saikia

Rural Technology Advent of spring

Capital of Sikkim, Gangtak: The 8th member Evening look of river ‘Mora Bhoroli’ near
of NE India Tezpur University

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 52

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum


Contact address: Convener, Statphys

Department of Physics
IIT Guwahati,
Assam, India
Phone: +91 361 2582708
Mob: +91 94351 19013
Fax: +91 361 2582749

Area: Biology Inspired Physics

Soft-Condensed Matter
Complex Networks
Statistical Physics of Material

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 53

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum


Organization Stony Brook University/SUNY
Location US New York
Date Posted Oct 01 2007

The Research Foundation of Stony Brook University/SUNY anticipates the following
postdoctoral positions being available between Spring and Fall 2007.


Role of O-Fucosylation of proteins containing Thrombospondin Type 1 repeats. Robert
Haltiwanger, WC-R-4252-07-08-S
Glycoprotein synthesis and degradation. William J. Lennarz, WC-R-4255-07-08-S
Metabolic engineering of novel fatty acid accumulation in plant seeds. John Shanklin, WC-R-
Yeast chromatin modifying enzymes. Rolf Sternglanz, WC-R-4254-07-08-S
Regulation of Xenopus development by growth factor and ubiquitin pathways. Gerald
Thomsen, WC-R- 4252-07-08-S

Ultra-/nano-filtration/reverse osmosis, water purification, multifunctional copolymers,
polymer inorganic hybrids, polyoxometalates. Ben Chu, WC-R-4257-07-08-S
Polymer synthesis, nanocomposites, ultrafiltration/nanofiltration/reverse osmosis. Benjamin
Hsiao, WC-R-4259-07-08-S
Computational structural biology and biophysics. Carlos Simmerling, WC-R-4258-07-08-S

Computer Science, Linguistics, or Economics: News and Blog Data Analysis. Steven Skiena,


Fabrication and characterization of the Infrared optoelectronic devices. Gregory Belenky,


Detectors in experiments on laser proton acceleration. Peter Shkolnikov, WC-R-4289-07-08-S

Planetary Science: Chemical/Mineralogical evolution of Martian crust. Scott McLennan, WC-
Experimental Material/Mineral Chemistry. John Parise, WC-R-4262-07-08-S


Virus-host factor interactions involved in protein trafficking, assembly and particle release.
Carol Carter, WC-R-4282-07-08-S

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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Regulation of Nuclear Signaling Pathways by the Adenovirus E4-ORF3 Protein. Patrick

Hearing, WC-R-4264-07-08-S


Synaptic mechanisms in the retina. Gary Matthews, WC-R-4266-07-08-S
Electrophysiology of the injured spinal cord. Lorne Mendell, WC-R-4265-07-08-S
Physiology of neuregulin signaling in CNS synapses circuits and behaviors. Lorna Role, WC-

Wnt Signaling in Mouse Development. Ken-Ichi Takemaru, HS-R-4270-07-08-S
Mechanisms of neuregulin signaling in CNS synapses circuits and behaviors. D. Talmage,


Biophysics of signal transduction: membranes, PIP2, calmodulin, EGFR. Stuart McLaughlin,

To apply online and for information, visit or mail

résumés to: Office of the President, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-
0701. Stony Brook University/SUNY is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 55

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Details about the Northeast India Research Forum

Date of creation of the forum: 13th November 2004

Area: Science and Technology
Total number of members till date: 161

1. Arindam Adhikari, Ph.D. 2. Jadab Sharma, Ph.D.
Institute of Surface Chemistry, Royal Email:
Institute of Technology, Stockholm,

3. Utpal Borah, Ph.D. 4. Ashim J. Thakur, Ph.D.

Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Japan Chemical Science Dept,
Email: Tezpur University, Tezpur, Assam

Editorial Team of NE Quest

1. Dhanapati Deka, Ph.D. 2. Tankeswar Nath, Ph.D.

Reader, Scientist, R&D, Biotechnology,
School of Energy, Environment and Jubilant Organosys Ltd. Gajraula, UP,
Natural Reseources, Email:
Tezpur University, Assam

3. Manab Sharma, Ph.D. 4. Rashmi Rekha Devi, Ph.D

Dept of Chemistry, Scientist, Defence Material & Stores
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Research & Dev. Establishment, DRDO,
Israel. Kanpur.
Email: Email:

5. Joshodeep Boruwa, Ph.D. 6. Pankaj Bharali,

Fachbereich Chemie, L-940 Indian Institute of Chemical Technology,
Universitat Konstanz Hyderabad, India.
D-78457, Konstanz, Germany Email:

7. Pranjal Saikia 8. Áshim J Thakur, Ph.D.

I&PC Division (Volunteer editor of this Issue)
IICT, Hyderabad, India 9. Utpal Borah, Ph.D.
Email: 10. Arindam Adhikari, Ph.D.

Logo designed by: Cover page designed by: Anirban, Pune

Manab Sharma, Ph.D.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 3, October 2007, 56