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On molecular chirality within naturally occurring secondary organic aerosol particles from the central Amazon Basin

MARTINEZ, Imee Su; PETERSON, Mark D.; EBBEN, Carlena J.; HAYES, Patrick L.; Artaxo Netto, Paulo Eduardo; MARTIN, Scot T.; GEIGER, Franz M.
Fonte: ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY Publicador: ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
45.94%
In this perspectives article, we reflect upon the existence of chirality in atmospheric aerosol particles. We then show that organic particles collected at a field site in the central Amazon Basin under pristine background conditions during the wet and dry seasons consist of chiral secondary organic material. We show how the chiral response from the aerosol particles can be imaged directly without the need for sample dissolution, solvent extraction, or sample preconcentration. By comparing the chiral-response images with optical images, we show that chiral responses always originate from particles on the filter, but not all aerosol particles produce chiral signals. The intensity of the chiral signal produced by the size resolved particles strongly indicates the presence of chiral secondary organic material in the particle. Finally, we discuss the implications of our findings on chiral atmospheric aerosol particles in terms of climate-related properties and source apportionment.; Northwestern Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN); National Science Foundation NSF; Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS); Schlumberger Oilfield Chemical Products, LLC; FAPESP; CNPq; Office of Science (BES), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)[DE-FG02-08ER64529]; National Science Foundation Atmospheric Chemistry division[NSF ATM-0533436]; Division of Chemistry[CHE-0937460]; Irving M

Synergistic interaction between gold nanoparticles and nickel phthalocyanine in layer-by-layer (LbL) films: evidence of constitutional dynamic chemistry (CDC)

ALENCAR, Wagner S.; CRESPILHO, Frank N.; MARTINS, Marccus V. A.; ZUCOLOTTO, Valtencir; OLIVEIRA JUNIOR, Osvaldo Novais de; SILVA, Welter C.
Fonte: ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY Publicador: ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.91%
The concept of constitutional dynamic chemistry (CDC) based on the control of non-covalent interactions in supramolecular structures is promising for having a large impact on nanoscience and nanotechnology if adequate nanoscale manipulation methods are used. In this study, we demonstrate that the layer-by-layer (LbL) technique may be used to produce electroactive electrodes with ITO coated by tetrasulfonated nickel phthalocyanine (NiTsPc) alternated with poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) incorporating gold nanoparticles (AuNP), in which synergy has been achieved in the interaction between the nanoparticles and NiTsPc. The catalytic activity toward hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) in multilayer films was investigated using cyclic voltammetry, where oxidation of H(2)O(2) led to increased currents in the PAH-AuNP/NiTsPc films for the electrochemical processes associated with the phthalocyanine ring and nickel at 0.52 and 0.81 V vs. SCE, respectively, while for PAH/NiTsPc films (without AuNP) only the first redox process was affected. In control experiments we found out that the catalytic activity was not solely due to the presence of AuNP, but rather to the nanoparticles inducing NiTsPc supramolecular structures that favored access to their redox sites...

Protein-polysaccharide viscoelastic matrices: synergic effects of amylose on lysozyme physical gelation in aqueous dimethylsulfoxide

CRUZ, Willemberg A.; AREAS, Elizabeth P. G.
Fonte: ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY Publicador: ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.94%
A synergic effect of amylose on rheological characteristics of lysozyme physical gels evolved out of dimethylsulfoxide-water was verified and analyzed. The dynamics of the gels were experimentally approached by oscillatory rheology. The synergic effect was characterized by a decrease in the threshold DMSO volume fraction required for lysozyme gelation, and by a significant strengthening of the gel structure at over-critical solvent and protein concentrations. Drastic changes in the relaxation and creep curve patterns for systems in the presence of amylose were verified. Complex viscosity dependence on temperature was found to conform to an Arrhenius-like equation, allowing the determination of an activation energy term (Ea, apparent) for discrimination of gel rigidity. A dilatant effect was found to be induced by temperature on the flow behavior of lysozyme dispersions in DMSO-H(2)O in sub-critical conditions for gelation, which was greatly intensified by the presence of amylose in the samples. That transition was interpreted as reflecting a change from a predominant colloidal flow regime, where globular components are the prevailing structural elements, to a mainly fibrillar, polymeric flow behavior.; FAPESP (Brazil)

In situ infrared (FTIR) study of the mechanism of the borohydride oxidation reaction

CONCHA, B. Molina; CHATENET, M.; MAILLARD, F.; TICIANELLI, E. A.; LIMA, F. H. B.; LIMA, R. B. de
Fonte: ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY Publicador: ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
45.94%
Early reports stated that Au was a catalyst of choice for the BOR because it would yield a near complete faradaic efficiency. However, it has recently been suggested that gold could yield to some extent the heterogeneous hydrolysis of BH(4)(-),therefore lowering the electron count per BH(4)(-), especially at low potential. Actually, the blur will exist regarding the BOR mechanism on Au as long as no physical proof regarding the reaction intermediates is not put forward. In that frame, in situ physical techniques like FTIR exhibit some interest to study the BOR. Consequently, in situ infrared reflectance spectroscopy measurements (SPAIRS technique) have been performed in 1 M NaOH/1 M NaBH(4) on a gold electrode with the aim to detect the intermediate species. We monitored several bands in B-H ((nu) over bar similar to 1180,1080 and 972 cm(-1)) and B-O bond regions ((nu) over bar =1325 and similar to 1425cm(-1)), which appear sequentially as a function of the electrode polarization. These absorption bands are assigned to BH(3), BH(2) and BO(2)(-) species. At the light of the experimental results, possible initial elementary steps of the BOR on gold electrode have been proposed and discussed according to the relevant literature data.; CLUSTER-Energy Region Rhone-Alpes; CAPES-COFECUB[Ph 598/08]

Comparative physical-chemical characterization of encapsulated lipid-based isotretinoin products assessed by particle size distribution and thermal behavior analyses

GUIMARAES, Carla Aiolfi; MENAA, Farid; MENAA, Bouzid; QUENCA-GUILLEN, Joyce S.; MATOS, Jivaldo do Rosario; Mercuri, Lucildes Pita; Braz, Andre Borges; ROSSETTI, Fabia Cristina; KEDOR-HACKMANN, Erika Rosa Maria; SANTORO, Maria Ines Rocha Miritello
Fonte: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV Publicador: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
45.94%
Isotretinoin is the drug of choice for the management of severe recalcitrant nodular acne. Nevertheless, some of its physical-chemical properties are still poorly known. Hence, the aim of our study consisted to comparatively evaluate the particle size distribution (PSD) and characterize the thermal behavior of the three encapsulated isotretinoin products in oil suspension (one reference and two generics) commercialized in Brazil. Here, we show that the PSD, estimated by laser diffraction and by polarized light microscopy, differed between the generics and the reference product. However, the thermal behavior of the three products, determined by thermogravimetry (TGA), differential thermal (DTA) analyses and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), displayed no significant changes and were more thermostable than the isotretinoin standard used as internal control. Thus, our study suggests that PSD analyses in isotretinoin lipid-based formulations should be routinely performed in order to improve their quality and bioavailability. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.; CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development); CAPES (Coordination of Perfectioning Staff of Superior Level)

Theoretical chemistry: current applications to photochemistry and thermochemistry

Ornellas, Fernando R.
Fonte: SPRINGER; NEW YORK Publicador: SPRINGER; NEW YORK
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
45.98%
A historical perspective is given contrasting challenges and advances in theoretical chemistry at the time the first issue of Theoretical Chemistry Accounts appeared in 1962 and the progress achieved since then as expressed in current state-of-the-art applications in photochemistry and thermochemistry.

Quantum Chemistry in Nanoscale Environments: Insights on Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering and Organic Photovoltaics

Olivares-Amaya, Roberto
Fonte: Harvard University Publicador: Harvard University
Tipo: Thesis or Dissertation
EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
45.99%
The understanding of molecular effects in nanoscale environments is becoming increasingly relevant for various emerging fields. These include spectroscopy for molecular identification as well as in finding molecules for energy harvesting. Theoretical quantum chemistry has been increasingly useful to address these phenomena to yield an understanding of these effects. In the first part of this dissertation, we study the chemical effect of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). We use quantum chemistry simulations to study the metal-molecule interactions present in these systems. We find that the excitations that provide a chemical enhancement contain a mixed contribution from the metal and the molecule. Moreover, using atomistic studies we propose an additional source of enhancement, where a transition metal dopant surface could provide an additional enhancement. We also develop methods to study the electrostatic effects of molecules in metallic environments. We study the importance of image-charge effects, as well as field-bias to molecules interacting with perfect conductors. The atomistic modeling and the electrostatic approximation enable us to study the effects of the metal interacting with the molecule in a complementary fashion...

Towards Viable Quantum Computation for Chemistry

Babbush, Ryan Joseph
Fonte: Harvard University Publicador: Harvard University
Tipo: Thesis or Dissertation; text Formato: application/pdf
EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.09%
Since its introduction one decade ago, the quantum algorithm for chemistry has been among the most anticipated applications of quantum computers. However, as the age of industrial quantum technology dawns, so has the realization that even “polynomial” resource overheads are often prohibitive. There remains a large gap between the capabilities of existing hardware and the resources required to quantum compute classically intractable problems in chemistry. The primary contribution of this dissertation is to take meaningful steps towards reducing the costs of three approaches to quantum computing chemistry. First, we discuss how chemistry problems can be embedded in Hamiltonians suitable for commercially manufactured quantum annealing machines. We introduce schemes for more efficiently compiling problems to annealing Hamiltonians and apply the techniques to problems in protein folding, gene expression, and cheminformatics. Second, we introduce the first adiabatic quantum algorithm for fermionic simulation. Towards this end, we develop tools which embed arbitrary universal Hamiltonians in constrained hardware at a reduced cost. Finally, we turn our attention to the digital quantum algorithm for chemistry. By exploiting the locality of physical interactions...

5.068 Physical Methods in Inorganic Chemistry, Spring 2005; Physical Methods in Inorganic Chemistry

Mueller, Peter
Fonte: MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology Publicador: MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
EN-US
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.12%
Introduction to the study of physical methods to probe the electronic and geometric structure of inorganic compounds. Included are electronic photoelectron spectroscopy; vibrational and rotational spectroscopy; magnetic measurements (including electron and nuclear spin resonance); Mossbauer spectroscopy; mass spectrometry; electrochemical measurements and crystallographic chemical analysis (including hands-on use of departmental facilities). From the course home page: Course Description This course covers the following topics: X-ray diffraction: symmetry, space groups, geometry of diffraction, structure factors, phase problem, direct methods, Patterson methods, electron density maps, structure refinement, how to grow good crystals, powder methods, limits of X-ray diffraction methods, and structure data bases.

Nanocrystalline titania: Controlling physical properties and photocatalytic behavior

Wahi, Raj
Fonte: Universidade Rice Publicador: Universidade Rice
Tipo: Thesis; Text Formato: 172 p.; application/pdf
ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
45.97%
This dissertation describes a hydrothermal method for synthesizing titanium dioxide nanocrystals with controllable physical properties and explores the influence of such properties on the material's photocatalytic efficiency. The preparation of nanoscale titania from an alkoxide precursor in ethanol under mild hydrothermal conditions yields highly crystalline, thermally stable, phase-pure anatase dots whose sizes can be fine-tuned through adjustment of reaction temperature, precursor concentration, and water-to-alkoxide ratio. By optimizing the synthetic conditions, one may obtain grain sizes as small as 5.5 nm and surface areas up to 250 m2 g-1. The importance of various physical properties in determining the photocatalytic performance of nanocrystalline titania is investigated and clarified using photodegradation of an azo dye as a model reaction. Experimental photocatalytic activities, as quantified by dye half-life and Langmuir-Hinshelwood rate constants, confirm that anatase is an inherently superior photocatalyst to rutile and that activity enhancement due to anatase-rutile synergy in mixed-phase catalysts is contingent upon other factors such as the nature of the anatase-rutile interface. Also, it is shown for the first time that the shape of a titania nanocrystal significantly affects its photocatalytic efficiency. Specifically...

Educational analysis of the first year chemistry experiment 'Thermodynamics Think-In': an ACELL experiment

Read, Justin Robert; Kable, Scott Henderson
Fonte: Royal Society of Chemistry Publicador: Royal Society of Chemistry
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em //2007 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
45.98%
This paper describes an educational analysis of a First Year University chemistry practical called ‘Thermodynamics Think-In’. The analysis follows the formalism of the Advancing Chemistry by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory (ACELL) project, which includes a statement of education objectives, and an analysis of the student learning experience. The practical consists of a suite of ten well-known, short experiments on the general theme of ‘thermodynamics in chemical change’. Pairs of students undertake a specified and graded set of five of these experiments. All experiments require careful observation by both students, followed by discussion between them until a common, mutually-agreed explanation for their observations can be formulated. The pair then discusses their explanation with a demonstrator, who may challenge it, point out flaws, or provide new information. Student surveys were conducted using the ACELL Student Learning Experience instrument. Analysis of the data shows that students enjoy working on the practical, and report it to be a beneficial learning experience that effectively develops their understanding of thermodynamic principles. The practical also fosters significant interest, and through a process of collaboration and cooperation aids the students in further developing their generic thinking skills.; http://www.acell.org/ACELL-Document-Library.cfm?obj_id=87; Justin R. Read and Scott H. Kable; © The Royal Society of Chemistry

Entropy driven chain effects on ligation chemistry

Pahnke, Kai; Brandt, Josef; Gryn'ova, Ganna; Lindner, Peter; Schweins, Ralf; Schmidt, Friedrich Georg; Lederer, Albena; Coote, Michelle L.; Barner-Kowollik, Christopher
Fonte: Royal Society of Chemistry Publicador: Royal Society of Chemistry
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: 14 pages
Relevância na Pesquisa
45.96%
We report the investigation of fundamental entropic chain effects that enable the tuning of modular ligation chemistry – for example dynamic Diels–Alder (DA) reactions in materials applications – not only classically via the chemistry of the applied reaction sites, but also via the physical and steric properties of the molecules that are being joined. Having a substantial impact on the reaction equilibrium of the reversible ligation chemistry, these effects are important when transferring reactions from small molecule studies to larger or other entropically very dissimilar systems. The effects on the DA equilibrium and thus the temperature dependent degree of debonding (%debond) of different cyclopentadienyl (di-)functional poly(meth-) acrylate backbones (poly(methyl methacrylate), poly(iso-butyl methacrylate), poly(tert-butyl methacrylate), poly(iso-butyl acrylate), poly(n-butyl acrylate), poly(tert-butyl acrylate), poly(methyl acrylate) and poly(isobornyl acrylate)), linked via a difunctional cyanodithioester (CDTE) were examined via high temperature (HT) NMR spectroscopy as well as temperature dependent (TD) SEC measurements. A significant impact of not only chain mass and length with a difference in the degree of debonding of up to 30% for different lengths of macromonomers of the same polymer type but – remarkably – as well the chain stiffness with a difference in bonding degrees of nearly 20% for isomeric poly(butyl acrylates) is found. The results were predicted...

Host-guest chemistry between cucurbit[7]uril and neutral and cationic guests

WYMAN, IAN
Fonte: Quens University Publicador: Quens University
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: 7145551 bytes; application/pdf
EN; EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.01%
This thesis describes the host-guest chemistry between cucurbit[7]uril (CB[7]) and various series of guests, including neutral polar organic solvents, bis(pyridinium)alkane dications, local anaesthetics, acetylcholine analogues, as well as succinylcholine and decamethonium analogues, in aqueous solution. A focus of this thesis is the effects of varying the chemical structures within different series of guests upon the nature of the host-guest chemistry, such as the relative position and orientation of the guest relative to the CB[7] cavity, and the strengths of the binding affinities. The binding affinities of polar organic solvents with CB[7] depend upon the hydrophobic effect and dipole-quadrupole interactions. The polar guests align themselves so that their dipole moment is perpendicular to the quadrupole moment of CB[7]. The binding strengths of acetone and acetophenone to CB[7] decrease in the presence of alkali metals. Discrete 1:1 and 2:1 host-guest complexes are formed between CB[7] and a series of bis(pyridinium)alkane guests. In most cases the CB[7] initially occupies the aliphatic linker when the 1:1 complex is formed and migrates to the terminal regions as the second CB[7] is added. When bulky, hydrophobic tert-butyl substituents are present...

Algorithms Bridging Quantum Computation and Chemistry

McClean, Jarrod Ryan
Fonte: Harvard University Publicador: Harvard University
Tipo: Thesis or Dissertation; text Formato: application/pdf
EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
45.94%
The design of new materials and chemicals derived entirely from computation has long been a goal of computational chemistry, and the governing equation whose solution would permit this dream is known. Unfortunately, the exact solution to this equation has been far too expensive and clever approximations fail in critical situations. Quantum computers offer a novel solution to this problem. In this work, we develop not only new algorithms to use quantum computers to study hard problems in chemistry, but also explore how such algorithms can help us to better understand and improve our traditional approaches. In particular, we first introduce a new method, the variational quantum eigensolver, which is designed to maximally utilize the quantum resources available in a device to solve chemical problems. We apply this method in a real quantum photonic device in the lab to study the dissociation of the helium hydride (HeH$^{+}$) molecule. We also enhance this methodology with architecture specific optimizations on ion trap computers and show how linear-scaling techniques from traditional quantum chemistry can be used to improve the outlook of similar algorithms on quantum computers. We then show how studying quantum algorithms such as these can be used to understand and enhance the development of classical algorithms. In particular we use a tool from adiabatic quantum computation...

Biofuels & atmospheric chemistry: what can a global model tell us about our future decisions?

Pike, Rachel Catherine
Fonte: University of Cambridge; Department of Chemistry Publicador: University of Cambridge; Department of Chemistry
Tipo: Thesis; doctoral; PhD
EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
45.99%
Biomass energy is the oldest form of energy harnessed by humans. Currently, processed biofuels, which are derived from biomass, are being pursued as a possi- ble route to decarbonize the transport sector?a particularly dif?cult task for both technological and sociological reasons. In this thesis I explore the impacts that large scale biofuel use could have on atmospheric chemistry. I review the current state of biofuels politically and technologically, focusing on ethanol and biodiesel. I discuss the salient features of tropospheric chemistry and in particular the oxidation of isoprene, an important biogenic volatile organic compound. I examine the impact that including isoprene oxidation has in a new chemistry-climate computer model, UKCA; the response of ozone turns out to depend on local chemical conditions. To evaluate the global model, I use data from the OP3 ?eld campaign in Malaysia and compare it with output from the model chemical mechanism. The mechanism is able to reproduce NOx and ozone measurements well, though is more sensitive to representations of physical rather than chemical processes. I also perform a simple sensitivity study which examines crop changes in the region of Southeast Asia. In the ?nal two chapters...

Building Bridges Between the Physical and Biological Sciences

Ninham, Barry; Bostrom, Mathias Anders
Fonte: C M B Association Publicador: C M B Association
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.04%
This paper attempts to identify major conceptual issues that have inhibited the application of physical chemistry to problems in the biological sciences. We will trace out where theories went wrong, how to repair the present foundations, and discuss current progress toward building a better dialogue.

Exploration of the Potential of using a Virtual Laboratory for Chemistry Teaching at Secondary School Level in Lesotho

George,Mosotho J.; Kolobe,'Mamontsi
Fonte: South African Journal of Chemistry Publicador: South African Journal of Chemistry
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/01/2014 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
45.94%
With the ever-increasing economic challenges facing education in Lesotho and indeed the world at large, there is a need for innovative solutions to support academic programmes without compromising quality. The use of computer simulations and video demonstrations is increasingly finding use globally in order to respond to economic challenges and purportedly to improve understanding of abstract phenomena. This manuscript presents the views of the chemistry teachers and students registered at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) towards the development of a Virtual Laboratory (VL) where the experiments in the secondary school chemistry syllabus, will be video-recorded and distributed to schools. The results demonstrated a need for VL since only 4 % of the respondents indicated having performed more than 10 experiments with reasons ranging from poorly equipped laboratories (66 %) to no laboratories (6 %) for fewer to no experiments having been performed. This venture is generally accepted (96 % of 166 respondents) with only a minority stating it can never replace physical laboratory. Distribution of the VL would require innovative means since internetaccessibility seems a challenge for most schools with accessibility of only 35 %.

The Contributions of James Moir to Physical Chemistry

Loyson,P.
Fonte: South African Journal of Chemistry Publicador: South African Journal of Chemistry
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/01/2014 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.16%
James Moir was a pioneering chemist in the early 1900s who played a leading role in various chemical societies in South Africa. Although he was mainly an organic chemist, he was a very good all-round chemist, whose analytical and organic activities have already been covered in this j ournal. This article examines his research in physical chemistry, covering the spectral analysis of the ruby and emerald gemstones, a detailed analysis of part of the Fraunhofer lines of the solar spectrum, and an examination of the spectra of cobalt compounds, the permanganate ion, and uranium compounds. Finally, as part of his inorganic and analytical investigations, he also delved into the physical chemistry aspects of solution chemistry, particularly the hydrolysis of the cyanide ion.

Students' conceptions about the sub-microscopic approach to explanations in chemistry throughout their BSc degree course

Serobatse,Boingotlo M; Selvaratnam,Mailoo; Drummond,Helen P.
Fonte: South African Journal of Chemistry Publicador: South African Journal of Chemistry
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/01/2014 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.06%
The main objective of this study was to test chemistry students' competence, throughout the entire BSc course at North-West University (Mafikeng Campus), in the use of the important and widely applicable strategy of explaining the facts, principles and laws of chemistry in terms of the properties of the constituent sub-microscopic particles. Seventeen questions were used for systematically testing all basic aspects of chemistry. The aspects tested included the following: the types of particles present and their properties in various types of matter (e.g. metals, non-metals, ionic compounds, covalent compounds, mixtures, gases, liquids, solids, solutions); the changes in the nature, arrangement and properties of the particles during both physical and chemical changes; the explanation of physical and chemical properties of substances in terms of the properties of the constituent particles. Student performance was consistently bad and it did not improve as they progressed from year to year in their BSc course. More than half of them (average performance in all questions) had difficulty in answering the questions. Analysis of students' answers suggested that most students' difficulties were due to their not identifying clearly the problem that had to be solved and their not using the relevant principles and reasoning to solve the problems. Instead...

Overcoming conceptual difficulties in first-year chemistry students by applying concrete teaching tools

Marais,A.F.(Fiona)
Fonte: South African Journal of Chemistry Publicador: South African Journal of Chemistry
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/01/2011 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
45.94%
Students entering university to study chemistry have difficulty understanding the concepts involved when attention is focused at the particulate level of matter. No-one can actually see what happens to individual molecules or atoms during any process of change and most means of explanation at the visible, or macro level are inadequate when describing behaviour at the particulate, or micro level. Structured worksheets and coloured Lego® building blocks were employed in order to facilitate understanding of the physical changes that water undergoes during changes of temperature. A sample size of 154 Foundation Programme students was used and the responses of these students investigated. A constructivist approach, enabling students to apply concrete reasoning in building their own knowledge, was evaluated. Students worked with interlocking building blocks to improve their understanding of molecular structure and behaviour. The students' academic performance improved when using these more concrete tools. This demonstrates that teaching is more effective when allowing visual and tactile senses to interact. It is therefore the purpose of this paper to substantiate the use of concrete tools, such as Lego® blocks, to help explain difficult concepts in chemistry...