Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Química Nova]]> http://www.scielo.br/rss.php?pid=0100-404220150003&lang=es vol. 38 num. 3 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.br/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.br <![CDATA[INTEGRIDADE CIENTÍFICA: COMPROMISSO DA SBQ]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300297&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es <![CDATA[A NEW HOMOGENEOUS ELECTROCATALYST FOR ELECTROCHEMICAL CARBONYLATION OF METHANOL TO DIMETHYL CARBONATE]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300298&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Electrosynthesis of dimethyl carbonate (DMC) from methanol and carbon monoxide using an Cu(phen)Cl2 catalyst was achieved at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. The catalytic activity of the ligand 1,10-phenanthroline (phen) and the catalytic system were analyzed. The IR characterization results for the complex catalyst showed that copper ions were coordinated by nitrogen atoms of phen. In addition, the effects of the influencing factors, such as reaction time (t), reaction temperature (T) and the surface area of the working electrode (SWE) were studied. <![CDATA[MICROWAVE ACTIVATION OF IMMOBILIZED LIPASE FOR TRANSESTERIFICATION OF VEGETABLE OILS]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300303&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This work investigated the effect of microwave irradiation (MW) on the ethanolysis rate of soybean and sunflower oils catalyzed by supported Novozyme 435 (Candida antarctica). The effects of tert-butanol, water addition and oil:ethanol molar ratio on transesterification were evaluated under conventional heating (CH), and under optimum reaction conditions (with no added water in the system, 10% tert-butanol and 3:1 ethanol-to-oil molar ratio). The reactions were monitored up to 24 h to determine the conditions of initial reaction velocity. The investigated variables under MW (50 W) were: reaction time (5.0-180 min) and mode of reactor operation (fixed power, dynamic and cycles) in the absence and presence of tert-butanol (10% (w/w). The measured response was the reaction conversion in ethyl esters, which was linked to the enzyme catalytic activity. The results indicated that the use of microwave improved the activity at fixed power mode. A positive effect of the association of tert-butanol and MW irradiation on the catalytic activity was observed. The reaction rate improved in the order of approximately 1.5 fold compared to that under CH with soybean oil. Using soybean oil, the enzymatic transesterification under MW for conversion to FAEE (fatty acid ethyl esters) reached &gt;99% in 3h, while with the use of CH the conversions were about 57% under similar conditions. <![CDATA[TRIHALOMETHANES IN FRESH WATER AND CANCER HAZARD: SIMULATION USING INTERACTION POTENTIAL AND BÄCKLUND TRANSFORMATIONS]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300309&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es We briefly investigated the well-known correlation of trihalomethanes, present in fresh water, with cancer hazard in humans. A transient alternative method of chemical simulation using Bäcklund Transformations and Quantum Mechanics is presented. Finally, the method was applied to simulate the interaction between Trichloridemethane and Alanine - as well as its amino and carboxyl groups. <![CDATA[PHYSICOCHEMICAL ANALYSES OF MODIFIED CHONDROITIN SULFATE BIOFILMS]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300316&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Numerous investigations are dedicated to the research and development of new polymer materials destined for innovation in pharmaceutical forms. The application of these technological resources has allowed the commercialization of new therapeutic systems for modified drug release. This investigation aimed to evaluate the association of modified chondroitin sulfate with an insoluble polymer, Eudragit® RS 30 D, widely available in the pharmaceutical market. Isolated films were prepared by the evaporation process using a Teflon® plate. The aqueous dispersions (4% m/v) of synthetic polymer received the addition of modified chondroitin sulfate at different ratios. The interactions of the polymer chains in the blends were physicochemically characterized by means of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermal analyses, differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetry and scanning electron microscopy combined with hydration and assays in alkaline pH. The results showed appropriate properties of the coating materials for solid oral forms intended for drug deliver in specific environments. <![CDATA[DEVELOPMENT OF HYBRID MICRO-MESOPOROUS MATERIALS OF ZSM-12/MCM-41 TYPE]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300321&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Micro-mesoporous hybrid materials of ZSM-12/MCM-41 type with different micro- and mesoporosity contributions were prepared by a procedure that uses the desilication of the zeolite in an alkaline medium, followed by recrystallization onto the mesostructure, where the zeolite is used as the silica source in the formation of mesoporous phase. The materials were characterized by X-ray diffraction, nitrogen adsorption-desorption at 77 K, scanning electron microscopy and thermal analysis. The results showed that the methodology utilized is efficient for obtaining hybrid materials of ZSM-12/MCM-41 type with optimized micro-and mesoporosity. <![CDATA[CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND CRYSTALLIZATION TEMPERATURES OF ESTERS OBTAINED FROM FOUR VEGETABLE OILS EXTRACTED FROMSEEDS OF BRAZILIAN CERRADO PLANTS]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300328&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The seed oils from four plants (Scheelea phalerata, Butia capitata, Syagrus romanzoffiana, Terminalia cattapa) found in Mato Grosso do Sul were extracted at good yields. Alkaline transesterification of these seed oils to esters using methanol and ethanol was studied and also produced good yields. Oleic acid (30.5/32.3%), lauric acid (30.7/32.9%) methyl and ethyl esters, were the main components of transesterification of the oils from Scheelea phalerata and Syagrus romanzoffiana. Lauric acid (42.2%), capric acid (15.9%) and caprylic acid (14.6%) methyl and ethyl esters were the main ester components of transesterification of the oil from Butia capitata. Oleic acid (37.8%), palmitic acid (33.5%) and linoleic acid (22.6%) methyl and ethyl esters were the main components of transesterification of oil from Terminalia catappa. Based on differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) studies, the first crystallization peak temperature of esters was observed. Esters derived from oils of the family Arecaceae (Scheelea phalerata, Butia capitata, Syagrus romanzoffiana) showed the lowest points of crystallization, despite having high levels of saturated fat. Esters of Terminalia cattapa oil, rich in unsaturated fat, showed the highest crystallization temperature. This difference in behavior is probably related to the high concentration of esters derived from lauric acid and palmitic acid. <![CDATA[METABOLIC SCREENING FOR PKS AND NRPS IN ENDOPHYTIC ACTINOBACTERIA FROM Citrus reticulata]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300333&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Polyketides and non-ribosomal peptides are natural products widely found in bacteria, fungi and plants. The biological activities associated with these metabolites have attracted special attention in biopharmaceutical studies. Polyketide synthases act similarly to fatty acids synthetases and the whole multi-enzymatic set coordinating precursor and extending unit selection and reduction levels during chain growth. Acting in a similarly orchestrated model, non-ribosomal peptide synthetases biosynthesize NRPs. PKSs-I and NRPSs enzymatic modules and domains are collinearly organized with the parent gene sequence. This arrangement allows the use of degenerated PCR primers to amplify targeted regions in the genes corresponding to specific enzymatic domains such as ketosynthases and acyltransferases in PKSs and adenilation domains in NRPSs. Careful analysis of these short regions allows the classifying of a set of organisms according to their potential to biosynthesize PKs and NRPs. In this work, the biosynthetic potential of a set of 13 endophytic actinobacteria from Citrus reticulata for producing PKs and NRP metabolites was evaluated. The biosynthetic profile was compared to antimicrobial activity. Based on the inhibition promoted, 4 strains were considered for cluster analysis. A PKS/NRPS phylogeny was generated in order to classify some of the representative sequences throughout comparison with homologous genes. Using this approach, a molecular fingerprint was generated to help guide future studies on the most promising strains. <![CDATA[VIS-NIR SPECTROMETRY, SOIL PHOSPHATE EXTRACTION METHODS AND INTERACTIONS OF SOIL ATTRIBUTES]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300342&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationships between the spectra in the Vis-NIR range and the soil P concentrations obtained from the PM and Prem extraction methods as well as the effects of these relationships on the construction of models predicting P concentration in Oxisols. Soil samples' spectra and their PM and Prem extraction solutions were determined for the Vis-NIR region between 400 and 2500 nm. Mineralogy and/or organic matter content act as primary attributes allowing correlation of these soil phosphorus fractions with the spectra, mainly at wavelengths between 450-550, 900-1100 nm, near 1400 nm and between 2200-2300 nm. However, the regression models generated were not suitable for quantitative phosphate analysis. Solubilization of organic matter and reactions during the PM extraction process hindered correlations between the spectra and these P soil fractions. For Prem,, the presence of Ca in the extractant and preferential adsorption by gibbsite and iron oxides, particularly goethite, obscured correlations with the spectra. <![CDATA[THE USE OF LOW-FIELD NMR FOR EVALUATING THE MOLECULAR DYNAMIC OF <em>Origanum vulgare</em>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300351&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In this work, proton NMR relaxometry was used to measure the behavior of spin-lattice relaxation time with T1H as the time constant, and also of spin-spin relaxation time with the time constant T2H. These relaxometry parameters were determined to better understand the changes in the main structures present in commercial and in nature forms of origanum. The T1H relaxation data showed that the structures which had higher molecular mass were more sensitive to degradation with increased temperature treatment. According to the values of the T2H parameter, up to 150 degrees no significant change in the mobility and organization of water was observed. These data infer that the ideal cooking temperature and tea preparation mode for this herb should be around 100 degrees for the sample not to lose its characteristics. Also, it is not advisable to cook this herb at higher than 150 degrees but better to consume it at room temperature, especially give commercial herb has already been dehydrated. <![CDATA[MODIFIED DGT DEVICES USING ALTERNATIVE MATERIALS FOR THE SPECIATION OF TRACE ELEMENTS IN NATURAL WATERS]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300356&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The use of MT-K10 Montmorillonite immobilized onto agarose was investigated in this work as an alternative binding phase in Diffusive Gradient in Thin Film (DGT) devices for the determination of metallic labile species. In addition, agarose itself was also used as the diffusive phase. The percentage of sorption of Zn2+, Cu2+, Cr3+, Mn2+, Cd2+, Pb2+, and Ni2+ onto the binding phase was higher than 80% and the desorption process for all elements was also greater than 75%. Elution factors were determined experimentally, ranging from 0.74 for Zn2+ and 0.90 for Cr3+ and Pb2+. The accumulation of all species was linear with time, in agreement with the Fick's 1st law of diffusion. The deployment of the alternative devices in natural waters was compared to commercial devices. Labile concentrations determined by the alternative devices were slightly superior compared to results obtained with the deployment of original DGT devices due to the less restrictive pores of agarose. <![CDATA[STUDY OF IMMOBILIZATION OF LIPASE IN SILICA BY THE SOL-GEL TECHNIQUE]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300364&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The objective of this work was the immobilization of the enzyme Candida antarctica lipase B (CAL B) using the sol-gel method of immobilization and three different initiators of the polymerization reaction: one acid (HCl), one basic (NH4OH) and the other nucleophilic (HBr). Tetraethylorthosilicate was used as the silica precursor. The influence of the additive PEG 1500 on immobilization was assessed. The efficiency of the process was evaluated considering the esterification activity of the xerogels. The immobilization process provided enhanced thermal stability, storage and operational aspects relative to the free enzyme. Storage temperature proved one of the main variables to be considered in the process, with the xerogels stored under refrigeration showing better results in terms of residual activity (nearly 200 days with ≥ 90% residual activity of basic and nucleophilic xerogels) when compared with storage at ambient temperature (nearly 40 days). The results demonstrated the possibility of reuse of derivatives and a greater number of cycles (nine), considering a residual activity of 50%. <![CDATA[NOVEL SUPERABSORBENT HYDROGEL COMPOSITE BASED ON POLY(ACRYLAMIDE-<em>CO</em>-ACRYLATE)/NONTRONITE: CHARACTERIZATION AND SWELLING PERFORMANCE]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300370&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es A novel superabsorbent hydrogel (SH) composite based on a poly(acrylamide-co-acrylate) matrix filled with nontronite (NONT), a Fe(III)-rich member of the smectite group of clay minerals, is described in this manuscript. A variety of techniques, including FTIR, XRD, TGA, and SEM/EDX, were utilized to characterize this original composite. Experimental data confirmed the SH composite formation and suggested NONT was completely dispersed in the polymeric matrix. Additionally, NONT improved the water uptake capacity of the final material, which exhibited fast absorption, low sensitivity to the presence of salt, high water retention and a pH sensitive properties. These preliminary data showed that the original SH composite prepared here possesses highly attractive properties for applications in areas such as the agriculture field, particularly as a soil conditioner. <![CDATA[CHEMICAL COMPOSITION VARIABILITY IN THE <em>Uncaria tomentosa</em> (cat’s claw) WILD POPULATION]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300378&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Uncaria tomentosa (cat's claw) is a vine widely distributed throughout the South-American rainforest. Many studies investigating the chemical composition of cat's claw have focused on the pentacyclic (POA) and tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids (TOA), quinovic acid glycosides (QAG), and polyphenols (PPH). Nevertheless, it is still uncertain how environmental factors affect chemical groups. The aim of this work was to better understand the influence of environmental factors (geographic origin, altitude, and season) on cat's claw chemical composition. Stem bark, branches and leaf samples were extracted and analyzed by HPLC-PDA. The data obtained were explored by multivariate analysis (HCA and PCA). Higher amounts of oxindole alkaloids and PPH were found in leaves, followed by stem bark and branches. No clear relationship was verified among geographic origin or altitude and chemical composition, which remained unchanged regardless of season (dry or rainy). However, three oxindole alkaloid chemotypes were clearly recognized: chemotype I (POA with cis D/E ring junction); chemotype II (POA with trans D/E ring junction); and chemotype III (TOA). Thus, environmental factors appear to have only a minor influence on the chemical heterogeneity of the cat's claw wild population. Nevertheless, the occurrence of different chemotypes based on alkaloid profiles seems to be clear. <![CDATA[CARBOXYLATION OF SILVER NANOPARTICLES FOR THE IMMOBILIZATION OF β-GALACTOSIDASE AND ITS EFFICACY IN GALACTO-OLIGOSACCHARIDES PRODUCTION]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300387&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The present study investigated the carboxylation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) by 1:3 nitric acid-sulfuric acid mixtures for immobilizing Aspergillus oryzae β-galactosidase. Carboxylated AgNPs retained 93% enzyme upon immobilization and the enzyme did not leach out appreciably from the modified nanosupport in the presence of 100 mmol L-1 NaCl. Atomic force micrograph revealed the binding of β-galactosidase on the modified AgNPs. The optimal pH for soluble and carboxylated AgNPs adsorbed β-galactosidase (IβG) was observed at pH 4.5 while the optimal operating temperature was broadened from 50 ºC to 60 ºC for IβG. Michaelis constant, Km was increased two and a half fold for IβG while Vmax decreases slightly as compared to soluble enzyme. β-galactosidase immobilized on surface functionalized AgNPs retained 70% biocatalytic activity even at 4% galactose concentration as compared to enzyme in solution. Our study showed that IβG produces greater amount of galacto-oligosaccharides at higher temperatures (50 ºC and 60 ºC) from 0.1 mol L-1 lactose solution at pH 4.5 as compared to previous reports. <![CDATA[APPLICATION OF NANOSTRUCTURED IRON OXIDES AS ADSORBENTS AND PHOTOCATALYSTS FOR WASTEWATER REMOVAL]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300393&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es New techniques for treating wastewater, particularly the removal or degradation of organic pollutants and heavy metals, among other pollutants, have been extensively studied. The use of nanostructured iron oxides as adsorbent and photocatalyst for the removal of these contaminants has proved a promising approach, not only because of their high treatment efficiency, but also for their cost-effectiveness, having the flexibility for in situ and ex situ applications. In this review, we briefly introduced the most used kinds of iron oxide nanoparticles, some synthesis techniques for iron oxide nanostructure formation, their potential benefits in environmental clean-up, and their recent advances and applications in wastewater treatment. These advances range from the direct applications of synthesized nanoparticles as adsorbents for removing toxic contaminants or as catalysts to oxidize and break down noxious contaminants (including bacteria and viruses) in wastewater, to integrating nanoparticles into conventional treatment technologies, such as composite photocatalytic filters (membranes, sand and ceramic) that combine separation technology with photocatalytic activity. Finally, the impact of nanoparticles on the environment and human health is briefly discussed. <![CDATA[USE OF MODIFIED SILICAS FOR LIPASE IMMOBILIZATION]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300399&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Enzyme-support strategies are increasingly replacing conventional chemical methods in both laboratories and industries with attributes including efficiency, higher performance and multifarious use, where silica surfaces show potential due to the chemical bonds based on the presence of hydroxyl groups which can be modified with different additives. Surface-modified silica is a novel class of materials capable of improving enzyme stability and reusability that can be applied to support several immobilization techniques. This review describes the use of innovative modified supports to improve the state of enzyme immobilization and provide the industrial sector with new perspectives. <![CDATA[METHODOLOGIES FOR SAMPLING, PRESERVATION AND STORAGE OF WATER SAMPLES FOR MERCURY ANALYSIS – A REVIEW.]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300410&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Knowing the mercury levels of an environment allows a diverse array of biogeochemical studies into the mercury cycle on a local or global scale. Among matrices commonly evaluated, water remains a challenge for research because its mercury levels can be very low, requiring development of complex analytical protocols. Currently, sample preservation methods, protocols that avoid contamination, and analytical techniques with low detection limits allow analysis of mercury in pristine waters. However, different protocols suggest different methods depending on a range of factors such as the characteristics of water sampled and storage time. In remote areas, such as oceanic and Amazonian regions, sample preservation and transport to a laboratory can be difficult, requiring processing of the water during the sampling expedition and the establishment of a field laboratory. Brazilian research on mercury in water can be limited due to difficulty obtaining reagents, lack of laboratory structure, qualified personnel, and financial support. Considering this complexity for analyzing water, we reviewed methodologies for sampling, preservation, and storage of water samples for analysis of the most commonly evaluated mercury species (dissolved gaseous mercury, reactive mercury, methylmercury and total mercury). <![CDATA[IN-HOUSE VALIDATION OF METHYLTESTOSTERONE DETERMINATION IN NATURAL WATERS BY VOLTAMMETRY USING HANGING MERCURY DROP ELECTRODE]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300419&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es 17α-methyltestosterone (17α-MT) is a hormone used in medicine and aquaculture which can be found in natural waters. It is considered an emerging organic pollutant and its accurate and precise analysis is required. Therefore, this study presents the in-house validation of a new voltammetric methodology for 17α-MT analysis in natural waters. A hanging mercury drop electrode and NaOH 5.0×10-3 mol L-1 solution as the electrolyte were employed in the voltammetric determinations. To confirm the presence of 17α-MT in water samples quantitative analysis was performed by ESI-MS/MS. The methodology exhibited good selectivity, linearity, accuracy (recovery of between 100.4 and 108.8%) and precision (RSDs for repeatability of 2.85% and for intermediate precision of 14.10%, with n = 5, respectively). LOD and LOQ were 3.07 µg L-1 and 10.78 µg L-1, respectively. The methodology was suitable for determination of 17α-MT in natural waters due to low-cost, good performance and no sample pre-treatment required. <![CDATA[HS-SPME-GC-MS ANALYSIS OF VOLATILE AND SEMI-VOLATILE COMPOUNDS FROM DRIED LEAVES OF <em>Mikania glomerata</em> Sprengel]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300427&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This paper reports on the identification of volatile and semi-volatile compounds and a comparison of the chromatographic profiles obtained by Headspace Solid-Phase Microextraction/Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry detection (HS-SPME-GC-MS) of dried leaves of Mikania glomerata Sprengel (Asteraceae), also known as 'guaco.' Three different types of commercial SPME fibers were tested: polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), polydimethylsiloxane/divinylbenzene (PDMS/DVB) and polyacrylate (PA). Fifty-nine compounds were fully identified by HS-SPME-HRGC-MS, including coumarin, a marker for the quality control of guaco-based phytomedicines; most of the other identified compounds were mono- and sesquiterpenes. PA fibers performed better in the analysis of coumarin, while PDMS-DVB proved to be the best choice for a general and non-selective analysis of volatile and semi-volatile guaco-based compounds. The SPME method is faster and requires a smaller sample than conventional hydrodistillation of essential oils, providing a general overview of the volatile and semi-volatile compounds of M. glomerata. <![CDATA[TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING THE USE OF STAIRCASE SWEEP VOLTAMMETRY]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300431&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Cyclic voltammetry has become one of the most useful tools in modern electrochemistry, but the use of digital potentiostats should be treated with caution by users. Staircase Voltammetry utilizes some parameters to build up the potential ramp. However, for some electrochemical processes, the signal response can be different compared with that acquired using true linear sweep (analogic signal). In this work, the role of SCV parameters in current response during the hydrogen electrochemical adsorption/desorption reaction on a platinum surface was studied. In addition, the transient current in each step comprising the ramp was investigated. The results showed that with a step height of 2 mV, the SCV response matches that recorded by linear sweep voltammetry. From the transient current study, two kinds of capacity were identified: non-faradaic and faradaic charge. <![CDATA[TRULY GREEN CHEMISTRY – CHLORINE'S CHEMICAL PROPERTIES AND ITS PRESENTATION BY EXPERIMENTS ON A MINIATURISED SCALE]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300436&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Chlorine, one of the most frequent elements on earth and most important key chemicals, is indispensable in the syllabi of school and university courses in Inorganic Chemistry. However, its toxicity and high volatility preclude experimental demonstration of its properties in secondary and high schools and most university labs. This paper summarises the industrial role of chlorine and presents miniaturised experiments demonstrating some of the processes used in Industrial Inorganic Chemistry. Furthermore, experiments illustrating important concepts of Inorganic Chemistry such as Ion Bonding and Molecular Orbital Theory are describe. <![CDATA[UNA PROPUESTA PARA ENSEÑAR EL EFECTO DE LA FORMA DE LAS MOLÉCULAS EN LA REACTIVIDAD QUÍMICA]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300446&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es We address the concept of steric effect in the pursuit of establishing quantitative correlations between reactivity of molecules and their molecular shape. To this end, a set of series of SN2 reactions were modeled to compute the energy barrier height and the molecular volume, atomic charges and dipole moment of molecules. We introduced the Kappa index to characterize the shape of molecules. Quantitative correlations between the change in the energy barrier with properties of molecules and Kappa index were presented and discussed. <![CDATA[USE OF A LINEAR LIGHT SENSOR AS A TEACHING RESOURCE FOR DEMONSTRATING PRINCIPLES OF DIFFRACTION AND SPECTROSCOPY]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-40422015000300451&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article presents a discussion on light diffraction by slits and grids as well as the development of an experimental apparatus which provides quantitative observation of the phenomenon. We conducted a brief historical survey on the evolution of the wave theory of light and the role of diffraction in the context of optical spectroscopy. We also reviewed the use of Huygens’ principle to calculate the intensity pattern obtained when light is diffracted by slits and compared the predictions with experimental results obtained using the apparatus developed. Finally, the use of the apparatus in an optical spectroscopy experiment was demonstrated.