IUCr Newsletter - Volume 24, Number 4 - 9
The First Pan-African Conference
Dschang, Cameroon, October 2016
William L. Duax
The First Pan-African Conference on Crystallography
(PCCr1) was held in Dschang, Cameroon in October 2016
with the theme "Crystallography for Sustainable Development
in Africa." The conference was organized by the Cameroonian
Crystallography Association (CCrA), the Ministry of Higher
Education of Cameroon, the U. of Dschang (UDs), the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and
the IUCr. PCCrl is part of an IUCr effort to bring the science
of crystallography to developing countries, where the powerful
technique can contribute to sustaining the intellectual property
rights, economic growth, and human welfare of the country.
The program included round table discussions devoted to
"Crystallography as a vehicle to promote science in Africa and
beyond" and "Equipment for African laboratories and the African Light Source, AfLS." The program included an exhibition
of commercial instruments and innovative solutions from sponsors. An X2S Bruker single-crystal diffractometer, installed at the
meeting site, will allow researchers from Cameroon and neighboring countries to conduct XRD single- crystal measurements
during the months following the meeting. The meeting brought
together researchers, students, government representatives and
policy-makers from more than 35 countries. Patrice Kenfack
Tsobnang, Valérie Richalet, the organizing team, all the partners,
and sponsors are to be commended for creating an extraordinarily rich, educational, productive and rewarding event.
A series of Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) containing decorated pyridyl ligands were used to selectively capture liquid active
pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) which have prominent aromas.
Eugenol (oil of cloves), propofol (an anaesthetic) and carvacrol
(the aroma of oregano) were stablized by interactions with host
MOFs. Clement Tella (Nigeria) presented an overview of the use
of mechanochemical methods to prepare co-crystals and complexes in bulk. If materials are to be used in large scale devices
it is imperative to develop methods to produce complexes on a
larger scale than is possible from simple crystallisation. The reduction in solvent waste fulfills the need to do useful chemistry more
efficiently and cost-effectively. Loïc Le Dréau presented the latest
innovations in X-ray diffraction equipment, by highlighting developments made by Bruker AXS GmbH (Germany). Gift Mehlana (Zimbabwe) highlighted strategies for the design of porous
materials for catalytic hydrogenation of carbon dioxide. The latter process is potentially of importance to Africa where increasing
industrialization is beginning to have a significant impact on the
levels of carbon dioxide and other pollutants in the atmosphere.
Delia Haynes (South Africa) described the use of dithiadiazolyl
radicals as building blocks for organic magnets. Dimerization of
the radicals can be controlled using co-crystallization and inclusion in porous compounds enhances their properties. Materials of
this type form topologically complex structures. Lars Öhrström
(Sweden) spoke of the use of network topology analysis to provide insight into such structures. Jules Abodou Tenon (Côte
d'Ivoire) and Claude Lecomte (France) brought the session to an
end with two excellent talks describing the use of charge density
studies to give insight into spin-crossover complexes and other
structures. The session gave a sense of work being done by and in
collaboration with African scientists from across the continent.
Much of the research presented touched on important aspects of
science required for African development; from the production of
novel materials for the beneficiation of natural resources to the remediation of pollution caused by industrial processes.
Susan Bourne, Chair
Round Table on crystallography to promote science in Africa and beyond.
The opening ceremony included addresses by the Vice-chancellor of UDs, Claude Lecomte (IUCr Crystallography in Africa initiative) and representatives of sponsoring organizations.
Gautam Desiraju, IUCr Past President, gave an opening keynote
address entitled "From molecule to crystal." Summaries of the
sessions covered in the meeting follow.
Crystal engineering and structural chemistry
(function through design)
A session on supramolecular synthons and their influence on
material properties began with a keynote lecture given by Alessia
Bacchi (Italy) entitled "Designing MOFs that breathe aromas."
IUCr Newsletter ♦ Volume 24, Number 4 ♦ 2016
Crystal engineering and structural chemistry: designing function Chairs and Speakers.