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Natta (Natta), Giulio

( Italian chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1963)

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Biography Natta (Natta), Giulio
February 26, 1903, Mr.. - May 1, 1979
Italian chemist Giulio Natta was born to a prominent lawyer and judge Francisco Natta and Helen (Chrespi) Natta in the Empire, a resort town on the Mediterranean. The boy grew up in the nearby city of Genoa. N. was 12 years old when he first read a book on chemistry. Science is his extremely interested. After graduating in Genoa in 1919. secondary school with a scientific bent, N.
. enrolled in the University of Genoa, to study pure mathematics, but soon moved to the Milan Polytechnic Institute in search of a scientific field, which would have opened great possibilities for the practical applications of knowledge
. A suitable combination of theory and practice, he found in chemical technology. In 1924, Mr.. Milan Polytechnic Institute awarded him a doctorate.
Left to work in this institute, H. three years he progressed from instructor to full professor. During this period, its research related to determining the structure of inorganic solids using X-ray diffraction. In 1932, Mr.. N. visited the University of Freiburg in Germany, to study the relatively new method of electron (electron diffraction). In Freiburg, he became acquainted with Hermann Staudinger and his work in the field of polymer chemistry - connections, large molecules which constitute the chain, consisting of a large number of repeating molecular units, called monomers. Applying the results of their research to the chemistry of polymers, H. switched from inorganic chemistry to organic.
Returning in 1933. Italy, H. He was appointed professor and director of the Institute of General Chemistry, University of Pavia. Two years later he became head of the Department of Physical Chemistry at the University of Rome, and in 1937. was appointed professor of industrial chemistry and director of the Institute of Industrial Chemistry at the Turin Polytechnic Institute. Appointment of Professor and Director of the Research Center of Industrial Chemistry, led him in 1938. back to Milan.
Interest H. to polymer chemistry coincided with the adopted by the Italian government before World War II program, aimed at self-defined vital resources. And in 1938. N. During the war, a scientist involved in the catalytic synthesis of important chemicals such as methanol, butadiene, formaldehyde and an oily aldehyde. After the war, a large chemical company Milan 'Montecatini Company' began to subsidize its operation.
H. the results of research conducted by German chemist Karl Ziegler, who is also interested in the catalysis of polymer. Hearing in 1952. Frankfurt lecture Ziegler, H. conducted an additional study the mechanisms of polymerization reactions (combining two or more monomers with the formation of the polymer), which he carried out in parallel with other studies. The next year, Ziegler discovered that certain inorganic catalysts, such as titanium tetrachloride, in combination with alkylaluminum act as catalysts in the polymerization of ethylene (one of the unsaturated hydrocarbons). The resulting high-density polyethylene, they possessed the desired properties far exceed those that were obtained earlier in low-density polyethylene. Then H. drew attention to the next largest olefin (representative of a class of unsaturated hydrocarbons) - propylene - a byproduct, which is formed during the processing of oil and is 10 times cheaper than ethylene. In 1954, Mr.. He and his colleagues discovered the method of catalytic polymerization of propylene, similar to the open method of Ziegler polymerization of ethylene. N. found that the new polymer was solid, had a high melting point, high degree of crystallinity and in many ways superior to high-density polyethylene, obtained by Ziegler.
Applying their knowledge of physical chemistry, H. conducted X-ray and electron diffraction of a new polypropylene, to establish its molecular structure. The results showed, . that Ziegler catalysts (known since as catalysts for the Ziegler - Natta) caused the formation of macromolecules with unusually regular atomic spatial relationships - the so-called stereoregular polymers,
. This method of catalysis has become the key to the knowledge of the remarkable properties of these polymers. With respect to polypropylene N., all side chains of each monomer were located on one side of the molecule, and are not targeted at random, such as in the already-existing lower-quality plastics. When H. asked his wife (nee Rosita Beata), . professor of literature, University of Milan, . find a suitable name to describe this structure, . she suggested that the term "isotactic '(meaning' all on one side '), . and this neologism instantly entered in the chemical literature.,
. Accompanied by a high official representative 'Montecatini com-pany' H
. made in June 1956. trip to New York, where he held a press conference at which he announced the discovery of isotactic poipropilena.
. From his message should, . that this material can be molded or stamped in the form of solid objects, . from it can produce a thread - the same firm, . as nylon, . and yet light enough, . to float, . - Or film, . same transparent, . a cellophane,
. Soon Italy began commercial production of propylene, and later permission to use the technology of its receipt was given and all the rest of the world.
Continuing the study of catalytic polymerization, N. made considerable progress in understanding the mechanism of reactions, the development of new technologies and to obtain new materials. Among the variety of plastics, created as a result of his research, were a new polystyrene and polybutadiene. Carried out N. Work 'armed the' scientists in the field of polymer chemistry the opportunity to closely monitor the accuracy of sizes and shapes of the analyzed their macromolecules.
In 1963, Mr.. N. with Ziegler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his discoveries in the field of chemistry and technology of high polymers'. In his opening speech on behalf of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Arne Fredga said that the opening of H. destroyed the 'natural monopoly' in the field of stereoregular polymers. In his Nobel lecture H. stressed, . that 'knowledge, . acquired in the last 10 years in the field of stereo-polymerization processes, . show, . and especially that stereoregular isotactic polymers may be obtained in the presence of suitable catalysts, . acting through the ion (as anionic, . and cationic) Coordinating Mechanism ',
. 'However, - he added - they usually can not be obtained in the process, characterized by a radical mechanism. "
H. and Ziegler perfectly complement each other. If Ziegler was a typical organic chemist who is interested primarily pure science, H. approached the chemistry of polymers mainly from the standpoint of physics. Besides its interest as the scientific aspects and problems of industrial production.
Extremely persistent and hard-working researcher, H. was known as a soft, pleasant to handle a man who loved adventure. He married Beata Rosite in 1935. They had a son and daughter. During the last two decades of his life N. been increasingly restricted in their activity due to Parkinson's disease. He died in Bergamo in the age of 76.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, H. was awarded the Lavoisier Medal of the French Chemical Society (1963) and Gold Medal Lomonosov Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1969). He was awarded honorary degrees from universities in Turin, Mainz, Genoa, Paris and Belgian universities, as well as the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute in New York. He was a member of the Italian National Academy of Sciences and honorary member of the New York Academy of Sciences.


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