Search for new semiconductors heats up with gallium oxide

University of Illinois electrical engineers have cleared another hurdle in high-power semiconductor fabrication by adding the field's hottest material—beta-gallium oxide—to their arsenal. Beta-gallium oxide is readily ...

Molecular sensor scouts DNA damage and supervises repair

In the time it takes you to read this sentence, every cell in your body suffers some form of DNA damage. Without vigilant repair, cancer would run rampant, and now scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have gotten a ...

Atomically precise models improve understanding of fuel cells

Simulations from researchers in Japan provide new insights into the reactions occurring in solid-oxide fuel cells by using realistic atomic-scale models of the active site at the electrode based on microscope observations ...

Researchers push for better policies around toxic chemicals

From high levels of lead found in school drinking water to industry sites releasing toxic heavy metals into the air, over 40 years of regulations in the United States have failed to protect human and environmental health ...

Will your future computer be made using bacteria?

In order to create new and more efficient computers, medical devices, and other advanced technologies, researchers are turning to nanomaterials: materials manipulated on the scale of atoms or molecules that exhibit unique ...

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Redox

Redox (shorthand for reduction-oxidation reaction) describes all chemical reactions in which atoms have their oxidation number (oxidation state) changed. This can be either a simple redox process such as the oxidation of carbon to yield carbon dioxide or the reduction of carbon by hydrogen to yield methane (CH4), or it can be a complex process such as the oxidation of sugar in the human body through a series of very complex electron transfer processes.

The term redox comes from the two concepts of reduction and oxidation. It can be explained in simple terms:

Though sufficient for many purposes, these descriptions are not precisely correct. Oxidation and reduction properly refer to a change in oxidation number — the actual transfer of electrons may never occur. Thus, oxidation is better defined as an increase in oxidation number, and reduction as a decrease in oxidation number. In practice, the transfer of electrons will always cause a change in oxidation number, but there are many reactions that are classed as "redox" even though no electron transfer occurs (such as those involving covalent bonds).

Non-redox reactions, which do not involve changes in formal charge, are known as metathesis reactions.

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