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 Department: Department of Chemistry
Layered Double Hydroxides and the Origins of Life on Earth

Layered Double Hydroxides and the Origins of Life on Earth

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Date: May 2001
Creator: Brister, Brian
Description: A brief introduction to the current state of research in the Origins of Life field is given in Part I of this work. Part II covers original research performed by the author and co-workers. Layered Double Hydroxide (LDH) systems are anion-exchanging clays that have the general formula M(II)xM(III)(OH)(2x+2)Y, where M(II) and M(III) are any divalent and trivalent metals, respectively. Y can be nearly any anion, although modern naturally occuring LDH systems incorporate carbonate (CO32-), chloride (Cl-), or sulfate (SO42-) anions. Intercalated cobalticyanide anion shows a small yet observable deviation from local Oh symmetry causing small differences between its oriented and non-oriented infrared spectra. Nitroprusside is shown to intercalate into 2:1 Mg:Al LDH with decomposition to form intercalated ferrocyanide and nitrosyl groups of an unidentified nature. The [Ru(CN)6]4- anion is shown to intercalate into layered double hydroxides in the same manner as other hexacyano anions, such as ferrocyanide and cobalticyanide, with its three-fold rotational axis perpendicular to the hydroxide sheets. The square-planar tetracyano-nickelate(II), -palladate(II), and platinate(II) anions were intercalated into both 2:1 and 3:1 Mg:Al layered double hydroxides (LDH). The basal spacings in the 2:1 hosts are approximately 11 Å, indicating that the anions are inclined approximately 75 degrees relative to ...
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Synthesis and properties of novel cage-functionalized crown ethers and cryptands.

Synthesis and properties of novel cage-functionalized crown ethers and cryptands.

Date: August 2001
Creator: Hazlewood, Anna
Description: A novel cryptand was synthesized which contained a 3,5-disubstituted-4- oxahexacyclo[5.4.1.02,6.03,10.05,9.08,11] dodecane "cage" moiety. In alkali metal picrate extraction experiments the cryptand exhibited high avidity towards Rb+ and Cs+, when compared with the corresponding model compound. A computational study of a series of cage-functionalized cryptands and their alkali metal-complexes was performed. The X-ray crystal structure of a K+-complexed bis-cage-annulated 20-crown-6 was obtained. The associated picrate anion was found to be intimately involved in stabilization of the host-guest complex. The interaction energy between the host-guest complex and picrate anion has been calculated, and the energy thereby obtained has been corrected for basis set superposition error.
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Mechanisms of Methoxide Ion Substitution and Acid- Catalyzed Z/E Isomerization of N-Methoxyimines

Mechanisms of Methoxide Ion Substitution and Acid- Catalyzed Z/E Isomerization of N-Methoxyimines

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Date: December 2001
Creator: Dolliver, Debra D.
Description: The second order rate constants for nucleophilic substitution by methoxide of (Z)- and (E)-O-methylbenzohydroximoyl fluorides [C6H4C(F)=NOCH3] with various substituents on the phenyl ring [p-OCH3 (1h, 2h), p-CH3 (1g, 2g), p-Cl (1f, 2f), p-H (1e, 2e), (3,5)-bis-CF3 (1i, 2i)] in 90:10 DMSO:MeOH have been measured. A Hammett plot of these rate constants vs σ values gave positive ρ values of 2.95 (Z isomer) and 3.29 (E isomer). Comparison of these rates with methoxide substitution rates for Omethylbenzohydroximoyl bromide [C6H4C(Br)=NOCH3] and Omethylbenzohydroximoyl chloride [C6H4C(Cl)=NOCH3] reveal an element effect for the Z isomers of Br:Cl:F(1e) = 2.21:1.00:79.7 and for the E isomers of Cl:F(2e) = 1.00:18.3. With the p-OCH3-imidoyl halides the following element effects are found: Br:Cl:F(1h) = 2.78:1.00:73.1 for the Z isomer and Br:Cl:F(2h) = 1.97:1.00:12.1 for the E isomer. Measurement of activation parameters revealed ∆S≠ = -17 eu for 1e and ∆S≠ = -9.9 eu for 2e. Ab initio calculations (HF/6-31+G*, MP2/6-31+G*//HF/6-31+G*, B3LYP/6- 31+G*//HF/6-31+G*, HF-SCIPCM/6-31+G*//HF/6-31+G*) were performed to define the reaction surface. These calculations demonstrate a relatively large barrier for nucleophilic attack in relation to halogen loss and support the experimental findings that this reaction proceeds by an addition-elimination mechanism (AN# + DN). The imidoyl fluorides have been used to synthesize ...
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Substitution chemistry of the cobalt complexes RCCo3(CO)9 (R = H, CHO) with the diphosphine ligand: 4,5-bis(diphenylphosphino)-4-cyclopenten-1,3-dione (bpcd). Syntheses, X-ray structures and reactivity.

Substitution chemistry of the cobalt complexes RCCo3(CO)9 (R = H, CHO) with the diphosphine ligand: 4,5-bis(diphenylphosphino)-4-cyclopenten-1,3-dione (bpcd). Syntheses, X-ray structures and reactivity.

Date: December 2001
Creator: Liu, Jie
Description: The reaction between the tetrahedrane cluster RCCo3(CO)9{R = CHO (1), H (3)} and the redox-active diphosphine ligand 4,5-bis(diphenylphosphino)-4-cyclopenten-1,3- dione (bpcd) leads to the replacement of two CO groups and formation of RCCo3(CO)7(bpcd) {R = CHO (2), H (4)}. Clusters 2 and 4 are thermally unstable and readily transform into the new P-C bond cleavage cluster 5. All three clusters 2, 4, and 5 have been isolated and fully characterized in solution by IR and 31P NMR spectroscopy. VT 31P NMR data indicate that the bpcd ligand in RCCo3(CO)7(bpcd) is fluxional at 187 K in THF. Clusters 2, 4, and 5 have been structurally characterized by X-ray diffraction analyses.
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Metal-Aluminum Oxide Interactions: Effects of Surface Hydroxylation and High Electric Field

Metal-Aluminum Oxide Interactions: Effects of Surface Hydroxylation and High Electric Field

Date: December 2001
Creator: Niu, Chengyu
Description: Metal and oxide interactions are of broad scientific and technological interest in areas such as heterogeneous catalysis, microelectronics, composite materials, and corrosion. In the real world, such interactions are often complicated by the presence of interfacial impurities and/or high electric fields that may change the thermodynamic and kinetic behaviors of the metal/oxide interfaces. This research includes: (1) the surface hydroxylation effects on the aluminum oxide interactions with copper adlayers, and (2) effects of high electric fields on the interface of thin aluminum oxide films and Ni3Al substrate. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) studies and first principles calculations have been carried out to compare copper adsorption on heavily hydroxylated a- Al2O3(0001) with dehydroxylated surfaces produced by Argon ion sputtering followed by annealing in oxygen. For a heavily hydroxylated surface with OH coverage of 0.47 monolayer (ML), sputter deposition of copper at 300 K results in a maximum Cu(I) coverage of ~0.35 ML, in agreement with theoretical predictions. Maximum Cu(I) coverage at 300 K decreases with decreasing surface hydroxylation. Exposure of a partially dehydroxylated a-Al2O3(0001) surface to either air or 2 Torr water vapor results in recovery of surface hydroxylation, which in turn increases the maximum Cu(I) coverage. The ability of surface hydroxyl ...
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NMR study of 2-ethylhexyllithium aggregate and 2- ethylhexyllithium/lithium 2-ethyl-1-hexoxide mixed aggregates.

NMR study of 2-ethylhexyllithium aggregate and 2- ethylhexyllithium/lithium 2-ethyl-1-hexoxide mixed aggregates.

Date: December 2001
Creator: Petros, Robby A.
Description: A 1H, 13C, and 6Li NMR study of 2-ethylhexyllithium showed that 2- ethylhexyllithium exists solely as a hexamer in cyclopentane solution over the temperature range from 25 to -65 °C. Furthermore, 2-ethylhexyllithium and lithium 2- ethyl-1-hexoxide were shown to form mixed aggregates when the alkoxide was formed in situ by reacting 2-ethylhexyllithium with 2-ethyl-1-hexanol. A multinuclear, variable temperature NMR study of a sample with an O:Li ratio of 0.2 led to the identification of at least four such aggregates, one of which was found to be a hexamer with the composition R5(RO)Li6. Studies of samples with higher O:Li ratios, up to 0.8, showed additional mixed aggregates present. All solutions containing mixed aggregates were also shown to contain hydrocarbon soluble lithium hydride. A study of lithium 2-ethyl-1- hexoxide indicated that it aggregates in solution as well.
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The preparation and characterization of thermo-sensitive colored hydrogel film and surfactant-free porous polystyrene three-dimensional network.

The preparation and characterization of thermo-sensitive colored hydrogel film and surfactant-free porous polystyrene three-dimensional network.

Date: December 2001
Creator: Zhou, Bo
Description: Polymer hydrogel films change their properties in response to environmental change. This remarkable phenomenon results in many potential applications of polymer hydrogel films. In this thesis colored thermo-sensitive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) hydrogel film was prepared by firstly synthesizing polymer latex and secondarily crosslinking the nanoparticles and casting the polymers onto glass. The shape-memory effect has been observed when changing the environmental temperature. The temperature-dependent of turbidity of polymer hydrogel film was measured by HP UVVisible spectrophotometer. This intelligent hydrogel might be used in chemomechanical systems and separation devices as well as sensors. Polymer adsorption plays an important role in many products and processes. In this thesis, surfactant-free three-dimensional polystyrene (PS) nanoparticle network has been prepared. The infrared spectroscopy and solubility experiment are performed to prove the crosslinking mechanism, also the BET method was used to measure the adsorption and desorption of polystyrene network. The BET constant (C) is calculated (C=6.32). The chemically bonded polymer nanoparticle network might have potential applications as catalyst or used for chromatographic columns.
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Synthesis of Crown Ether/Ammonium Salt for Electron Transfer Study

Synthesis of Crown Ether/Ammonium Salt for Electron Transfer Study

Date: May 2002
Creator: Han, Dong
Description: The theoretical model of Beratan and Onuchic predicts a large attenuation of ET rates through hydrogen bonds; however, the effect of individual hydrogen bond on electron transfer reaction has not been systematically studied. The organic complexes in this study are a series of crown ether/ammonium salt, which incorporate a redox partner on each component of the complex. The dimethoxynaphthalene redox donor was attached to the crown ether and a series of ammonium salts was synthesized which bear substituted quinone and naphthoquinone acceptor. The complexes characterization and preliminary electron transfer rate measurement were completed with UV/Vis and steady-state emission spectroscopy.
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Kinetic Studies of Hydroxyl and Hydrogen Atom Reactions

Kinetic Studies of Hydroxyl and Hydrogen Atom Reactions

Date: May 2002
Creator: Hu, Xiaohua
Description: Gas phase kinetics of the reactions involving hydroxyl radical and hydrogen atom were studied using experimental and ab initio theoretical techniques. The rate constant for the H + H2S reaction has been measured from 298 to 598 K by the laser photolysis/resonance fluorescence (LP-RF) technique. The transition state theory (TST) analysis coupled with the measurements support the suggestion that the reaction shows significant curvature in the Arrhenius plot. The LP-RF technique was also used to measure the rate constant of the H + CH3Br reaction over the temperature range 400-813 K. TST and density functional theory (DFT) calculations show that the dominant reaction channel is Br-abstraction. The reaction H + CF2=CF-CF=CF2 was first studied by flash photolysis/resonance fluorescence (FP-RF) method. The experiments of this work revealed distinctly non-Arrhenius behavior, which was interpreted in terms of a change in mechanism. DFT calculations suggest that the adduct is CF2H-CF•-CF=CF2. At lower temperatures a mixture of this molecule and CF2•-CFH-CF=CF2 is likely. The theoretical calculations show that H atom migrates in the fluoroethyl radicals through a bridging intermediate, and the barrier height for this process is lower in the less fluorinated ethyl radical. High level computations were also employed in studies of the ...
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An analysis of the effectiveness of computer assisted instruction in general chemistry at an urban university.

An analysis of the effectiveness of computer assisted instruction in general chemistry at an urban university.

Date: May 2002
Creator: McGuffey, Angela
Description: The science-major General Chemistry sequence offered at the University of Houston has been investigated with respect to the effectiveness of recent incorporation of various levels of computer technology. As part of this investigation, questionnaire responses, student evaluations and grade averages and distributions from up to the last ten years have been analyzed and compared. Increased use of web-based material is both popular and effective, particularly with respect to providing extra information and supplemental questions. Instructor contact via e-mail is also well-received. Both uses of technology should be encouraged. In contrast, electronic classroom presentation is less popular. While initial use may lead to improved grades and retention, these levels decrease quickly, possibly due to a reduction in instructor spontaneity.
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