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Computational Study of Small Molecule Activation via Low-Coordinate Late First-Row Transition Metal Complexes

Description: Methane and dinitrogen are abundant precursors to numerous valuable chemicals such as methanol and ammonia, respectively. However, given the robustness of these substrates, catalytically circumventing the high temperatures and pressures required for such transformations has been a challenging task for chemists. In this work, computational studies of various transition metal catalysts for methane C-H activation and N2 activation have been carried out. For methane C-H activation, catalysts of the form LnM=E are studied, where Ln is the supporting ligand (dihydrophosphinoethane or β-diketiminate), E the activating ligand (O, NCH3, NCF3) at which C-H activation takes place, and M the late transition metal (Fe,Co,Ni,Cu). A hydrogen atom abstraction (HAA) / radical rebound (RR) mechanism is assumed for methane functionalization (CH4 à CH3EH). Since the best energetics are found for (β-diket)Ni=O and (β-diket)Cu=O catalysts, with or without CF3 substituents around the supporting ligand periphery, complete methane-to-methanol cycles were studied for such systems, for which N2O was used as oxygen atom transfer (OAT) reagent. Both monometallic and bimetallic OAT pathways are addressed. Monometallic Fe-N2 complexes of various supporting ligands (LnFe-N2) are studied at the beginning of the N2 activation chapter, where the effect of ligand on N2 activation in end-on vs. side-on N2 isomers is discussed. For (β-diket)Fe-N2 complexes, the additional influence of diketiminate donor atom (N(H) vs. S) is briefly addressed. The remainder of the chapter expands upon the treatment of β-diketiminate complexes. First, the activation and relative stabilities of side-bound and end-bound N2 isomers in monometallic ((β-diket)M-N2) and bimetallic ((β-diket)M-N2-M(β-diket)) first row transition metal complexes are addressed. Second, the thermodynamics of H/H+/H- addition to (β-diket)Fe-bound N2, followed by subsequent H additions up to release of ammonia, is discussed, for which two mechanisms (distal and alternating) are considered. Finally, the chapter concludes with partial distal and alternating mechanisms for H addition to N2 ...
Date: May 2010
Creator: Pierpont, Aaron

Effect of Fluorine and Hydrogen Radical Species on Modified Oxidized Ni(pt)si

Description: NiSi is an attractive material in the production of CMOS devices. The problem with the utilization of NiSi, is that there is no proper method of cleaning the oxide on the surface. Sputtering is the most common method used for the cleaning, but it has its own complications. Dry cleaning methods include the reactions with radicals and these processes are not well understood and are the focus of the project. Dissociated NF3 and NH3 were used as an alternative and XPS is the technique to analyze the reactions of atomic fluorine and nitrogen with the oxide on the surface. A thermal cracker was used to dissociate the NF3 and NH3 into NFx+F and NHx+H. There was a formation of a NiF2 layer on top of the oxide and there was no evidence of nitrogen on the surface indicating that the fluorine and hydrogen are the reacting species. XPS spectra, however, indicate that the substrate SiO2 layer is not removed by the dissociated NF3 and NiF2 growth process. The NiF2 over layer can be reduced to metallic Ni by reacting with dissociated NH3 at room temperature. The atomic hydrogen from dissociated ammonia reduces the NiF2 but it was determined that the atomic hydrogen from the ammonia does not react with SiO2.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Gaddam, Sneha Sen

Microwave-Assisted Synthesis, Characterization, and Photophysical Properties of New Rhenium(I) Pyrazolyl-Triazine Complexes

Description: The reaction of the chelating ligand 4-[4,6-bis(3,5-dimethyl-1H-pyrazol-1-yl)-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl]-N,N-diethyl-benzenamine, L, with pentacarbonylchlororhenium by conventional heating method produces the complexes fac-[ReL(CO)3Cl2] and fac-[Re2L(CO)6Cl2] in a period of 48 hours. The use of microwaves as the source of heat and the increase in the equivalents of one of the reactants leads to a more selective reaction and also decreases the reaction time to 1 hour. After proper purification, the photophysical properties of fac-[ReL(CO)3Cl] were analyzed. The solid-state photoluminescence analysis showed an emission band at 628 nm independent of temperature. However, in the solution studies, the emission band shifted from 550 nm in frozen media to 610 nm when the matrix became fluid. These results confirm that this complex possess a phenomenon known as rigidochromism.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Salazar Garza, Gustavo Adolfo

The Pure Rotational Spectra of Diatomics and Halogen-Addition Benzene Measured by Microwave and Radio Frequency Spectrometers

Description: Two aluminum spherical mirrors with radii of 203.2 mm and radii of curvature also of 203.2 mm have been used to construct a tunable Fabry-Perót type resonator operational at frequencies as low as 500 MHz. The resonator has been incorporated into a pulsed nozzle, Fourier transform, Balle-Flygare spectrometer. The spectrometer is of use in recording low J transitions of large asymmetric molecules where the spectra are often greatly simplified compared to higher frequency regions. The resonators use is illustrated by recording the rotational spectra of bromobenzene and iodobenzene. In related experiments, using similar equipment, the pure rotational spectra of four isotopomers of SrS and all three naturally occurring isotopomers of the actinide-containing compound thorium monoxide have been recorded between 6 and 26 GHz. The data have been thoroughly analyzed to produce information pertaining to bond lengths and electronic structures.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Etchison, Kerry C.

Sensitization of Lanthanides and Organic-Based Phosphorescence via Energy Transfer and Heavy-Atom Effects

Description: The major topics discussed are the phosphorescence sensitization in the lanthanides via energy transfer and in the organics by heavy atom effects. The f-f transitions in lanthanides are parity forbidden and have weak molar extinction coefficients. Upon complexation with the ligand, ttrpy (4'-p-Tolyl-[2,2':6',2"]-terpyridine) the absorption takes place through the ligand and the excitation is transferred to the lanthanides, which in turn emit. This process is known as "sensitized luminescence." Bright red emission from europium and bright green emission from terbium complexes were observed. There is ongoing work on the making of OLEDs with neutral complexes of lanthanide hexafluoroacetyl acetonate/ttrpy, studied in this dissertation. Attempts to observe analogous energy transfer from the inorganic donor complexes of Au(I) thiocyanates were unsuccessful due to poor overlap of the emissions of these systems with the absorptions of Eu(III) and Tb(III). Photophysics of silver-aromatic complexes deals with the enhancement of phosphorescence in the aromatics. The heavy atom effect of the silver is responsible for this enhancement in phosphorescence. Aromatics such as naphthalene, perylene, anthracene and pyrene were involved in this study. Stern Volmer plots were studied by performing the quenching studies. The quenchers employed were both heavy metals such as silver and thallium and lighter metal like potassium. Dynamic quenching as the predominant phenomenon was noticed.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Arvapally, Ravi K.