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Kinetic Study of the Reactions of Chlorine Atoms with Fluoromethane and Fluoromethane-d3 in the Gas Phase

Description: The kinetics of the gas-phase reactions of chlorine atoms with fluoromethane (CH3F) and fluoromethane-d3(CD3F) were tested experimentally. The relative rate method was applied by using CH4 as the reference compound for fluoromethane (CH3F) and CH4 and CH3F as the reference compound for fluoromethane-d3(CD3F). The rate constants for H-abstraction from CH3F and D-abstraction from CD3F were measured at room temperature and a total pressure of 920 Torr using Ar as a diluent. The rate constants are described by the expressions: kH= (3.50±0.52) x 10-13 cm3 molecule-1 s-1 and kD=(5.0±0.51) x 10-14 cm3 molecule-1 s-1. The kinetic isotope effect, equal to the ratio kH/kD, was found to be 7.0±1.2 at room temperature.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Shao, Kejun

MBE Growth and Characterization of Graphene on Well-Defined Cobalt Oxide Surfaces: Graphene Spintronics without Spin Injection

Description: The direct growth of graphene by scalable methods on magnetic insulators is important for industrial development of graphene-based spintronic devices, and a route towards substrate-induced spin polarization in graphene without spin injection. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), low energy electron diffraction LEED, electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) demonstrate the growth of Co3O4(111) and CoO(111) to thicknesses greater than 100 Å on Ru(0001) surfaces, by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). The results obtained show that the formation of the different cobalt oxide phases is O2 partial pressure dependent under same temperature and vacuum conditions and that the films are stoichiometric. Electrical I-V measurement of the Co3O4(111) show characteristic hysteresis indicative of resistive switching and thus suitable for advanced device applications. In addition, the growth of Co0.5Fe0.5O(111) was also achieved by MBE and these films were observed to be OH-stabilized. C MBE yielded azimuthally oriented few layer graphene on the OH-terminated CoO(111), Co0.5Fe0.5O(111) and Co3O4(111). AES confirms the growth of (111)-ordered sp2 C layers. EELS data demonstrate significant graphene-to-oxide charge transfer with Raman spectroscopy showing the formation of a graphene-oxide buffer layer, in excellent agreement with previous theoretical predictions. XPS data show the formation of C-O covalent bonding between the oxide layer and the first monolayer (ML) of C. LEED data reveal that the graphene overlayers on all substrates exhibit C3V. The reduction of graphene symmetry to C3V – correlated with C-O bond formation – enables spin-orbit coupling in graphene. Consequences may include a significant band gap and room temperature spin Hall effect – important for spintronic device applications. The results suggest a general pattern of graphene/graphene oxide growth and symmetry lowering for graphene formation on the (111) surfaces of rocksalt-structured oxides.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Olanipekun, Opeyemi B

Microwave-Assisted Synthesis and Photophysical Properties of Poly-Imine Ambipolar Ligands and Their Rhenium(I) Carbonyl Complexes

Description: The phenomenon luminescence rigidochromism has been reported since the 1970s in tricarbonyldiimine complexes with a general formula [R(CO)3LX] using conventional unipolar diimine ligands such as 2,2;-bipyridine or 1,10-phenanthroline as L, and halogens or simple solvents as X. As a major part of this dissertation, microwave-assisted synthesis, purification, characterization and detailed photoluminescence studies of the complex fac-[ReCl(CO)3L], 1, where L = 4-[4,6-bis(3,5-dimethyl-1H-pyrazol-1-yl]-N,N-diethylbenzenamine are reported. The employment of microwaves in the preparation of 1 decreased the reaction time from 48 to 2 hours compared to the conventional reflux method. Stoichiometry variations allows for selective preparation of either a mononuclear, 1, or binuclear, fac-[Re2Cl2(CO)6], 2, complex. The photophysical properties of 1 were analyzed finding that it possesses significant luminescence rigidochromism. The steady state photoluminescence emission spectra of 1 in solution shift from 550 nm in frozen media to 610 nm when the matrix becomes fluid. Moreover, a very sensitive emission spectral analysis of 0.1 K temperatures steps shows a smooth transition through the glass transition temperature of the solvent host. Furthermore, synthetic modifications to L have attained a family of ambipolar compounds that have tunable photophysical, thermophysical and other material properties that render them promising candidates for potential applications in organic electronics and/or sensors - either as is or for their future complexes with various transition metals and lanthanides.
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Date: August 2017
Creator: Salazar Garza, Gustavo Adolfo

Electrochemical Deposition of Nickel Nanocomposites in Acidic Solution for Increased Corrosion Resistance

Description: The optimal conditions for deposition of nickel coating and Ni-layered double hydroxide metal matrix composite coatings onto stainless steel discs in a modified all-sulfate solutions have been examined. Nickel films provide good general corrosion resistance and mechanical properties as a protective layer on many metallic substrates. In recent years, there has been interest in incorporation nano-dimensional ceramic materials, such as montemorillonite, into the metal matrices to improve upon the corrosion and mechanical properties. Layered double hydroxides have been used as corrosion enhancer in polymer coatings by increasing mechanical strength and lowering the corrosion rate but until now, have not been incorporated in a metal matrix by any means. Layered double hydroxides can be easily synthesized in a variety of elemental compositions and sizes but typically require the use of non-polar solvents to delaminate into nanodimensional colloidal suspensions. The synthesis of a Zn-Al LDH has been studied and characterized. The effects of the non-polar solvents dimethylformamide and n-butanol on the deposition and corrosion resistance of nickel coatings from a borate electrolyte bath have been studied, a nickel-LDH nanocomposite coating has been synthesized by electrochemical deposition and the corrosion resistance has been studied. Results indicate an improvement in corrosion resistance for the coatings with minimal change in the nickel matrix's internal strain and crystallite size.
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Date: August 2017
Creator: Daugherty, Ryan E.

Synthesis and Application of New Chiral Ligands for Enantioselectivity Tuning in Transition Metal Catalysis

Description: A set of five new C3-symmetric phosphites were synthesized and tested in palladium-catalyzed asymmetric Suzuki coupling. The observed reactivity and selectivity were dependent upon several factors. One of the phosphites was able to achieve some of the highest levels of enantioselectivity in asymmetric Suzuki couplings with specific substrates. Different hypotheses have been made for understanding the ligand effects and reaction selectivities, and those hypotheses were tested via various methods including DOSY NMR experiments, X-ray crystallography, and correlation of catalyst selectivity with Tolman cone angles. Although only modest enantioselectivities were observed in most reactions, the ability to synthesis these phosphites in only three steps on gram scales and to readily tune their properties by simple modification of the binaphthyl 2´-substituents makes them promising candidates for determining structure-selectivity relationships in asymmetric transition metal catalysis, in which phosphites have been previously shown to be successful. A series of novel chiral oxazoline-based carbodicarbene ligands was targeted for synthesis. Unfortunately, the chosen synthetic route could not be completed due to unwanted reactivity of the oxazoline ring. However, a new and efficient route for Pd-catalyzed direct amination of aryl halides with oxazoline amine was developed and optimized during these studies. Chiral binaphthyl based Pd(II) ADC complexes with different substituent groups have been synthesized and tested in asymmetric Suzuki coupling reactions. Although only low enantioselectivities were observed in Suzuki coupling, this represents a new class of chiral metal-ADC catalysts that could be tested in further catalytic.
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Date: August 2017
Creator: Kong, Fanji

Design, Synthesis and Optoelectronic Properties of Monovalent Coinage Metal-Based Functional Materials toward Potential Lighting, Display and Energy-Harvesting Devices

Description: Groundbreaking progress in molecule-based optoelectronic devices for lighting, display and energy-harvesting technologies demands highly efficient and easily processable functional materials with tunable properties governed by their molecular/supramolecular structure variations. To date, functional coordination compounds whose function is governed by non-covalent weak forces (e.g., metallophilic, dπ-acid/dπ-base stacking, halogen/halogen and/or d/π interactions) remain limited. This is unlike the situation for metal-free organic semiconductors, as most metal complexes incorporated in optoelectronic devices have their function determined by the properties of the monomeric molecular unit (e.g., Ir(III)-phenylpyridine complexes in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and Ru(II)-polypyridyl complexes in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs)). This dissertation represents comprehensive results of both experimental and theoretical studies, descriptions of synthetic methods and possible application allied to monovalent coinage metal-based functional materials. The main emphasis is given to the design and synthesis of functional materials with preset material properties such as light-emitting materials, light-harvesting materials and conducting materials. In terms of advances in fundamental scientific phenomena, the major highlight of the work in this dissertation is the discovery of closed-shell polar-covalent metal-metal bonds manifested by ligand-unassisted d10-d10 covalent bonds between Cu(I) and Au(I) coinage metals in the ground electronic state (~2.87 Å; ~45 kcal/mol). Moreover, this dissertation also reports pairwise intermolecular aurophilic interactions of 3.066 Å for an Au(I) complex, representing the shortest ever reported pairwise intermolecular aurophilic distances among all coinage metal(I) cyclic trimetallic complexes to date; crystals of this complex also exhibit gigantic luminescence thermochromism of 10,200 cm-1 (violet to red). From applications prospective, the work herein presents monovalent coinage metal-based functional optoelectronic materials such as heterobimetallic complexes with near-unity photoluminescence quantum yield, metallic or semiconducting integrated donor-acceptor stacks and a new class of Au(III)-based black absorbers with cooperative intermolecular iodophilic (I…I) interactions that sensitize the harvesting of all UV, all visible, and a broad spectrum of near-IR ...
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Date: August 2017
Creator: Ghimire, Mukunda Mani

Application of UV-Vis Spectroscopy to the Monitoring, Characterization and Analysis of Chemical Equilibria of Copper Etching Baths

Description: The continuously increasing demand for innovation in the miniaturization of microelectronics has driven the need for ever more precise fabrication strategies for device packaging, especially for printed circuit boards (PCBs). Subtractive copper etching is a fundamental step in the fabrication process, requiring very precise control of etch rate and etch factor. Changes in the etching chemical equilibrium have significant effects on etching behavior, and CuCl2 / HCl etching baths are typically monitored with several parameters including oxidation-reduction potential, conductivity, and specific gravity. However, the etch rate and etch factor can be difficult to control even under strict engineering controls of those monitoring parameters. The mechanism of acidic cupric chloride etching, regeneration and recovery is complex, and the current monitoring strategies can have difficulty controlling the interlocking chemical equilibria. A complimentary tool, thin-film UV-Vis spectroscopy, can be utilized to improve the current monitoring strategies, as UV-Vis is capable of identifying and predicting etching behavior that the current standard methodologies have difficulty predicting. Furthermore, as a chemically-sensitive probe, UV-Vis can investigate the complex changes to the chemical equilibrium and speciation of the etch bath, and can contribute overall to significant improvements in the control of the copper etching system in order to meet the demands of next-level design strategies.
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Date: August 2017
Creator: Lambert, Alexander S

Elucidation of Photoinduced Energy and Electron Transfer Mechanisms in Multimodular Artificial Photosynthetic Systems

Description: Multimodular designs of electron donor-acceptor systems are the ultimate strategy in fabricating antenna-reaction center mimics for artificial photosynthetic applications. The studied photosystems clearly demonstrated efficient energy transfer from the antenna system to the primary electron donor, and charge stabilization of the radical ion pair achieved with the utilization of secondary electron donors that permits either electron migration or hole transfer. Moreover, the molecular arrangement of the photoactive components also influences the route of energy and electron transfer as observed from the aluminum(III) porphyrin-based photosystems. Furthermore, modulation of the photophysical and electronic properties of these photoactive units were illustrated from the thio-aryl substitution of subphthalocyanines yielding red-shifted Q bands of the said chromophore; hence, regulating the rate of charge separation and recombination in the subphthalocyanine-fullerene conjugates. These multicomponent photosystems has the potential to absorb the entire UV-visible-NIR spectrum of the light energy allowing maximum light-harvesting capability. Furthermore, it permits charge stabilization of the radical ion pair enabling the utilization of the transferred electron/s to be used by water oxidizing and proton reducing catalysts in full-scale artificial photosynthetic apparatuses.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Lim, Gary Lloyd Nogra

Design Considerations and Implementation of Portable Mass Spectrometers for Environmental Applications

Description: Portable mass spectrometers provide a unique opportunity to obtain in situ measurements. This minimizes need for sample collection or in laboratory analysis. Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometry (MIMS) utilizing a semi permeable membrane for selective rapid introduction for analysis. Polydimethylsiloxane membranes have been proven to be robust in selecting for aromatic chemistries. Advances in front end design have allowed for increased sensitivity, rapid sample analysis, and on line measurements. Applications of the membrane inlet technique have been applied to environmental detection of clandestine drug chemistries and pollutants. Emplacement of a mass spectrometer unit in a vehicle has allowed for large areas to be mapped, obtaining a rapid snapshot of the various concentrations and types of environmental pollutants present. Further refinements and miniaturization have allowed for a backpackable system for analysis in remote harsh environments. Inclusion of atmospheric dispersion modeling has yielded an analytical method of approximating upwind source locations, which has law enforcement, military, and environmental applications. The atmospheric dispersion theories have further been applied to an earth based separation, whereby chemical properties are used to approximate atmospheric mobility, and chemistries are further identified has a portable mass spectrometer is traversed closer to a point source.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Mach, Phillip Michael

Reductive Functionalization of 3D Metal-Methyl Complexes and Characterization of a Novel Dinitrogen Dicopper (I) Complex

Description: Reductive functionalization of methyl ligands by 3d metal catalysts and two possible side reactions has been studied. Selective oxidation of methane, which is the primary component of natural gas, to methanol (a more easily transportable liquid) using organometallic catalysis, has become more important due to the abundance of domestic natural gas. In this regard, reductive functionalization (RF) of methyl ligands in [M(diimine)2(CH3)(Cl)] (M: VII (d3) through CuII (d9)) complexes, has been studied computationally using density functional techniques. A SN2 mechanism for the nucleophilic attack of hydroxide on the metal-methyl bond, resulting in the formation of methanol, was studied. Similar highly exergonic pathways with very low energy SN2 barriers were observed for the proposed RF mechanism for all complexes studied. To modulate RF pathways closer to thermoneutral for catalytic purposes, a future challenge, paradoxically, requires finding a way to strengthen the metal-methyl bond. Furthermore, DFT calculations suggest that for 3d metals, ligand properties will be of greater importance than metal identity in isolating suitable catalysts for alkane hydroxylation in which reductive functionalization is used to form the C—O bond. Two possible competitive reactions for RF of metal-methyl complexes were studied to understand the factors that lower the selectivity of C—O bond forming reactions. One of them was deprotonation of the methyl group, which leads to formation of a methylene complex and water. The other side reaction was metal-methyl bond dissociation, which was assessed by calculating the bond dissociation free energies of M3d—CH3 bonds. Deprotonation was found to be competitive kinetically for most of the 1st row transition metal-methyl complexes (except for CrII, MnII and CuII), but less favorable thermodynamically as compared to reductive functionalization for all of the studied 1st row transition metal complexes. Metal-carbon bond dissociation was found to be less favorable than the RF reactions for most 3d transition ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Fallah, Hengameh

Disease Tissue Imaging and Single Cell Analysis with Mass Spectrometry

Description: Cells have been found to have an inherent heterogeneity that has led to an increase in the development of single-cell analysis methods to characterize the extent of heterogeneity that can be found in seemingly identical cells. With an understanding of normal cellular variability, the identification of disease induced cellular changes, known as biomarkers, may become more apparent and readily detectable. Biomarker discovery in single-cells is challenging and needs to focus on molecules that are abundant in cells. Lipids are widely abundant in cells and play active roles in cellular signaling, energy metabolism, and are the main component of cellular membranes. The regulation of lipid metabolism is often disrupted or lost during disease progression, especially in cancer, making them ideal candidates as biomarkers. Challenges exist in the analysis of lipids beyond those of single-cell analysis. Lipid extraction solvents must be compatible with the lipid or lipids of interest. Many lipids are isobaric making mass spectrometry analysis difficult without separations. Single-cell extractions using nanomanipulation coupled to mass spectrometry has shown to be an excellent method for lipid analysis of tissues and cell cultures. Extraction solvents are tunable for specific lipid classes, nanomanipulation prevents damage to neighboring cells, and lipid separations are possible through phase dispersion. The most important aspect of single-cell analysis is that it uncovers the extent of cellular heterogeneity that exists among cellular populations that remains undetected during averaged sampling.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Hamilton, Jason S

Chemical and Electronic Structure of Aromatic/Carborane Composite Films by PECVD for Neutron Detection

Description: Boron carbide-aromatic composites, formed by plasma-enhanced co-deposition of carboranes and aromatic precursors, present enhanced electron-hole separation as neutron detector. This is achieved by aromatic coordination to the carborane icosahedra and results in improved neutron detection efficiency. Photoemission (XPS) and FTIR suggest that chemical bonding between B atoms in icosahedra and aromatic contents with preservation of π system during plasma process. XPS, UPS, density functional theory (DFT) calculations, and variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometery (VASE) demonstrate that for orthocarborane/pyridine and orthocarborane/aniline films, states near the valence band maximum are aromatic in character, while states near the conduction band minimum include those of either carborane or aromatic character. Thus, excitation across the band gap results in electrons and holes on carboranes and aromatics, respectively. Further such aromatic-carborane interaction dramatically shrinks the indirect band gap from 3 eV (PECVD orthocarborane) to ~ 1.6 eV (PECVD orthocarborane/pyridine) to ~1.0 eV (PECVD orthocarborane/aniline), with little variation in such properties with aromatic/orthocarborane stoichiometry. The narrowed band gap indicate the potential for greatly enhanced charge generation relative to PECVD orthocarborane films, as confirmed by zero-bias neutron voltaic studies. The results indicate that the enhanced electron-hole separation and band gap narrowing observed for aromatic/orthocarborane films relative to PECVD orthocarborane, has significant potential for a range of applications, including neutron detection, photovoltaics, and photocatalysis. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (Grant No.HDTRA1-14-1-0041). James Hilfiker is also gratefully acknowledged for stimulating discussions.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Dong, Bin

Characterization of Aprotic Solutes and Solvents using Abraham Model Correlations

Description: Experimental data were obtained for the computation of mole fraction solubilities of three dichloronitrobenzenes in organic solvents at 25oC, and solubility ratios were obtained from this data. Abraham model equations were developed for solutes in tributyl phosphate that describe experimental values to within 0.15 log units, and correlations were made to describe solute partitioning in systems that contain either "wet" or "dry" tributyl phosphate. Abraham model correlations have also been developed for solute transfer into anhydrous diisopropyl ether, and these correlations fit in well with those for other ethers. Abraham correlations for the solvation of enthalpy have been derived from experimental and literature data for mesitylene, p-xylene, chlorobenzene, and 1,2-dichlorobenzene at 298.15 K. In addition, the enthalpy contribution of hydrogen bonding between these solutes and acidic solvents were predicted by these correlations and were in agreement with an established method. Residual plots corresponding to Abraham models developed in all of these studies were analyzed for trends in error between experimental and calculated values.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Brumfield, Michela Lynne

Synthesis and Photochemical Studies of Wide-Band Capturing Sensitizers Capable of Light Energy Harvesting

Description: Artificial photosynthesis, for the purpose of converting solar energy into fuel, is one of the most viable and promising alternative approaches to solve the current global energy and environmental issues. Among the challenges faced in artificial photosynthesis is in building photosystems that can effectively and efficiently perform light absorption and charge separation in broad-band capturing donor-acceptor systems. While having a broad-band capturing antenna system that can harness incoming photons is crucial, another equally important task is to successfully couple the antenna system, while maintaining its optical properties, to an energy or electron acceptor which serves as the reaction center for the generation of charged species of useful potential energy. The stored potential energy will be utilized in different applications such as driving electrons in solar cells or in splitting water for the generation of fuel. Hence, the particular endeavor of this thesis is to study and synthesize molecular/supramolecular systems with wide-band capturing capabilities to generate long-lived charge separated states. The sensitizer used in building these systems in the present study is 4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene, for short, BF2 chelated Azaboron dipyrromenthene or AzaBODIPY. A handful of novel donor-acceptor systems based on AzaBODIPY have been successfully designed, synthesized and their photochemistry have been investigated using various techniques. In these systems, Azabodipy has been covalently attached to several donors like porphyrin, bodipy, subphthalocyanine, phenothiazine, ferrocene, bithiophene and effectively coupled to an electron acceptor, C60. These systems have been fully characterized by NMR, Mass, optical absorption and emission, X-ray crystallographic, computational, electrochemical, and photochemical studies. It has been possible to demonstrate occurrence of efficient electron and energy transfer events and long-lived charge separated states upon photoexcitation in these model compounds. By changing the arrangements of the donor and acceptor entities, it has also been possible to show directional, through-space and through-bond electron transfer processes. The present ...
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Bandi, Venu Gopal

Synthesis, Characterization and Catalytic Studies of Chiral Gold Acyclic Diaminocarbene Complexes

Description: Chiral gold complexes have been applied in homogeneous catalytic reactions since 1986, in some cases with high enantioselectivity. Acyclic diaminocarbene (ADC) ligands are acyclic analogues of N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) that have larger N-CCarbene-N angles and stronger donating ability. ADCs have been developed as alternatives to phosphine and NHC ligands in homogeneous gold catalysis. In 2012, a new series of chiral gold(I) ADCs were first developed by Slaughter's group and were shown to give remarkable enantioselectivities in some reactions. Because of the hindered rotation of the N-CCarbene bonds of ADC, chiral ADC substituents can easily get close to the metal center in some conformations, although two rotameric structures are formed if the chiral amine is nonsymmetric. The selective of specific ADC conformations was the initial focus of this study. Formational selectivity of one diastereomer of an ADC ligand during synthesis was examines by measuring the relative rates of diastereomer formation in a 1H NMR kinetic study. The potential for converting multiple conformational isomers of ADCs into a single conformation, or at least a simpler mixture, was examined. This study used the analogy that anti- isomer has electronic and structural similarity with urea/thiourea, raising the possibility that 1,8-naphthyridine can be used to favor certain conformations through a self-assembled hydrogen-bonding complex. Gold(I) is a soft carbophilic Lewis acid able to active C-C π bonds to nucleophilic attack, and ADC-gold complexes are potentially useful in this regard. Therefore, biaryl gold(I) ADC complexes were examine with silver salt additives in catalytic 1,6-enyne cyclization reaction. A detailed study found that the counteranion affects the regioselectivities of these reactions more than substituents on the ancillary ADC ligands.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Zhang, Xiaofan

Quantum Chemistry Calculations of Energetic and Spectroscopic Properties of p- and f-Block Molecules

Description: Quantum chemical methods have been used to model a variety of p- and f-block chemical species to gain insight about their energetic and spectroscopic properties. As well, the studies have provided understanding about the utility of the quantum mechanical approaches employed for the third-row and lanthanide species. The multireference ab initio correlation consistent Composite Approach (MR-ccCA) was utilized to predict dissociation energies for main group third-row molecular species, achieving energies within 1 kcal mol-1 on average from those of experiment and providing the first demonstration of the utility of MR-ccCA for third-row species. Multireference perturbation theory was utilized to calculate the electronic states and dissociation energies of NdF2+, providing a good model of the Nd-F bond in NdF3 from an electronic standpoint. In further work, the states and energies of NdF+ were determined using an equation of motion coupled cluster approach and the similarities for both NdF2+ and NdF were noted. Finally, time-dependent density functional theory and the static exchange approximation for Hartree-Fock in conjunction with a fully relativistic framework were used to calculate the L3 ionization energies and electronic excitation spectra as a means of characterizing uranyl (UO22+) and the isoelectronic compounds NUO+ and UN2.
Date: August 2016
Creator: South, Christopher James

Theoretical Analysis of Drug Analogues and VOC Pollutants

Description: While computational chemistry methods have a wide range of applications within the set of traditional physical sciences, very little is being done in terms of expanding their usage into other areas of science where these methods can help clarify research questions. One such promising field is Forensic Science, where detailed, rapidly acquired sets of chemical data can help in decision-making at a crime scene. As part of an effort to create a database that fits these characteristics, the present work makes use of computational chemistry methods to increase the information readily available for the rapid identification and scheduling of drugs to the forensic scientist. Ab initio geometry optimizations, vibrational spectra calculations and ESI-MS fragmentation prediction of a group of common psychedelics are here presented. In addition, we describe an under development graphical user interface to perform ab initio calculations using the GAMESS software package in a more accessible manner. Results show that the set of theoretical techniques here utilized, closely approximate experimental data. Another aspect covered in this work is the implementation of a boiling point estimation method based on group contributions to generate chemical dispersion areas with the ALOHA software package. Once again, theoretical results showed to be in agreement with experimental boiling point values. A computer program written to facilitate the execution of the boiling point estimation method is also shown.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Garibay, Luis K

Analysis of Trace Amounts of Adulterants Found in Powders/Supplements Utilizing Direct Inject, Nanomanipulation, and Mass Spectrometry

Description: The regulations of many food products in the United States have been made and followed very well but unfortunately some products are not put under such rigorous standards as others. This leads to products being sold, that are thought to be healthy, but in reality contain unknown ingredients that may be hazardous to the consumers. With the use of several instrumentations and techniques the detection, characterization and identification of these unknown contaminates can be determined. Both the AZ-100 and the TE2000 inverted microscope were used for visual characterizations, image collection and to help guide the extraction. Direct analyte-probed nanoextraction (DAPNe) technique and nanospray ionization mass spectrometry (NSI-MS) was the technique used for examination and identification of all adulterants. A Raman imaging technique was than introduced and has proven to be a rapid, non-destructive and distinctive way to localize a specific adulterant. By compiling these techniques then applying them to the FDA supplied test samples three major adulterants were detected and identified.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Nnaji, Chinyere

Direct Atomic Level Controlled Growth and Characterization of h-BN and Graphene Heterostructures on Magnetic Substrates for Spintronic Applications

Description: Epitaxial multilayer h-BN(0001) heterostructures and graphene/h-BN heterostructures have many potential applications in spintronics. The use of h-BN and graphene require atomically precise control and azimuthal alignment of the individual layers in the structure. These in turn require fabrication of devices by direct scalable methods rather than physical transfer of BN and graphene flakes, and such scalable methods are also critical for industrially compatible development of 2D devices. The growth of h-BN(0001) multilayers on Co and Ni, and graphene/h-BN(0001) heterostructures on Co have been studied which meet these criteria. Atomic Layer Epitaxy (ALE) of BN was carried out resulting in the formation of macroscopically continuous h-BN(0001) multilayers using BCl3 and NH3 as precursors. X-ray photoemission spectra (XPS) show that the films are stoichiometric with an average film thickness linearly proportional to the number of BCl3/NH3 cycles. Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) of C yielded few layer graphene in azimuthal registry with BN/Co(0001) substrate. Low energy electron diffraction (LEED) measurements indicate azimuthally oriented growth of both BN and graphene layers in registry with the substrate lattice. Photoemission data indicate B:N atomic ratios of 1:1. Direct growth temperatures of 600 K for BN and 800 to 900 K for graphene MBE indicate multiple integration schemes for applications in spintronics.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Beatty, John D.

Design of New Monodentate Ligands for Regioselectivity and Enantioselectivity Tuning in Late Transition Metal Catalysis

Description: The ability of gold(I) to activate many types of unsaturated bonds toward nucleophilic attack was not widely recognized until the early 2000s. One major challenge in gold catalysis is the control over regioselectivity when there are two or more possible products as a result of complicated mechanistic pathways. It is well know that the choice of ligand can have dramatic effects on which pathway is being followed but very rarely are the reasons for this selectivity understood. The synthesis of new acyclic diaminocarbenes was developed and a study of the ligand effects on the regioselectivity of a gold-catalyzed domino enyne cyclization hydroarylation reaction and a Nazarov cyclization was undertaken. New chiral acyclic diaminocarbenes were also developed and tested along side new C3-symmetric phosphite ligands in an asymmetric intramolecular hydroamination of allenes. Structure activity correlations were developed for the potential use in further rational ligand design. The synthesis of 6a,7-dihydro-5-amino-dibenzo[c,g]chromene derivatives via a gold-catalyzed domino reaction of alkynylbenzaldehydes in the presence of secondary amines was developed. These were sent to be screened for biological activity.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Ruch, Aaron Anthony

Electrodeposited Metal Matrix Composites for Enhanced Corrosion Protection and Mechanical Properties

Description: In the oil and gas industry, high corrosion resistance and hardness are needed to extend the lifetime of the coatings due to exposure to high stress and salt environments. Electrodeposition has become a favorable technique in synthesizing coatings because of low cost, convenience, and the ability to work at low temperatures. Electrodeposition of metal matrix composites has become popular for enhanced corrosion resistance and hardness in the oil and gas industry because of the major problems that persist with corrosion. Two major alloys of copper-nickel, 90-10 and 70-30, were evaluated for microbial corrosion protection in marine environments on a stainless steel substrate. Copper and copper alloys are commonly used in marine environments to resist biofouling of materials by inhibiting microbial growth. Literature surveying the electrodeposition of Cu-Ni incorporated with nano- to micro- particles to produce metal matrix composites has been reviewed. Also, a novel flow cell design for the enhanced deposition of metal matrix composites was examined to obtain the optimal oriented structure of the layered silicates in the metal matrix. With the addition of montmorillonite into the Ni and Cu-Ni matrix, an increase in strength, adhesion, wear and fracture toughness of the coating occurs, which leads to an increase corrosion resistance and longevity of the coating. These coatings were evaluated for composition and corrosion using many different types of instrumental and electrochemical techniques. The overall corrosion resistance and mechanical properties were improved with the composite films in comparison to the pure metals, which proves to be advantageous for many economic sectors including the oil and gas industry.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Thurber, Casey Ray

Direct Inject Mass Spectrometry for Illicit Chemistry Detection and Characterization

Description: The field of direct inject mass spectrometry includes a massive host of ambient ionization techniques that are especially useful for forensic analysts. Whether the sample is trace amounts of drugs or explosives or bulk amounts of synthetic drugs from a clandestine laboratory, the analysis of forensic evidence requires minimal sample preparation, evidence preservation, and high sensitivity. Direct inject mass spectrometry techniques can rarely provide all of these. Direct analyte-probed nanoextraction coupled to nanospray ionization mass spectrometry, however, is certainly capable of achieving these goals. As a multifaceted tool developed in the Verbeck laboratory, many forensic applications have since been investigated (trace drug and explosives analysis). Direct inject mass spectrometry can also be easily coupled to assays to obtain additional information about the analytes in question. By performing a parallel artificial membrane assay or a cell membrane stationary phase extraction prior to direct infusion of the sample, membrane permeability data and receptor activity data can be obtained in addition to the mass spectral data that was already being collected. This is particularly useful for characterizing illicit drugs and their analogues for a biologically relevant way to schedule new psychoactive substances.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Williams, Kristina

Exploring Inorganic Catalysis with Electronic Structure Simulations

Description: Organometallic catalysis has attracted significant interest from both industry and academia due to its wide applications in organic synthetic transformations. Example of such transformations include the reaction of a zinc carbenoid with olefins to form cyclopropanes. The first project is a computational study using both density functional and correlated wavefunction methods of the reaction between ethylene and model zinc carbenoid, nitrenoid and oxenoid complexes (L-Zn-E-X, E = CH2, NH or O, L = X = I or Cl). It was shown that cyclopropanation of ethylene with IZnCH2I and aziridination of ethylene with IZnNHI proceed via a single-step mechanism with an asynchronous transition state. The reaction barrier for the aziridination with IZnNHI is lower than that of cyclopropanation. Changing the leaving group of IZnNHI from I to Cl, changes the mechanism of the aziridination reaction to a two-step pathway. The calculation results from the epoxidation with IZnOI and ClZnOCl oxenoids suggest a two-step mechanism for both oxenoids. Another important example of organometallic catalysis is the formation of alkyl arenes from arenes and olefins using transition metal catalysis (olefin hydroarylation). We studied with DFT methods the mechanism of a novel Rh catalyst (FlDAB)Rh(TFA)(η2–C2H4) [FlDAB = N,N’ -bis(pentafluorophenyl)-2,3-dimethyl-1,4-diaza-1,3-butadiene; TFA = trifluoroacetate] that converts benzene, ethylene and air-recyclable Cu(II) oxidants to styrene. Possible mechanisms are discussed.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Karbalaei Khani, Sarah

Lipidomic Analysis of Single Cells and Organelles Using Nanomanipulation Coupled to Mass Spectrometry

Description: The capability to characterize disease states by way of determining novel biomarkers has led to a high demand of single cell and organelle analytical methodologies due to the unexpected heterogeneity present in cells of the same type. Lipids are of particular interest in the search for biomarkers due to their active roles in cellular metabolism and energy storage. Analyzing localized lipid chemistry from individual cells and organelles is challenging however, due to low analyte volume, limited discriminate instrumentation, and common requirements of separation procedures and expenditure of cell sample. Using nanomanipulation in combination with mass spectrometry, individual cells and organelles can be extracted from tissues and cultures in vitro to determine if heterogeneity at the cellular level is present. The discriminate extraction of a single cell or organelle allows the remainder of cell culture or tissue to remain intact, while the high sensitivity and chemical specificity of mass spectrometry provides structural information for limited volumes without the need for chromatographic separation. Mass analysis of lipids extracted from individual cells can be carried out in multiple mass spectrometry platforms through direct-inject mass spectrometry using nanoelectrospray-ionization and through matrix-assisted laser/desorption ionization.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Bowman, Amanda