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Applications of Metallic Clusters and Nanoparticles via Soft Landing Ion Mobility, from Reduced to Ambient Pressures

Description: Nanoparticles, simple yet groundbreaking objects have led to the discovery of invaluable information due to their physiological, chemical, and physical properties, have become a hot topic in various fields of study including but not limited to chemistry, biology, and physics. In the work presented here, demonstrations of various applications of chemical free nanoparticles are explored, from the determination of a non-invasive method for the study of the exposome via using soft-landing ion mobility (SLIM) deposited nanoparticles as a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI-MS) matrix replacement, to the direct SLIM-exposure of nanoparticles onto living organisms. While there is plenty of published work in soft-landing at operating pressures of 1 Torr, the work presented here shows how this technology can be operated at the less common ambient pressure. The ease of construction of this instrument allows for various modifications to be performed for a wide array of applications, furthermore the flexibility in metallic sample, operating pressure, and deposition time only open doors to many other future applications. The work presented will also show that our ambient SLIM system is also able to be operated for toxicological studies, as the operation at ambient pressure opens the door to new applications where vacuum conditions are not desired.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Aguilar Ayala, Roberto

High-Energy, Long-Lived Charge Separated States via Molecular Engineering of Triplet State Donor-Acceptor Systems

Description: Molecular engineering of donor-acceptor dyads and multimodular systems to control the yield and lifetime of charge separation is one of the key goals of artificial photosynthesis for harvesting sustainably solar energy. The design of the donor-acceptor systems mimic a part of green plants and bacterial photosynthetic processes. The photochemical events in natural photosynthesis involve the capturing and funneling of solar energy by a group of well-organized chromophores referred to as an ‘antenna' system causing an electron transfer into the ‘reaction center,' where an electron transfer processes occur resulting a long-lived charge separated state. Over the last two to three decades, many efforts have been directed by the scientific community designing of multi-modular systems that are capable of capturing most of the useful sunlight and generating charge separated states of prolonged lifetimes with adequate amounts of energy. In this dissertation, we report on the design and synthesis of donor–acceptor conjugates with the goal of modulating the yield and lifetime of their charge separated states and hence, improving the conversion of light energy into chemical potential. In simple donor-acceptor systems, generally, the energy and electron transfer events originate from the singlet excited state of the donor or acceptor and can store the greatest amount of energy but must be fast to out compete intersystem crossing. To address this limitation, we have designed novel donor –acceptor conjugates that use high-energy triplet sensitizers in which electron transfer is initiated from the long lived triplet state of the donor. The triplet photosensitizers used were palladium(II) porphyrin and platinum(II) porphyrin. Heavy metal effect in these porphyrins promoted intersystem crossing and the energies of their excited state was quite high. For the case of palladium (II) porphyrin the energy stored was found to 1.89 eV and that of platinum(II) porphyrin 1.84 eV. In addition to using triplet ...
Date: August 2018
Creator: Obondi, Christopher O

Optoelectronically Active Metal-Inorganic Frameworks and Supramolecular Extended Solids

Description: Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have been intensely researched over the past 20 years. In this dissertation, metal-inorganic frameworks (MIFs), a new class of porous and nonporous materials using inorganic complexes as linkers, in lieu of traditional organic linkers in MOFs is reported. Besides novel MIF regimes, the previously described fluorous MOF "FMOF-1", is re-categorized herein as "F-MIF1". F-MIF-1 is comprised of [Ag4Tz6]2- (Tz = 3,5-bis-trifluoromethyl-1,2,4-triazolate) inorganic clusters connected by 3-coordinate Ag+ metal centers. Chapter 2 describes isosteric heat of adsorption studies of F-MIF1 for CO2 at near ambient temperatures, suggesting promise for carbon capture and storage. We then successfully exchanged some of these Ag(I) centers with Au(I) to form an isostructural Au/F-MIF1. Other, nonporous MIFs have been synthesized using Ag2Tz2 clusters with bridging diamine linkers 4,4'-bipyridine, pyrazine, and a Pt(II) complex containing two oppositely-situated non-coordinating pyridines. This strategy attained luminescent products better-positioned for photonic devices than porous materials due to greater exciton density. Chapter 3 overviews work using an entirely inorganic luminescent complex, [Pt2(P2O5)4]4- (a.k.a. "PtPOP") to form new carbon-free MIFs. PtPOP is highly luminescent in solution, but as a solid shows poor quantum yield (QY ~0.02) and poor stability under ambient conditions. By complexing PtPOP to various metals, we have shown a dramatic enhancement in its solid-state luminescence (by an order of magnitude) and stability (from day to year scale). One embodiment (MIF-1) demonstrates microporous character. Chapter 4 overviews the design and application of new MIF linkers. Pt complexes based upon (pyridyl)azolates, functionalized with carboxylic acid groups, have been synthesized. These complexes, and their esterized precursors, show strong luminescence on their own. They have been used to generate new luminescent MIFs. Such new MIFs may be useful toward future inorganic (LEDs) or organic (OLEDs) light-emitting diodes, respectively. The electronic communication along their infinite coordination structures is desirable for color tuning ...
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Ivy, Joshua F.

Teaching First-Semester General Chemistry Using 3D Video Games following an Atoms First Approach to Chemistry

Description: The unified learning model (ULM) focuses on students' engagement, motivation, prior knowledge, and working memory. This study employs the use of video games to assess students' learning through a 3D chemistry gaming environment. In this human-subjects research, students carried out missions and applied reasoning to solve problems appropriate for general chemistry content. For learning to occur, students must be engaged and motivated as stated in the ULM. Learning cannot necessarily be accomplished by experience alone, and critical thinking is required to turn the experience into learning. The interpretation of educational theory applied to video games and this proposed study are discussed. A moderately positive correlation was found between exam score and study time (playing the game). Essentially the more time spent playing the game or an online activity the higher the exam scores. There was an alpha level less than 0.05 (p < 0.05) between the experimental group and non-traditional group (no game or online activity). Supporting that there was a statistically significant difference between groups, the null hypothesis was accepted between the game and online activity. Furthermore, as stated under the ULM, engagement is necessary for optimal learning.
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Jenkins, Dave A

Ultrafast Photoinduced Energy and Electron Transfer Studies in Closely Bound Molecular and Nanocarbon Donor-Acceptor Systems

Description: As part of the study, photosynthetic system constructs based on BF2-chelated dipyrromethene (BODIPY), BF2-chelated azadipyrromethene (AzaBODIPY), porphyrin, phthalocyanine, oxasmaragdyrin, polythiophene, fullerene (C60), single-walled carbon nanotube and graphene are investigated. Antenna systems of BODIPY dyads and oligomers having BODIPY as an excitation energy donor connected to different acceptors including BODIPY, azaBODIPY, oxasmaragdyrin and aluminum porphyrin are studied. Different synthetic methodologies are used to afford donor-acceptor systems either directly linked with no spacer or with short spacers of varying length and orientation. The effect of donor orientation, donor optical gap as well as nature of donor-acceptor coupling on the donor-acceptor spectral overlap and hence the rate of excitation energy transfer is investigated. In all these systems, an ultrafast energy transfer followed by electron transfer is observed. In particular, in a directly connected BODIPY-azaBODIPY dyad an unusually ultrafast energy transfer (~ 150−200 f) via Förster mechanism is observed. The observation of energy transfer via Förster instead of Dexter mechanism in such closely coupled donor-acceptor systems shows the balance between spatial and electronic coupling achieved in the donor-acceptor system. Moreover, in donor-acceptor systems involving semiconducting 1D and 2D materials, covalently functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes via charge stabilizing (TPA)3ZnP and noncovalently hybridized exfoliated graphene via polythiophene chromophores are studied for their charge transportation functions. In both cases, not only an ultrafast charge transfer in the range of (~ 2−5 p) is observed but also the charge-separated states were long lived implying the potential of these functionalized materials as efficient charge transporting substrates with organic chromophores for photovoltaic and optoelectronic applications where ultrafast intercomponent charge transfer is vital. In addition, as a final part of this dissertation, the mechanisms of electron injection and back electron transfer in heterogeneous systems involving supramolecularly anchored high potential chromophores on TiO2 film are studied by femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy. In ...
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Gobeze, Habtom Berhane

Utilizing Rapid Mass Spectrometry Techniques to Profile Illicit Drugs from Start to Finish

Description: The increasingly complex world of illicit chemistry has created a need for rapid, selective means of determining the threat posed by new drugs as they are encountered by law enforcement personnel. To streamline this process, the entirety of the problem, from the production of illicit drugs all the way to the final analysis have been investigated. A series of N-alkylated phenethylamine analogues were synthesized in a shotgun method and subjected to direct-infusion analysis. A range of products were detected without the need for time-consuming purification steps, which was extended to novel pharmacological and receptor-binding assays where mass spectrometry is used as a detector. This direct-infusion technique was also applied to studies of methamphetamine and fentanyl production to preemptively determine improvements to common reaction conditions and explore the origins of common impurities. The ability to utilize these rapid techniques directly from the fume hood has also been critically reviewed to highlight gaps in current research and opportunities for improvement. When combined, these studies seek to provide a means for rapid, simplified analysis of illicit drugs to improve the quality of data and dramatically increase throughput.
Date: August 2018
Creator: McBride, Ethan

Computational Investigation of DNA Repair Enzymes: Determination and Characterization of Cancer Biomarkers and Structural Features

Description: Genomic integrity is important for living cells' correct functioning and propagation. Deoxyribonucleic acid as a molecule is a subject to chemical reactions with agents that can come from environment as well as from internal metabolism processes. These reactions can induce damage to DNA and thus compromise the genetic information, and result in disease and death of an organism. To mitigate the damage to DNA, cells have evolved to have multiple DNA repair pathways. Presented here is a computational study of DNA repair genes. The structure of the Homo sapiens direct DNA repair gene ALKBH1 is predicted utilizing homology modeling methods and using AlkB and DBL proteins as templates. Analysis of the obtained structure and molecular dynamics simulations give insights into potentially functionally important residues of the protein. In particular, zinc finger domains are predicted, and lysines that could perform catalytic activities are investigated. Subsequent mutagenesis experiments revealed the effect of the residues predicted to form zinc fingers on activity of ALKBH1. Structure and dynamics of AlkD, a Bascillus cereus base excision DNA repair protein is also studied. This protein has been shown to bind DNA with large alkyl adducts and perform excision catalysis without base flipping which is characteristic to other enzymes in the same family. MD simulations of AlkD revealed that B helix, which interacts with DNA, has higher fluctuations when AlkD is not bound to DNA, and thus could have a role in binding and recognition of DNA. For the purpose of finding biomarkers and to further our understanding of a mode of action of DNA repair genes, statistical methods were applied to identify mutations that are linked to cancer phenotypes. Analysis was based on case-control studies of patients with cancers of prostate, breast, pancreas, lung as well as chronic lymphocytic leukemia from NCBI dbGAP database. Those mutations ...
Date: May 2018
Creator: Silvestrov, Pavel

Computational Simulations of Cancer and Disease-Related Enzymatic Systems Using Molecular Dynamics and Combined Quantum Methods

Description: This work discusses applications of computational simulations to enzymatic systems with a particular focus on the effects of various small perturbations on cancer and disease-related systems. First, we cover the development of carbohydrate-based PET imaging ligands for Galectin-3, which is a protein overexpressed in pancreatic cancer tumors. We uncover several structural features for the ligands that can be used to improve their binding and efficacy. Second, we discuss the AlkB family of enzymes. AlkB is the E. coli DNA repair protein for alkylation damage, and has human homologues with slightly different functions and substrates. Each has a conserved active site with a catalytic iron and a coordinating His...His...Asp triad. We have applied molecular dynamics (MD) to investigate the effect of a novel single nucleotide polymorphism for AlkBH7, which is correlated with prostate cancer and has an unknown function. We show that the mutation leads to active site distortion, which has been confirmed by experiments. Thirdly, we investigate the unfolding of hen egg white lysozyme in 90% ethanol solution and low pH, to show the initial steps of unfolding from a native-like state to the disease-associated beta-sheet structure. We compare to mass spectrometry experiments and also show differing pathways based on protonation state. Finally, we discuss three different DNA polymerase systems. DNA polymerases are the primary proteins that replicate DNA during cell division, and have various extra or specific functions. We look at a proofreading-deficient DNA polymerase III mutant, the effects of solvent on DNA polymerase IV's ability to bypass bulky DNA adducts, and a variety of mutations on DNA polymerase kappa.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Walker, Alice Rachel

Electrodeposition of Molybdenum-Based Coatings from Aqueous Alkaline Solutions for Enhanced Corrosion Resistance

Description: Zn-Mo coatings are very promising environment friendly anticorrosive coatings as replacement materials for cadmium and chromium (VI) based conversion layers. Electrodeposition has become a favorable technique in fabricating coatings due to its low cost, ease of use, and overall experimental control of coating quality. Very little research so far has been done for the electrodeposition of Zn-Mo coatings under alkaline conditions. In this work, Zn and Zn-Mo coatings were electrochemically deposited on stainless steel from an aqueous alkaline citrate solution. An organic compound, vanillin, was added to the electrolyte as a leveling agent for improving interlayer adherence and corrosion resistance of Zn-Mo coatings. Ni-Mo alloys have been known to possess high tensile strength and excellent corrosion protection of steels, and MoTe2 layers have a potential for the application in anticorrosive coatings due to their hydrophobic properties. In this study, MoTe2-Ni-Mo coatings were deposited on stainless steel using both sputtering and electrodeposition methods. These coatings with high corrosion resistance and other desirable properties are in demand in the oil and gas industry since they can protect and thus extend the lifetime of the underlying materials when exposed to aggressive environments. The Zn-Mo and MoTe2-Ni-Mo coatings were evaluated for chemical composition and corrosion behavior using different types of instrumental and electrochemical techniques. The addition of vanillin to the electrolyte did not change the crystalline structure or composition of the Zn-Mo coating, however, the corrosion resistance of the coating was significantly improved by the leveling effect of vanillin during the electrodeposition. The corrosion resistance of the Ni-Mo coating was also enhanced by applying the hydrophobic MoTe2 monolayer on the top surface.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Zhou, Ting

Using the Abraham Solvation Parameter Model to Predict Solute Transfer into Various Mono- and Multi-Functional Organic Solvents

Description: The Abraham Solvation Parameter Model (ASPM) is a linear, free-energy relationship that can be used to predict various solute properties based on solute-solvent interactions. The ASPM has been used to predict log (K or Cs,organic/Cs,gas) values, as well as log (P or Cs,organic/Cs,water) values for solute transfer into the following organic solvents: 2-methoxyethanol, 2-ethoxyethanol, 2-propoxyethanol, 2-isopropoxyethanol and 2-butoxyethanol. The derived log (K or Cs,organic/Cs,gas) correlations describe the experimental data to within 0.14 log units (or less). The derived log (P or Cs,organic/Cs,water) correlations describe the experimental data to within 0.16 log units (or less). The ASPM has also been used to predict the enthalpies of solvation of organic solutes dissolved in the following solvents: acetic acid, dimethyl carbonate, diethyl carbonate, 1-butanol, 1-pentanol, 1-hexanol. The derived enthalpy of solvation correlations, using the L solute descriptor, describe the experimental data to within 2.50 log units (or less). The derived enthalpy of solvation correlations, using the V solute descriptor, describe the experimental data to within 3.10 log units (or less). Validation analyses have been performed on several of the correlations; and, as long as the solute descriptors fall within the given ranges as reported, the original correlations show good predictive ability for determining 1) solute transfer into, and 2) enthalpy of solvation for the aforementioned solvents.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Hart, Erin F

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

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

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

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

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

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

Computational Studies of C–H/C–C Manipulation Utilizing Transition Metal Complexes

Description: Density Functional Theory (DFT) is an effective tool for studying diverse metal systems. Presented herein are studies of a variety of metal systems, which can be applied to accomplish transformations that are currently difficult/impossible to achieve. The specific topics studied utilizing DFT include: 1) C–H bond activation via an Earth-abundant transition metal complex, 2) C–H bond deprotonation via an alkali metal superbase, 3) and amination/aziridination reactions utilizing a CuI reagent. Using DFT, the transformation to methanol (CH3OH) from methane (CH4) was examined. The transition metal systems studied for this transformation included a model FeII complex. This first-row transition metal is an economical, Earth-abundant metal. The ligand set for this transformation includes a carbonyl ligand in one set of complexes as well as a phosphite ligand in another. The 3d Fe metal shows the ability to convert alkyls/aryls to their oxidized counterpart in an energetically favorable manner. Also, “superbasic” alkali metal amides were investigated to perform C—H bond cleavage. Toluene was the substrate of interest with Cs chosen to be the metal of interest because of the highly electropositive nature of this alkali metal. These highly electrophilic Cs metal systems allow for very favorable C—H bond scission with a toluene substrate. Finally, the amination and aziridination of C–H and C=C bonds, respectively, by a CuI reagent was studied. The mechanism was investigated using DFT calculations. Presently, these mechanisms involving the use of coinage metals are debated. Our DFT simulations shed some insight into how these transformations occur and ultimately how they can be manipulated.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Pardue, Daniel B.

Rational Design of Metal-organic Electronic Devices: a Computational Perspective

Description: Organic and organometallic electronic materials continue to attract considerable attention among researchers due to their cost effectiveness, high flexibility, low temperature processing conditions and the continuous emergence of new semiconducting materials with tailored electronic properties. In addition, organic semiconductors can be used in a variety of important technological devices such as solar cells, field-effect transistors (FETs), flash memory, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, light emitting diodes (LEDs), etc. However, organic materials have thus far not achieved the reliability and carrier mobility obtainable with inorganic silicon-based devices. Hence, there is a need for finding alternative electronic materials other than organic semiconductors to overcome the problems of inferior stability and performance. In this dissertation, I research the development of new transition metal based electronic materials which due to the presence of metal-metal, metal-?, and ?-? interactions may give rise to superior electronic and chemical properties versus their organic counterparts. Specifically, I performed computational modeling studies on platinum based charge transfer complexes and d10 cyclo-[M(?-L)]3 trimers (M = Ag, Au and L = monoanionic bidentate bridging (C/N~C/N) ligand). The research done is aimed to guide experimental chemists to make rational choices of metals, ligands, substituents in synthesizing novel organometallic electronic materials. Furthermore, the calculations presented here propose novel ways to tune the geometric, electronic, spectroscopic, and conduction properties in semiconducting materials. In addition to novel material development, electronic device performance can be improved by making a judicious choice of device components. I have studied the interfaces of a p-type metal-organic semiconductor viz cyclo-[Au(µ-Pz)]3 trimer with metal electrodes at atomic and surface levels. This work was aimed to guide the device engineers to choose the appropriate metal electrodes considering the chemical interactions at the interface. Additionally, the calculations performed on the interfaces provided valuable insight into binding energies, charge redistribution, change in the energy ...
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Date: December 2012
Creator: Chilukuri, Bhaskar

Investigating Molecular Structures: Rapidly Examining Molecular Fingerprints Through Fast Passage Broadband Fourier Transform Microwave Spectroscopy

Description: Microwave spectroscopy is a gas phase technique typically geared toward measuring the rotational transitions of Molecules. The information contained in this type of spectroscopy pertains to a molecules structure, both geometric and electronic, which give insight into a molecule's chemistry. Typically this type of spectroscopy is high resolution, but narrowband ≤1 MHz in frequency. This is achieved by tuning a cavity, exciting a molecule with electromagnetic radiation in the microwave region, turning the electromagnetic radiation o, and measuring a signal from the molecular relaxation in the form of a free induction decay (FID). The FID is then Fourier transformed to give a frequency of the transition. "Fast passage" is defined as a sweeping of frequencies through a transition at a time much shorter (≤10 s) than the molecular relaxation (≈100 s). Recent advancements in technology have allowed for the creation of these fast frequency sweeps, known as "chirps", which allow for broadband capabilities. This work presents the design, construction, and implementation of one such novel, high-resolution microwave spectrometer with broadband capabilities. The manuscript also provides the theory, technique, and motivations behind building of such an instrument. In this manuscript it is demonstrated that, although a gas phase technique, solids, liquids, and transient species may be studied with the spectrometer with high sensitivity, making it a viable option for many molecules wanting to be rotationally studied. The spectrometer has a relative correct intensity feature that, when coupled with theory, may ease the difficulty in transition assignment and facilitate dynamic chemical studies of the experiment. Molecules studied on this spectrometer have, in turn, been analyzed and assigned using common rotational spectroscopic analysis. Detailed theory on the analysis of these molecules has been provided. Structural parameters such as rotational constants and centrifugal distortion constants have been determined and reported for most molecules in ...
Date: May 2011
Creator: Grubbs, Garry Smith, II

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 &#946;-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 (&#946;-diket)Ni=O and (&#946;-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 (&#946;-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 &#946;-diketiminate complexes. First, the activation and relative stabilities of side-bound and end-bound N2 isomers in monometallic ((&#946;-diket)M-N2) and bimetallic ((&#946;-diket)M-N2-M(&#946;-diket)) first row transition metal complexes are addressed. Second, the thermodynamics of H/H+/H- addition to (&#946;-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

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.

Phosphorescent Emissions of Coinage Metal-Phosphine Complexes: Theory and Photophysics

Description: The major topics discussed are all relevant to the bright phosphorescent emissions of coinage metal complexes (Cu(I), Ag(I) and Au(I)) with an explanation of the theoretical background, computational results and ongoing work on the application in materials and optoelectronic devices. Density functional computations have been performed on the majority of the discussed complexes and determined that the most significant distortion that occurs in Au(I)-phosphine complexes is a near and beyond a T-shape within the P-Au-P angle when the complexes are photoexcited to the lowest phosphorescent excited state. The large distortion is experimentally qualified with the large Stokes' shift that occurs between the excitation and emission spectra and can be as large as 18 000 cm-1 for the neutral Au(I) complexes. The excited state distortion has been thoroughly investigated and it is determined that not only is it pertinent to the efficient luminescence but also for the tunability in the emission. The factors that affect tunability have been determined to be electronics, sterics, rigidity of solution and temperature. The luminescent shifts determined from varying these parameters have been described systematically and have revealed emission colors that span the entire visible spectrum. These astounding features that have been discovered within studies of coinage metal phosphorescent complexes are an asset to applications ranging from materials development to electronics.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Sinha, Pankaj

Interaction of learning approach with concept integration and achievement in a large guided inquiry organic class.

Description: A study was conducted to investigate the relationship of students' concept integration and achievement with time spent within a topic and across related topics in a large first semester guided inquiry organic chemistry class. Achievement was based on evidence of algorithmic problem solving; and concept integration was based on demonstrated performance explaining, applying, and relating concepts to each other. Twelve individual assessments were made of both variables over three related topics - acid/base, nucleophilic substitution and electrophilic addition reactions. Measurements included written, free response and ordered multiple answer questions using a classroom response system. Results demonstrated that students can solve problems without conceptual understanding. A second study was conducted to compare the students' learning approach at the beginning and end of the course. Students were scored on their preferences for a deep, strategic, or surface approach to learning based on their responses to a pre and post survey. Results suggest that students significantly decreased their preference for a surface approach during the semester. Analysis of the data collected was performed to determine the relationship between students' learning approach and their concept integration and achievement in this class. Results show a correlation between a deep approach and concept integration and a strong negative correlation between a surface approach and concept integration.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Mewhinney, Christina