Macrocyclic functional materials
Much of the experimental research in the Inorganic and Materials Chemistry group centers around synthetic marocyclic molecules analogous to the naturally occurring porphyrins and their applications as functional materials. Typical projects range from synthesis for synthesis’ sake to applications such as transition-metal–catalyzed transformations, biological imaging, and anticancer compounds. On the more fundamental side, we have found corroles to be excellent platforms for high-valent transition metal chemistry; many of the compounds synthesized afford textbook examples of phenomena such as ligand noninnocence and charge-transfer transitions. A current area of emphasis involves heavy element complexes, particularly those involving 5d and f elements. Of these, gold corroles exhibit near-IR phosphorescence and platinum corroles are exciting for their anticancer potential. Other applications of porphyrin analogues focus on renewable energy, particularly dye-sensitized solar cells and the splitting of water to H2 and/or O2.
A typical project in this area provides a good grounding in (a) chemical synthesis, with emphasis on Schlenk techniques for air-sensitive materials, (b) NMR spectroscopy, sometimes focusing on paramagnetic compounds, and (c) X-ray structural analysis. Specific projects may focus on a variety of other techniques such as electronic absorption and resonance Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence and phosphorescence spectroscopy and electrochemistry.
Many (well over 50%) master’s students and short-term visitors to the group have been extraordinarily successful. Within a few short months, they have made new compounds, obtained crystal structures, presented their work at international conferences, and published papers as first authors in leading chemistry journals. So drop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), check us out on Facebook The Purple Planet, or drop by for a chat and judge whether we can help you reach your goals.