PhD defenses.

Insights into chemical processes garnered through in situ transmission electron microscopy

Abstract: Catalysis remains an important field of research that drives economical approaches for various energy conversion applications from natural resources. Industrial catalyzed reactions occur at the surface of heterogeneous catalysts where many different active sites exist. Any atom not at the surface is not directly used to drive chemical reactions. To improve efficiency, catalytic materials have shrunk to the nano and atomic scale, increasing the surface area/volume ratio.

Exploring 2.2.2-Cryptand for the Expansion of the +2 and +3 Oxidation State Chemistry of the Rare-Earth and Actinide Metals and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy of Gadolinium Complexes

Abstract: This dissertation describes efforts to expand the area of low oxidation state chemistry for the rare-earth metals and the actinides. The use of the spherically encapsulating 2.2.2-cryptand (crypt) for the isolation of new complexes of +3 and +2 ions of these metals was explored. In addition, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was used to evaluate the electron configurations of Gd(II) complexes by comparison with Gd(III) analogs.

A Tale of Two IMDAs: An Exploration in Methodology and Natural Product Total Synthesis

Abstract: The first segment of this presentation will detail our development of a methodology to control π-facial selectivity in intramolecular Diels–Alder cyclizations using a silacycle directing group. A panel of substrates is synthesized and tested, providing insight into the capabilities and, more importantly, the limits of the methodology. Deeper mechanistic insight is gained through a deuterium-labelling study, which suggests the role of [1,5] hydride shifts in the formation of the reactive diene. 

Analyzing the Long-Term Aging of Secondary Organic Aerosols and the Impacts of Acidity

Abstract: Atmosphere aerosols, including secondary organic aerosols (SOA), are ubiquitous constituents in the atmosphere. During their lifetimes, these aerosols can be transported hundreds of kilometers from their source and can undergo a variety of chemical and physical changes depending on the atmospheric conditions (e.g., acidity). However, SOA formation and aging processes--including the influence of acidity on these processes--are the leading source of uncertainty in aerosol radiative forcing in global climate models.

Small Molecules for Peptides: A Photoaffinity Label for Trimers Derived from Aβ and Noncanonical Amino Acids for the Peptide Antibiotic Novo29 (Clovibactin)

Abstract:  Peptides and small molecules are often at odds when it comes to their ease of synthesis, solubility, biological applications, and other uses. However, in this thesis defense I will aim to explore the synergy between small molecules and peptides, and how small molecules can be used in studying and creating biologically relevant peptides.

Breaking C–N Bonds: Using Transition Metal Complexes to Transform Captured CO2

Abstract: During this thesis defense I will describe my work in the synthesis, isolation, characterization, and application of a Ru-MACHO® derived dihydride complex that displays CO2-reduction activity. Research efforts focused on decreasing the impact of CO2 emissions must work to design processes that generate high-value products without requiring a high input of energy. One method that addresses this concern is combined CO2 capture and CO2 conversion, where electrochemistry can be utilized to perform CO2 conversion under mild conditions.


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