Matching Items (7)

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New acid medium sol-gel synthesis of metal phosphates

Description

New sol-gel routes based on peroxo complexes of early transition metals in a highly acidic medium were developed, to prepare metal oxide phosphates that feature structural protons. A sol-gel synthetic

New sol-gel routes based on peroxo complexes of early transition metals in a highly acidic medium were developed, to prepare metal oxide phosphates that feature structural protons. A sol-gel synthetic route was chosen because it allows atomic level mixing of precursors and lower heating temperatures, which are preferable in exploring metastable phases. Titanium and molybdenum sol-gel chemistries were the focus of the initial studies and the synthesis of Ti1-xMoxP2O7 (x = 0 – 0.5) and Mo1-yTiyP2O8-y (y = 0 – 0.4) type metal oxide phosphates were explored. For the synthesis of the metal oxide phosphates, hydrogen peroxide was employed to prepare the respective precursor solutions. The peroxide ligand suppressed the immediate precipitation of metal cations in aqueous medium, by coordinating to Ti4+ and Mo6+ ions, and produced a soft wet-gel following polycondensation. Phosphoric acid was used to acidify the reaction medium and to provide protons and phosphate ions as structural components. From this synthetic route, a series of Ti1-xMoxP2O7 (x = 0 – 0.5) and Mo1-yTiyP2O8-y (y = 0 – 0.4) crystalline compounds, with various degrees of purity, were synthesized. For x = 0 and y = 0, the crystalline compounds TiP2O7 and MoP2O8 were produced, respectively, after calcining at 600 °C.

In pursuit of new metastable molybdenum oxide phosphate compounds, peroxo-molybdenum precursor mixtures with different molar ratios were treated gently by low-temperature heating. After controlled drying in a lab oven, MoO2(H2O)(HPO4) crystals were obtained as a highly crystalline pure product instead of a gel. The dissolution of MoO2(H2O)(HPO4) in water and precipitation with a CsCl solution produced a new crystalline compound with a cubic unit cell (a = 11.8(2) Å). Further studies will lead to crystal structure determination and elucidation of the aqueous chemistry of MoO2(H2O)(HPO4).

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Investigations into Crustal Composition and Oxidative Weathering in the Archean

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Archean oxidative weathering reactions were likely important O2 sinks that delayed the oxygenation of Earth’s atmosphere, as well as sources of bio-essential trace metals such as Mo to the biosphere.

Archean oxidative weathering reactions were likely important O2 sinks that delayed the oxygenation of Earth’s atmosphere, as well as sources of bio-essential trace metals such as Mo to the biosphere. However, the rates of these reactions are difficult to quantify experimentally at relevantly low concentrations of O2. With newly developed O2 sensors, weathering experiments were conducted to measure the rate of sulfide oxidation at Archean levels of O2, a level three orders of magnitude lower than previous experiments. The rate laws produced, combined with weathering models, indicate that crustal sulfide oxidation by O2 was possible even in a low O2 Archean atmosphere.

Given the experimental results, it is expected that crustal delivery of bio-essential trace metals (such as Mo) from sulfide weathering was active even prior to the oxygenation of Earth’s atmosphere. Mo is a key metal for biological N2 fixation and its ancient use is evidenced by N isotopes in ancient sedimentary rocks. However, it is typically thought that Mo was too low to be effectively bioavailable early in Earth’s history, given the low abundances of Mo found in ancient sediments. To reconcile these observations, a computational model was built that leverages isotopic constraints to calculate the range of seawater concentrations possible in ancient oceans. Under several scenarios, bioavailable concentrations of seawater Mo were attainable and compatible with the geologic record. These results imply that Mo may not have been limiting for early metabolisms.

Titanium (Ti) isotopes were recently proposed to trace the evolution of the ancient continental crust, and have the potential to trace the distribution of other trace metals during magmatic differentiation. However, significant work remains to understand fully Ti isotope fractionation during crust formation. To calibrate this proxy, I carried out the first direct measurement of mineral-melt fractionation factors for Ti isotopes in Kilauea Iki lava lake and built a multi-variate fractionation law for Ti isotopes during magmatic differentiation. This study allows more accurate forward-modeling of isotope fractionation during crust differentiation, which can now be paired with weathering models and ocean mass balance to further reconstruct the composition of Earth’s early continental crust, atmosphere, and oceans.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Refining Earth’s Ocean Oxygenation History using Molybdenum and Thallium Isotopes

Description

Isotope ratios of some trace metals have proven useful for tracking Earth’s ocean oxygenation history. As the limitations of some of these isotope systems are realized, it becomes increasingly important

Isotope ratios of some trace metals have proven useful for tracking Earth’s ocean oxygenation history. As the limitations of some of these isotope systems are realized, it becomes increasingly important to develop new and complementary systems. This dissertation examines the utility of molybdenum (98Mo) and thallium (205Tl) isotope compositions preserved in ancient marine shales to track past ocean oxygenation. My approach is as follows: (1) as an initial exercise, apply the well-established Mo isotope system to a set of ancient shales; (2) validate the use of the newly developed Tl isotope system; and finally (3) examine the potential of applying Mo and Tl isotopes in tandem.

Increasingly heavier 98Mo are found in shales deposited during the Neoarchean (2,800 to 2,500 million years ago, or Ma), which would be a predicted consequence of progressive ocean oxygenation across this timeframe. Increasingly heavier 205Tl across a well-documented Mesozoic Oceanic Anoxic Event (~94 Ma), on the other hand, would be a predicted consequence of progressive ocean de-oxygenation. An anti-correlation in the first combined application of Mo and Tl isotopes in ancient shales provides a strong fingerprint for previously unrecognized levels of ocean oxygenation at ~2,500 Ma. Lastly, neither 98Mo or 205Tl behave as predicted in shales deposited during three Ediacaran Ocean Oxygenation Events (~635 Ma, ~580 Ma, and ~560 Ma). These unexpected trends are due, at least in part, to local-scale overprints that must be taken into consideration when pairing together Mo and Tl isotopes in shales.

The ability of the Mo and Tl isotope systems to track changes in past ocean oxygenation is confirmed in this dissertation. Both isotope systems have the potential to track these changes independently, but their combined utility is particularly powerful. Under ideal conditions, their combined application can provide an even more robust fingerprint for changes in past ocean oxygenation. Even under non-ideal conditions, their combined application makes it possible to decipher local-scale overprints from signals of past ocean oxygenation. It is therefore ideal, whenever possible, to measure both 98Mo and 205Tl in the same shale samples to assess past changes in ocean oxygenation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Analysis of proximitized molybdenum-copper superconducting bilayers

Description

A series of Molybdenum-Copper bilayers were studied for use in 120mK superconducting transition edge sensors for spectrometer applications. The Transition temperature (TC) was tuned to the desired temperature using

A series of Molybdenum-Copper bilayers were studied for use in 120mK superconducting transition edge sensors for spectrometer applications. The Transition temperature (TC) was tuned to the desired temperature using the proximity effect, by adjusting the thickness of a normal copper layer in direct contact with the superconducting molybdenum layer in a proximitized bilayer structure. The bilayers have a fixed normal metal thickness dCu=1250 Å, on top of a variable superconductor thickness 650 Å ≤ dMo ≤ 1000 Å. Material characterization techniques including X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy (RBS), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), and 4-point electrical characterization are used to characterize the films. Film TC are compared with the results of the Usadel proximity theory. The results of RBS analysis demonstrated that some Argon-contamination is observed at the Mo film-substrate interface, which correlates with bilayer surface roughness (as observed with AFM), reduced crystalline quality (via XRD Rocking Curve), and a deviation from the theoretical expected TC for a bilayer. The Argon contamination is presumably the cause of interface roughness, reducing the interface transmission coefficient in the Usadel model, and producing the discrepancy from the expected TC.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Incorporation and preservation of molybdenum and uranium isotope variations in modern marine sediments

Description

Molybdenum and uranium isotope variations are potentially powerful tools for reconstructing the paleoredox history of seawater. Reliable application and interpretation of these proxies requires not only detailed knowledge about the

Molybdenum and uranium isotope variations are potentially powerful tools for reconstructing the paleoredox history of seawater. Reliable application and interpretation of these proxies requires not only detailed knowledge about the fractionation factors that control the distribution of molybdenum and uranium isotopes in the marine system, but also a thorough understanding of the diagenetic processes that may affect molybdenum and uranium isotopes entering the rock record. Using samples from the Black Sea water column, the first water column profile of 238U/235U variations from a modern euxinic basin has been measured. This profile allows the direct determination of the 238U/235U fractionation factor in a euxinic marine setting. More importantly however, these data demonstrate the extent of Rayleigh fractionation of U isotopes that can occur in euxinic restricted basins. Because of this effect, the offset of 238U/235U between global average seawater and coeval black shales deposited in restricted basins is expected to depend on the degree of local uranium drawdown from the water column, potentially complicating the interpretation 238U/235U paleorecords. As an alternative to the black shales typically used for paleoredox reconstructions, molybdenum and uranium isotope variations in bulk carbonate sediments from the Bahamas are examined. The focus of this work was to determine what processes, if any, fractionate molybdenum and uranium isotopes during incorporation into bulk carbonate sediments and their subsequent diagenesis. The results demonstrate that authigenic accumulation of molybdenum and uranium from anoxic and sulfidic pore waters is a dominant process controlling the concentration and isotopic composition of these sediments during early diagenesis. Examination of ODP drill core samples from the Bahamas reveals similar behavior for sediments during the first ~780ka of burial, but provides important examples where isolated cores and samples occasionally demonstrate additional fractionation, the cause of which remains poorly understood.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Development of homogeneous molybdenum catalysts for the activation of small molecules

Description

Over the last few decades, homogeneous molybdenum catalysis has been a center of interest to inorganic, organic, and organometallic chemists. Interestingly, most of the important advancements in molybdenum chemistry such

Over the last few decades, homogeneous molybdenum catalysis has been a center of interest to inorganic, organic, and organometallic chemists. Interestingly, most of the important advancements in molybdenum chemistry such as non-classical dihydrogen coordination, dinitrogen reduction, olefin metathesis, and water reduction utilize diverse oxidation states of the metal. However, employment of redox non-innocent ligands to tune the stability and reactivity of such catalysts have been overlooked. With this in mind, the Trovitch group has developed a series of novel bis(imino)pyridine (or pyridine diimine, PDI) and diimine (DI) ligands that have coordinating phosphine or amine arms to exert coordination flexibility to the designed complexes. The research described in this dissertation is focused on the development of molybdenum catalysts that are supported by PDI and DI chelates and their application in small molecule activation.

Using the phosphine containing PDI chelate, Ph2PPrPDI, several low-valent molybdenum complexes have been synthesized and characterized. While the zerovalent monocarbonyl complex, (Ph2PPrPDI)MoCO, catalyzes the reduction of aldehyde C=O bonds, the C-H activated Mo(II) complex, (6-P,N,N,N,C,P-Ph2PPrPDI)MoH was found to be the first well-defined molybdenum catalyst for reducing carbon dioxide to methanol. Along with low- oxidation state compounds, a Mo(IV) complex, [(Ph2PPrPDI)MoO][PF6]2 was also synthesized and utilized in electrocatalytic hydrogen production from neutral water. Moreover, with the proper choice of reductant, an uncommon Mo(I) oxidation state was stabilized and characterized by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and single crystal X-ray diffraction.

While the synthesized (PDI)Mo complexes unveiled versatile reduction chemistry, varying the ligand backbone to DI uncovered completely different reactivity when bound to molybdenum. Unlike PDI, no chelate-arm C-H activation was observed with the propyl phosphine DI, Ph2PPrDI; instead, a bis(dinitrogen) Mo(0) complex, (Ph2PPrDI)Mo(N2)2 was isolated. Surprisingly, this complex was found to convert carbon dioxide into dioxygen and carbon monoxide under ambient conditions through a novel tail-to-tail CO2 reductive coupling pathway. Detailed experimental and theoretical studies are underway to gain further information about the possible mechanism of Mo mediated direct conversion of CO2 to O2.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Molybdenum biogeochemistry in an evolutionary context: nitrogen assimilation, microbial storage and environmental budgets

Description

Molybdenum (Mo) is a key trace nutrient for biological assimilation of nitrogen, either as nitrogen gas (N2) or nitrate (NO3-). Although Mo is the most abundant metal in seawater (105

Molybdenum (Mo) is a key trace nutrient for biological assimilation of nitrogen, either as nitrogen gas (N2) or nitrate (NO3-). Although Mo is the most abundant metal in seawater (105 nM), its concentration is low (<5 nM) in most freshwaters today, and it was scarce in the ocean before 600 million years ago. The use of Mo for nitrogen assimilation can be understood in terms of the changing Mo availability through time; for instance, the higher Mo content of eukaryotic vs. prokaryotic nitrate reductase may have stalled proliferation of eukaryotes in low-Mo Proterozoic oceans. Field and laboratory experiments were performed to study Mo requirements for NO3- assimilation and N2 fixation, respectively. Molybdenum-nitrate addition experiments at Castle Lake, California revealed interannual and depth variability in plankton community response, perhaps resulting from differences in species composition and/or ammonium availability. Furthermore, lake sediments were elevated in Mo compared to soils and bedrock in the watershed. Box modeling suggested that the largest source of Mo to the lake was particulate matter from the watershed. Month-long laboratory experiments with heterocystous cyanobacteria (HC) showed that <1 nM Mo led to low N2 fixation rates, while 10 nM Mo was sufficient for optimal rates. At 1500 nM Mo, freshwater HC hyperaccumulated Mo intercellularly, whereas coastal HC did not. These differences in storage capacity were likely due to the presence in freshwater HC of the small molybdate-binding protein, Mop, and its absence in coastal and marine cyanobacterial species. Expression of the mop gene was regulated by Mo availability in the freshwater HC species Nostoc sp. PCC 7120. Under low Mo (<1 nM) conditions, mop gene expression was up-regulated compared to higher Mo (150 and 3000 nM) treatments, but the subunit composition of the Mop protein changed, suggesting that Mop does not bind Mo in the same manner at <1 nM Mo that it can at higher Mo concentrations. These findings support a role for Mop as a Mo storage protein in HC and suggest that freshwater HC control Mo cellular homeostasis at the post-translational level. Mop's widespread distribution in prokaryotes lends support to the theory that it may be an ancient protein inherited from low-Mo Precambrian oceans.

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Date Created
  • 2011