Matching Items (29)

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Design and synthesis of organic molecular models of artificial photosynthetic reaction center

Description

A clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels is solar energy. For efficient use of solar energy to be realized, artificial systems that can effectively capture and convert sunlight into

A clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels is solar energy. For efficient use of solar energy to be realized, artificial systems that can effectively capture and convert sunlight into a usable form of energy have to be developed. In natural photosynthesis, antenna chlorophylls and carotenoids capture sunlight and transfer the resulting excitation energy to the photosynthetic reaction center (PRC). Small reorganization energy, λ and well-balanced electronic coupling between donors and acceptors in the PRC favor formation of a highly efficient charge-separated (CS) state. By covalently linking electron/energy donors to acceptors, organic molecular dyads and triads that mimic natural photosynthesis were synthesized and studied. Peripherally linked free base phthalocyanine (Pc)-fullerene (C60) and a zinc (Zn) phthalocyanine-C60 dyads were synthesized. Photoexcitation of the Pc moiety resulted in singlet-singlet energy transfer to the attached C60, followed by electron transfer. The lifetime of the CS state was 94 ps. Linking C60 axially to silicon (Si) Pc, a lifetime of the CS state of 4.5 ns was realized. The exceptionally long-lived CS state of the SiPc-C60 dyad qualifies it for applications in solar energy conversion devices. A secondary electron donor was linked to the dyad to obtain a carotenoid (Car)-SiPc-C60 triad and ferrocene (Fc)-SiPc-C60 triad. Excitation of the SiPc moiety resulted in fast electron transfer from the Car or Fc secondary electron donors to the C60. The lifetime of the CS state was 17 ps and 1.2 ps in Car-SiPc-C60 and Fc-SiPc-C60, respectively. In Chapter 3, an efficient synthetic route that yielded regioselective oxidative porphyrin dimerization is presented. Using Cu2+ as the oxidant, meso-β doubly-connected fused porphyrin dimers were obtained in very high yields. Removal of the copper from the macrocycle affords a free base porphyrin dimer. This allows for exchange of metals and provides a route to a wider range of metallporphyrin dimers. In Chapter 4, the development of an efficient and an expedient route to bacteriopurpurin synthesis is discussed. Meso-10,20- diformylation of porphyrin was achieved and one-pot porphyrin diacrylate synthesis and cyclization to afford bacteriopurpurin was realized. The bacteriopurpurin had a reduction potential of - 0.85 V vs SCE and λmax, 845 nm.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Synthesis and application of porphyrin, phthalocyanine and perylene chromophores for solar energy conversion

Description

Photosynthesis, one of the most important processes in nature, has provided an energy basis for nearly all life on Earth, as well as the fossil fuels we use today to

Photosynthesis, one of the most important processes in nature, has provided an energy basis for nearly all life on Earth, as well as the fossil fuels we use today to power modern society. This research aims to mimic the photosynthetic process of converting incident solar energy into chemical potential energy in the form of a fuel via systems capable of carrying out photo-induced electron transfer to drive the production of hydrogen from water. Herein is detailed progress in using photo-induced stepwise electron transfer to drive the oxidation of water and reduction of protons to hydrogen. In the design, use of more blue absorbing porphyrin dyes to generate high-potential intermediates for oxidizing water and more red absorbing phthalocyanine dyes for forming the low potential charge needed for the production of hydrogen have been utilized. For investigating water oxidation at the photoanode, high potential porphyrins such as, bis-pyridyl porphyrins and pentafluorophenyl porphyrins have been synthesized and experiments have aimed at the co-immobilization of this dye with an IrO2-nH2O catalyst on TiO2. To drive the cathodic reaction of the water splitting photoelectrochemical cell, utilization of silicon octabutoxy-phthalocyanines have been explored, as they offer good absorption in the red to near infrared, coupled with low potential photo-excited states. Axially and peripherally substituted phthalocyanines bearing carboxylic anchoring groups for the immobilization on semiconductors such as TiO2 has been investigated. Ultimately, this work should culminate in a photoelectrochemical cell capable of splitting water to oxygen and hydrogen with the only energy input from light. A series of perylene dyes bearing multiple semi-conducting metal oxide anchoring groups have been synthesized and studied. Results have shown interfacial electron transfer between these perylenes and TiO2 nanoparticles encapsulated within reverse micelles and naked nanoparticles. The binding process was followed by monitoring the hypsochromic shift of the dye absorption spectra over time. Photoinduced electron transfer from the singlet excited state of the perylenes to the TiO2 conduction band is indicated by emission quenching of the TiO2-bound form of the dyes and confirmed by transient absorption measurements of the radical cation of the dyes and free carriers (injected electrons) in the TiO2.

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  • 2013

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Hydrothermal organic reduction and deoxygenation

Description

Organic reactions in natural hydrothermal settings have relevance toward the deep carbon cycle, petroleum formation, the ecology of deep microbial communities, and potentially the origin of life. Many reaction

Organic reactions in natural hydrothermal settings have relevance toward the deep carbon cycle, petroleum formation, the ecology of deep microbial communities, and potentially the origin of life. Many reaction pathways involving organic compounds under geochemically relevant hydrothermal conditions have now been characterized, but their mechanisms, in particular those involving mineral surface catalysis, are largely unknown. The overall goal of this work is to describe these mechanisms so that predictive models of reactivity can be developed and so that applications of these reactions beyond geochemistry can be explored. The focus of this dissertation is the mechanisms of hydrothermal dehydration and catalytic hydrogenation reactions. Kinetic and structure/activity relationships show that elimination occurs mainly by the E1 mechanism for simple alcohols via homogeneous catalysis. Stereochemical probes show that hydrogenation on nickel occurs on the metal surface. By combining dehydration with and catalytic reduction, effective deoxygenation of organic structures with various functional groups such as alkenes, polyols, ketones, and carboxylic acids can be accomplished under hydrothermal conditions, using either nickel or copper-zinc alloy. These geomimetic reactions can potentially be used in biomass reduction to generate useful fuels and other high value chemicals. Through the use of earth-abundant metal catalysts, and water as the solvent, the reactions presented in this dissertation are a green alternative to current biomass deoxygenation/reduction methods, which often use exotic, rare-metal catalysts, and organic solvents.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Electrocatalytic and photoelectrosynthetic hydrogen production using metalloporphyrins and molecular-modified gallium phosphide photocathodes

Description

Metalloporphyrins represent a class of molecular electrocatalysts for driving energy relevant half-reactions, including hydrogen evolution and carbon dioxide reduction. As electrocatalysts, they provide a strategy, and potential structural component, for

Metalloporphyrins represent a class of molecular electrocatalysts for driving energy relevant half-reactions, including hydrogen evolution and carbon dioxide reduction. As electrocatalysts, they provide a strategy, and potential structural component, for linking renewable energy sources with the production of fuels and other value-added chemicals. In this work, porphyrins are used as structural motifs for exploring structure-function relationships in electrocatalysis and as molecular building blocks for assembling photoelectrochemical assemblies leveraging the light capture and conversion properties of a gallium phosphide (GaP) semiconductor. These concepts are further covered in Chapter 1. A direct one-step method to chemically graft metalloporphyrins to GaP surfaces is described in Chapter 2. Structural characterization of the hybrid assemblies is achieved using surface-sensitive spectroscopic methods, and functional performance for photoinduced hydrogen production is demonstrated via three-electrode electrochemical measurement combined with product analysis using gas chromatography. In Chapter 3, preparation of a novel cobalt porphyrin modified with 3-fluorophenyl groups at all four meso-positions of the porphyrin ring and a single 4-vinylphenyl surface attachment group at one of the β-positions is described. Electrochemical measurements show the 3-fluorophenyl groups perturb the reduction potentials of the complex to more positive values as compared to non-fluorinated analogs, illustrating synthetic control over the redox properties of the catalysts. The use of grazing angle attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to characterize chemically modified GaP surfaces containing grafted cobalt fluoro-porphyrins is presented in Chapter 4. In these hybrid constructs, porphyrin surface attachment is achieved using either a two-step method involving coordination of cobalt fluoro-porphyrin metal centers to nitrogen sites on an initially applied thin-film polypyridyl surface coating, or via a direct modification strategy using a cobalt fluoro-porphyrin precursor bearing a covalently bonded 4- vinylphenyl surface attachment group. Finally, Chapter 5 describes binuclear copper porphyrins in which two copper porphyrin macrocycles are doubly fused at the meso-β positions are shown to be active electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction. The enhancement in catalytic performance over analogous non-fused copper porphyrins indicates extended macrocycles provide an advantageous structural motif and design element for preparing electrocatalysts that activate small molecules of consequence to renewable energy.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Developing a Neural Network Based Adaptive Task Selection System for anUndergraduate Level Organic Chemistry Course

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In the last decade, the immense growth of computational power, enhanced data storage capabilities, and the increasing popularity of online learning systems has led to adaptive learning systems becoming more

In the last decade, the immense growth of computational power, enhanced data storage capabilities, and the increasing popularity of online learning systems has led to adaptive learning systems becoming more widely available. Parallel to infrastructure enhancements, more researchers have started to study the adaptive task selection systems, concluding that suggesting tasks appropriate to students' needs may increase students' learning gains.

This work built an adaptive task selection system for undergraduate organic chemistry students using a deep learning algorithm. The proposed model is based on a recursive neural network (RNN) architecture built with Long-Short Term Memory (LSTM) cells that recommends organic chemistry practice questions to students depending on their previous question selections.

For this study, educational data were collected from the Organic Chemistry Practice Environment (OPE) that is used in the Organic Chemistry course at Arizona State University. The OPE has more than three thousand questions. Each question is linked to one or more knowledge components (KCs) to enable recommendations that precisely address the knowledge that students need. Subject matter experts made the connection between questions and related KCs.

A linear model derived from students' exam results was used to identify skilled students. The neural network based recommendation system was trained using those skilled students' problem solving attempt sequences so that the trained system recommends questions that will likely improve learning gains the most. The model was evaluated by measuring the predicted questions' accuracy against learners' actual task selections. The proposed model not only accurately predicted the learners' actual task selection but also the correctness of their answers.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Design and synthesis of molecular models for photosynthetic photoprotection

Description

Most of the sunlight powering natural photosynthesis is absorbed by antenna arrays that transfer, and regulate the delivery of excitation energy to reaction centers in the chloroplast where photosynthesis takes

Most of the sunlight powering natural photosynthesis is absorbed by antenna arrays that transfer, and regulate the delivery of excitation energy to reaction centers in the chloroplast where photosynthesis takes place. Under intense sunlight the plants and certain organisms cannot fully utilize all of the sunlight received by antennas and excess redox species are formed which could potentially harm them. To prevent this, excess energy is dissipated by antennas before it reaches to the reaction centers to initiate electron transfer needed in the next steps of photosynthesis. This phenomenon is called non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). The mechanism of NPQ is not fully understood, but the process is believed to be initiated by a drop in the pH in thylakoid lumen in cells. This causes changes in otherwise nonresponsive energy acceptors which accept the excess energy, preventing oversensitization of the reaction center. To mimic this phenomenon and get insight into the mechanism of NPQ, a novel pH sensitive dye 3'6'-indolinorhodamine was designed and synthesized which in a neutral solution stays in a closed (colorless) form and does not absorb light while at low pH it opens (colored) and absorbs light. The absorption of the dye overlaps porphyrin emission, thus making energy transfer from the porphyrin to the dye thermodynamically possible. Several self-regulating molecular model systems were designed and synthesized consisting of this dye and zinc porphyrins organized on a hexaphenylbenzene framework to functionally mimic the role of the antenna in NPQ. When a dye-zinc porphyrin dyad is dissolved in an organic solvent, the zinc porphyrin antenna absorbs and emits light by normal photophysical processes. Time resolved fluorescence experiments using the single-photon-timing method with excitation at 425 nm and emission at 600 nm yielded a lifetime of 2.09 ns for the porphyrin first excited singlet state. When acetic acid is added to the solution of the dyad, the pH sensitive dye opens and quenches the zinc porphyrin emission decreasing the lifetime of the porphyrin first excited singlet state to 23 ps, and converting the excitation energy to heat. Under similar experimental conditions in a neutral solution, a model hexad containing the dye and five zinc porphyrins organized on a hexaphenylbenzene core decays exponentially with a time constant of 2.1 ns, which is essentially the same lifetime as observed for related monomeric zinc porphyrins. When a solution of the hexad is acidified, the dye opens and quenches all porphyrin first excited singlet states to <40 ps. This converts the excitation energy to heat and renders the porphyrins kinetically incompetent to readily donate electrons by photoinduced electron transfer, thereby mimicking the role of the antenna in photosynthetic photoprotection.

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  • 2012

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Combretastatin A-2 synthetic modifications

Description

Combretastatin A-4 (CA-4) represents one of the most promising antineoplastic and cancer vascular targeting stilbenes that have been isolated from the South African bush willow, Combretum Caffrum Kuntze. In

Combretastatin A-4 (CA-4) represents one of the most promising antineoplastic and cancer vascular targeting stilbenes that have been isolated from the South African bush willow, Combretum Caffrum Kuntze. In order to further explore the bioactivity of this molecule, a diiodo derivative of CA-4, as well as its phosphate prodrug, was synthesized and analyzed for its biological activity; although only a scale up synthesis of this compound was performed herein for ongoing analysis. In general, no increased specificity was noted for the human cancer cell lines. Antiangiogenic properties were similar to the untreated control. The diiodocombstatin was active against M. luteus, and its phosphate prodrugs were very active against N. gonorrhoeae. Combretastain A-2 is another biologically active stilbene isolated from Combretum Caffrum Kuntze. In an attempt to increase biological activity of this molecule both mono-iodo and diiodo derivatives have been partially synthesized. The initial step involving the iodination of piperonal utilizes a novel, cost effective and mild reaction. The iodo stilbenes were obtained via a Wittig reaction using phosphonium salts 25 and 27 along with 2,3-Bis-[tert-butyldimethylsiloxy]-4-methoxy benzaldehyde 29. Deprotection of the subsequent z-stilbenes, non-isolated mono-iodo stilbene and the diiodo 30 produced two synthetic objective z-stilbenes 16 and 17. Synthesis as well as biological analysis is ongoing.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Organic functional group transformations in experimental hydrothermal systems

Description

Hydrothermal systems are not the typical environments in which organic chemistry is studied. However the organic reactions happening there are increasingly implicated in non-trivial geochemical processes. For example, the origins

Hydrothermal systems are not the typical environments in which organic chemistry is studied. However the organic reactions happening there are increasingly implicated in non-trivial geochemical processes. For example, the origins of life, the formation and degradation of petroleum, and feeding the deep biosphere. These are environments where water is heated and pressurized until it has a polarity more typical of an organic solvent and an increased dissociation constant that decreases its pH. In addition, these environments host many transition metal oxide and sulfide minerals that are not inert bystanders to the chemistry happening around them. This thesis takes from the environment the complicated matrix of hot pressurized water, organic material, and minerals, and breaks it down, systematically, in the laboratory to probe the effects hydrothermal conditions and minerals have on the reactivity of model organic compounds. I conducted experiments at 300°C and 100 MPa using water, organic reactants, and minerals. Methyl- and dimethyl-cyclohexane based reactants provided regio and sterio-chemical markers to indicate reaction mechanisms. Without minerals, I found that the cyclic alkanes undergo a series of reversible stepwise oxidation and hydration reactions forming alkenes-alcohols-ketones, and alkenes-dienes-aromatic rings. I also found the reactions to be reversible; the ketone was readily reduced to the alkane. When the reactions were carried out in the presence of minerals, there were sometimes dramatic effects including reaction rate enhancement and changes in product distributions. Minerals pushed the reaction in the direction of oxidation or reduction depending on the type of mineral used. The hydration reaction could be essentially “turned off” using pyrite (FeS2) and troilite (FeS), which eliminated formation of ketone products. In contrast, hematite (Fe2O3) and magnetite (Fe3O4) favored the hydration reaction and enhanced ketone production. Sphalerite (ZnS) was shown to act as a heterogeneous catalysis for alkane isomerization by activating the C-H bond and increasing reaction rates until thermodynamic equilibrium was reached. This suggests that the types of minerals present in hydrothermal environments will affect the functional group composition of organic material. Minerals and hot pressurized water may also have useful applications in organic chemistry as “green” reactants and catalysts.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Synthesis of multifunctional radical quenchers (MRQ's)

Description

Mitochondria produce most of the ATP needed for the cell as an energy source. It is well known that cellular respiration results in oxidative damage to the cell due to

Mitochondria produce most of the ATP needed for the cell as an energy source. It is well known that cellular respiration results in oxidative damage to the cell due to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Mitochondrial dysfunction is believed to contribute to a number of degenerative diseases; because of this the mitochondrial respiratory chain is considered as potential drug target. A few series of idebenone analogues with quinone, pyridinol and pyrimidinol redox cores have been synthesized and evaluated as antioxidants able to protect cellular integrity and, more specifically, mitochondrial function. The compounds exhibited a range of activities. The activities observed were used for the design of analogues with enhanced properties as antioxidants. Compounds were identified which provide better protection against oxidative stress than idebenone, and it is thought that they do so catalytically.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Beta-cyanoporphyrins: their synthesis and applications in molecular systems for artificial photosynthesis

Description

As sunlight is an ideal source of energy on a global scale, there are several approaches being developed to harvest it and convert it to a form that can be

As sunlight is an ideal source of energy on a global scale, there are several approaches being developed to harvest it and convert it to a form that can be used. One of these is though mimicking the processes in natural photosynthesis. Artificial photosynthetic systems include dye sensitized solar cells for the conversion of sunlight to electricity, and photoelectrosynthetic cells which use sunlight to drive water oxidation and hydrogen production to convert sunlight to energy stored in fuel. Both of these approaches include the process of the conversion of light energy into chemical potential in the form of a charge-separated state via molecular compounds. Porphyrins are commonly used as sensitizers as they have well suited properties for these applications. A high potential porphyrin with four nitrile groups at the beta positions, a β-cyanoporphyrin (CyP), was investigated and found to be an excellent electron acceptor, as well as have the necessary properties to be used as a sensitizer for photoelectrosynthetic cells for water oxidation. A new synthetic method was developed which allowed for the CyP to be used in a number of studies in artificial photosynthetic systems. This dissertation reports the theories behind, and the results of four studies utilizing a CyP for the first time; as a sensitizer in a DSSC for an investigation of its use in light driven water oxidation photoelectrosynthetic cells, as an electron acceptor in a proton coupled electron transfer system, in a carotene-CyP dyad to study energy and electron transfer processes between these moieties, and in a molecular triad to study a unique electron transfer process from a C60 radical anion to the CyP. It has been found that CyPs can be used as powerful electron acceptors in molecular systems to provide a large driving force for electron transfer that can aid in the process of the conversion of light to electrochemical potential. The results from these studies have led to a better understanding of the properties of CyPs, and have provided new insight into several electron transfer reactions.

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Date Created
  • 2015