Matching Items (21)

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Piezoresistivity in single DNA molecules

Description

Piezoresistivity is a fundamental property of materials that has found many device applications. Here we report piezoresistivity in double helical DNA molecules. By studying the dependence of molecular conductance and

Piezoresistivity is a fundamental property of materials that has found many device applications. Here we report piezoresistivity in double helical DNA molecules. By studying the dependence of molecular conductance and piezoresistivity of single DNA molecules with different sequences and lengths, and performing molecular orbital calculations, we show that the piezoresistivity of DNA is caused by force-induced changes in the π–π electronic coupling between neighbouring bases, and in the activation energy of hole hopping. We describe the results in terms of thermal activated hopping model together with the ladder-based mechanical model for DNA proposed by de Gennes.

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Date Created
  • 2015-09-04

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Gate-controlled conductance switching in DNA

Description

Extensive evidence has shown that long-range charge transport can occur along double helical DNA, but active control (switching) of single-DNA conductance with an external field has not yet been demonstrated.

Extensive evidence has shown that long-range charge transport can occur along double helical DNA, but active control (switching) of single-DNA conductance with an external field has not yet been demonstrated. Here we demonstrate conductance switching in DNA by replacing a DNA base with a redox group. By applying an electrochemical (EC) gate voltage to the molecule, we switch the redox group between the oxidized and reduced states, leading to reversible switching of the DNA conductance between two discrete levels. We further show that monitoring the individual conductance switching allows the study of redox reaction kinetics and thermodynamics at single molecular level using DNA as a probe. Our theoretical calculations suggest that the switch is due to the change in the energy level alignment of the redox states relative to the Fermi level of the electrodes.

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Date Created
  • 2017-02-20

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Computational Characterization of a Ni Catalyst

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Industrial interest in electrocatalytic production of hydrogen has stimulated considerable research in understanding hydrogenases, the biological catalysts for proton reduction, and related synthetic mimics. Structurally closely related complexes are often

Industrial interest in electrocatalytic production of hydrogen has stimulated considerable research in understanding hydrogenases, the biological catalysts for proton reduction, and related synthetic mimics. Structurally closely related complexes are often synthesized to define structure-function relationships and optimize catalysis. However, this process can also lead to drastic and unpredictable changes in the catalytic behavior. In this paper, we use density functional theory calculations to identify changes in the electronic structure of [Ni(bdt)(dppf)] (bdt = 1,2-benzenedithiolate, dppf = 1,1ʹ-bis(diphenylphosphino)ferrocene) relative to [Ni(tdt)(dppf)] (tdt = toluene-3,4-dithiol) as a means to explain the substantially reduced electrocatalytic activity of the tdt complex. An increased likelihood of protonation at the sulfur sites of the tdt complex relative to the Ni is revealed. This decreased propensity of metal protonation may lead to less efficient metal-hydride production and subsequently catalysis.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Synthesis and Characterization of Low-Valent Nickel Hydrosilylation Catalysts

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The addition of aminoalkyl-substituted α-diimine (DI) ligands to bis(1,5 cyclooctadiene) nickel (or (COD)2Ni) resulted in the formation of two new nickel complexes with the general formula of (Me2NPrDI)2Ni and (PyEtDI)2Ni.

The addition of aminoalkyl-substituted α-diimine (DI) ligands to bis(1,5 cyclooctadiene) nickel (or (COD)2Ni) resulted in the formation of two new nickel complexes with the general formula of (Me2NPrDI)2Ni and (PyEtDI)2Ni. Investigation of these complexes by 1H NMR spectroscopy revealed diimine coordination but also the absence of amine arm coordination. Using the 1H NMR spectra in conjunction with structures determined through single crystal X-ray diffraction, the electronic structure of both complexes was described as having a Ni(II) metal center that is antiferromagnetically coupled to 2 DI radical monoanions. A greater ligand field was sought by replacing the pendant amines with phosphine groups on the DI ligands. This yielded ligands with the general formula (Ph2PPrDI) and (Ph2PEtDI). Upon addition to (COD)2Ni, each ligand immediately displaced both COD ligands from the Ni0 center to produce new κ4 N,N,P,P complexes, (Ph2PPrDI)Ni and (Ph2PEtDI)Ni, as observed via single crystal X-ray diffraction and NMR spectroscopy. Reduction of the DI backbone was observed in both complexes, with both complexes being described as having a Ni(I) metal center that is antiferromagnetically coupled to a DI radical monoanion. In addition to alkylphosphine substituted DI ligands, the coordination of a pyridine diimine (PDI) ligand featuring pendant alkylphosphines was also investigated. The addition of (Ph2PPrPDI) to (COD)2Ni produced a new paramagnetic (μeff = 1.21 μB), κ4-N,N,N,P complex identified as (Ph2PPrPDI)Ni. Reduction of the PDI chelate was observed through single crystal X-ray diffraction with the electronic structure described as having a low-spin Ni(I) metal center that is weakly coupled to a PDI radical monoanion (SNi = 1/2). The ability of the three Ni complexes to mediate the hydrosilylation of several unsaturated organic substrates was subsequently investigated. Using a range of catalyst loadings, the hydrosilylation of various substituted ketones afforded a mixture of both the mono- and di-hydrosilylated products within 24 hours, while the hydrosilylation of various substituted aldehydes afforded the mono-hydrosilylated product almost exclusively within hours. (Ph2PEtDI)Ni and (Ph2PPrPDI)Ni were identified as the most effective catalysts for the hydrosilylation of aldehydes at ambient temperature using catalyst loadings of 1 mol%.

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  • 2014-05

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Simple and accurate correlation of experimental redox potentials and DFT-calculated HOMO/LUMO energies of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Description

The ability to accurately predict the oxidation and reduction potentials of molecules is very useful in various fields and applications. Quantum mechanical calculations can be used to access this information,

The ability to accurately predict the oxidation and reduction potentials of molecules is very useful in various fields and applications. Quantum mechanical calculations can be used to access this information, yet sometimes the usefulness of these calculations can be limited because of the computational requirements for large systems. Methodologies that yield strong linear correlations between calculations and experimental data have been reported, however the balance between accuracy and computational cost is always a major issue. In this work, linear correlations (with an R-2 value of up to 0.9990) between DFT-calculated HOMO/LUMO energies and 70 redox potentials from a series of 51 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (obtained from the literature) are presented. The results are compared to previously reported linear correlations that were obtained with a more expensive computational methodology based on a Born-Haber thermodynamic cycle. It is shown in this article that similar or better correlations can be obtained with a simple and cheaper calculation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-10-28

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Dopamine Adsorption on TiO2 Anatase Surfaces

Description

The dopamine-TiO[subscript 2] system shows a specific spectroscopic response, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), whose mechanism is not fully understood. In this study, the goal is to reveal the key

The dopamine-TiO[subscript 2] system shows a specific spectroscopic response, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), whose mechanism is not fully understood. In this study, the goal is to reveal the key role of the molecule–nanoparticle interface in the electronic structure by means of ab initio modeling. The dopamine adsorption energy on anatase surfaces is computed and related to changes in the electronic structure. Two features are observed: the appearance of a state in the material band gap, and charge transfer between molecule and surface upon electronic excitation. The analysis of the energetics of the systems would point to a selective adsorption of dopamine on the (001) and (100) terminations, with much less affinity for the (101) plane.

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Date Created
  • 2014-09-04

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Catalytic Hydrogen Evolution by Fe(II) Carbonyls Featuring a Dithiolate and a Chelating Phosphine

Description

Two pentacoordinate mononuclear iron carbonyls of the form (bdt)Fe(CO)P[subscript 2] [bdt = benzene-1,2-dithiolate; P[subscript 2] = 1,1′-diphenylphosphinoferrocene (1) or methyl-2-{bis(diphenylphosphinomethyl)amino}acetate (2)] were prepared as functional, biomimetic models for the distal

Two pentacoordinate mononuclear iron carbonyls of the form (bdt)Fe(CO)P[subscript 2] [bdt = benzene-1,2-dithiolate; P[subscript 2] = 1,1′-diphenylphosphinoferrocene (1) or methyl-2-{bis(diphenylphosphinomethyl)amino}acetate (2)] were prepared as functional, biomimetic models for the distal iron (Fe[subscript d]) of the active site of [FeFe]-hydrogenase. X-ray crystal structures of the complexes reveal that, despite similar ν(CO) stretching band frequencies, the two complexes have different coordination geometries. In X-ray crystal structures, the iron center of 1 is in a distorted trigonal bipyramidal arrangement, and that of 2 is in a distorted square pyramidal geometry. Electrochemical investigation shows that both complexes catalyze electrochemical proton reduction from acetic acid at mild overpotential, 0.17 and 0.38 V for 1 and 2, respectively. Although coordinatively unsaturated, the complexes display only weak, reversible binding affinity toward CO (1 bar). However, ligand centered protonation by the strong acid, HBF[subscript 4]·OEt[subscript 2], triggers quantitative CO uptake by 1 to form a dicarbonyl analogue [1(H)-CO][superscript +] that can be reversibly converted back to 1 by deprotonation using NEt[subscript 3]. Both crystallographically determined distances within the bdt ligand and density functional theory calculations suggest that the iron centers in both 1 and 2 are partially reduced at the expense of partial oxidation of the bdt ligand. Ligand protonation interrupts this extensive electronic delocalization between the Fe and bdt making 1(H)[superscript +] susceptible to external CO binding.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-09-01

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Spatial modulation of light transmission through a single microcavity by coupling of photosynthetic complex excitations to surface plasmons

Description

Molecule-plasmon interactions have been shown to have a definite role in light propagation through optical microcavities due to strong coupling between molecular excitations and surface plasmons. This coupling can lead

Molecule-plasmon interactions have been shown to have a definite role in light propagation through optical microcavities due to strong coupling between molecular excitations and surface plasmons. This coupling can lead to macroscopic extended coherent states exhibiting increment in temporal and spatial coherency and a large Rabi splitting. Here, we demonstrate spatial modulation of light transmission through a single microcavity patterned on a freestanding Au film, strongly coupled to one of the most efficient energy transfer photosynthetic proteins in nature, photosystem I. Here we observe a clear correlation between the appearance of spatial modulation of light and molecular photon absorption, accompanied by a 13-fold enhancement in light transmission and the emergence of a distinct electromagnetic standing wave pattern in the cavity. This study provides the path for engineering various types of bio-photonic devices based on the vast diversity of biological molecules in nature.

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Date Created
  • 2015-06-01

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Contact and length dependent effects in single-molecule electronics

Description

Understanding charge transport in single molecules covalently bonded to electrodes is a fundamental goal in the field of molecular electronics. In the past decade, it has become possible to measure

Understanding charge transport in single molecules covalently bonded to electrodes is a fundamental goal in the field of molecular electronics. In the past decade, it has become possible to measure charge transport on the single-molecule level using the STM break junction method. Measurements on the single-molecule level shed light on charge transport phenomena which would otherwise be obfuscated by ensemble measurements of groups of molecules. This thesis will discuss three projects carried out using STM break junction. In the first project, the transition between two different charge transport mechanisms is reported in a set of molecular wires. The shortest wires show highly length dependent and temperature invariant conductance behavior, whereas the longer wires show weakly length dependent and temperature dependent behavior. This trend is consistent with a model whereby conduction occurs by coherent tunneling in the shortest wires and by incoherent hopping in the longer wires. Measurements are supported with calculations and the evolution of the molecular junction during the pulling process is investigated. The second project reports controlling the formation of single-molecule junctions by means of electrochemically reducing two axial-diazonium terminal groups on a molecule, thereby producing direct Au-C covalent bonds in-situ between the molecule and gold electrodes. Step length analysis shows that the molecular junction is significantly more stable, and can be pulled over a longer distance than a comparable junction created with amine anchoring bonds. The stability of the junction is explained by the calculated lower binding energy associated with the direct Au-C bond compared with the Au-N bond. Finally, the third project investigates the role that molecular conformation plays in the conductance of oligothiophene single-molecule junctions. Ethyl substituted oligothiophenes were measured and found to exhibit temperature dependent conductance and transition voltage for molecules with between two and six repeat units. While the molecule with only one repeat unit shows temperature invariant behavior. Density functional theory calculations show that at higher temperatures the oligomers with multiple repeat units assume a more planar conformation, which increases the conjugation length and decreases the effective energy barrier of the junction.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Experimental and computational studies on the design of dyes for water-splitting dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical tandem cells

Description

Solar energy is a promising alternative for addressing the world's current and future energy requirements in a sustainable way. Because solar irradiation is intermittent, it is necessary to store this

Solar energy is a promising alternative for addressing the world's current and future energy requirements in a sustainable way. Because solar irradiation is intermittent, it is necessary to store this energy in the form of a fuel so it can be used when required. The light-driven splitting of water into oxygen and hydrogen (a useful chemical fuel) is a fascinating theoretical and experimental challenge that is worth pursuing because the advance of the knowledge that it implies and the availability of water and sunlight. Inspired by natural photosynthesis and building on previous work from our laboratory, this dissertation focuses on the development of water-splitting dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical tandem cells (WSDSPETCs). The design, synthesis, and characterization of high-potential porphyrins and metal-free phthalocyanines with phosphonic anchoring groups are reported. Photocurrents measured for WSDSPETCs made with some of these dyes co-adsorbed with molecular or colloidal catalysts on TiO2 electrodes are reported as well. To guide in the design of new molecules we have used computational quantum chemistry extensively. Linear correlations between calculated frontier molecular orbital energies and redox potentials were built and tested at multiple levels of theory (from semi-empirical methods to density functional theory). Strong correlations (with r2 values > 0.99) with very good predictive abilities (rmsd < 50 mV) were found when using density functional theory (DFT) combined with a continuum solvent model. DFT was also used to aid in the elucidation of the mechanism of the thermal relaxation observed for the charge-separated state of a molecular triad that mimics the photo-induced proton coupled electron transfer of the tyrosine-histidine redox relay in the reaction center of Photosystem II. It was found that the inclusion of explicit solvent molecules, hydrogen bonded to specific sites within the molecular triad, was essential to explain the observed thermal relaxation. These results are relevant for both advancing the knowledge about natural photosynthesis and for the future design of new molecules for WSDSPETCs.

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Date Created
  • 2014