Mentor: Professor Jonas Goldsmith
In a technological society where smaller is better (think about the new nano-ipod), there has been increasing interest in nano-circuits, that is electronics at the molecular level. The focus of this research is to study transition metal complexes and their building block, ligands, because of their potential nanotechnology application.
Transition metals, such as iridium, ruthenium, rhodium, and cobalt, have the ability to complex with organic ligands. The focus of this research is to synthesis a library of transition metal complexes and characterize their electrochemical and physical properties. Two such complexes are diagramed below, where M represents a transition metal complex and one ligand is highlighted in red.
These complexes and related compounds have the potential to functionalize with carbon surfaces via extensive non-covalent interactions with the aromatic ligands. Functionalizing with carbon surfaces introduces the potential for these complexes to be useful in creating nano-circuits. Theoretically, the more extensive the aromaticity of the ligand pi system, the more it should interact with the carbon surface. Electrochemical techniques such as cyclic voltammetry will be used to study the adsorption kinetics and efficiency of each complex.