Mentor: Professor Goldsmith
The relatively recent discovery of carbon nano tubing, microscale tubes consisting of rings of carbon atoms, opens up new opportunities for research as to the potential uses of these tiny little conductors. One way of creating new uses for the nano tubing is by using transition metal complexes to “funtionalize” them, in other words, make it so they can respond to a chemical stimulus in a specific manner. The research done here involves synthesizing various organic ligands and reacting these compounds with transition metals, such as cobalt, to produce a complex. The resulting complex has a central metal ion that has little aromatic “appendages” which can adhere by non-covalent bonding to the carbon surface. The idea is that these ligands can “tag” the nano tubing so that it performs in the desired way, and the more soundly they adhere, the better. The research of this lab focuses mainly on creating many different variations of these complexes to see which are the most effectual in achieving this goal.