Functionalizing Surfaces with Transition Metal Complexes

Posted May 13th, 2010 at 3:16 pm.

Erica Lo

Mentor: Dr. Goldsmith

The nanotechnology field is growing rapidly thus novel methods in modulating behavior on the nanoscale is necessary for the development of nanoelectronics. In order to control the behavior of this technology, one must appeal to redox chemistry. Adding functionality to surfaces is possible through the synthesis of metal complexes with the appropriate substituents, allowing adsorption to various surfaces.

The focus of this research is to achieve the synthesis of a transition metal complex capable of the aforementioned functionalization. First, a bromoalkyl chain of varying lengths is to be added to a 4,4’-dimethyl-2,2’-bipyridine molecule giving 4-bromobutyl-4-methyl-2,2’-bipyridine or 4-bromononyl-4-methyl-2,2’-bipyridine. The added bromine will then be replaced with a thiol, an SH group, which has the capability of adsorbing to gold surfaces. The bipyridine portion of the molecule also enables the formation of a stable metal complex. In this case the transition metal is ruthenium as shown in Figure 1.

The second goal is to synthesize a molecule with the capability of adsorbing to varying carbon surfaces. The first step is the same as the formation of the previous molecule. Once the molecule has a bromoalkyl substituent, the bromine will be converted to an amine. This NH2 group will allow the coupling of polyaromatic groups resulting in a ligand with an extended pi system. The ligands will then form a complex with a transition metal giving a product as seen in Figure 2 where the polyaromatic group shown is pyrene. The manner of how these molecules adsorb to gold, platinum surfaces, or carbon surfaces will then be observed by using electrochemistry.

Figure 1.


Figure 2.

Filed under: 2008,Goldsmith, Dr. Jonas,Lo, Erica by Ann Dixon

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