Abstract: Margaret Ahrens
Mentor: Dr. Goldsmith
Carbon nanotubes can act as tiny electrical conductors, which may prove to be extremely useful means of wiring as electrical devices become smaller and smaller. Attachment of complex, charged molecules to nanotubes has been proven to affect the conductivity of the carbon nanostructures, but a concrete correlation between the ligand’s structure and charge and changes in the nanotubes has yet to be uncovered.
My project involves the synthesis of synthesizing bipyridine-pyrene ligands that will facilitate the attachment of transition metals onto carbon nanotubes. The ligand will be synthesized via a nucleophilic substitution reaction between bipyridine acid chloride and an amine group, resulting in an amide to which the pyrene can subsequently be added. When this ligand is successfully synthesized, it can bind to ruthenium, rhodium or iridium. This series of well defined, effectively identical molecules will differ only in charge and provide an excellent system for investigating how charged molecules affect carbon nanotubes. This work may provide important insights into how carbon nanotube-based sensors work. A synthetic outline for the ligand is included.