With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program, Professor Christopher Hamaker and colleague Craig McLauchlan from Illinois State University will acquire a single-crystal X-ray diffractometer equipped with a CCD detector that is capable of microscale powder diffraction data collection and has a polarizing microscope. The proposal is aimed at enhancing research training and education at all levels, especially in areas of study such as coordination chemistry using Schiff bases, use of vanadium coordination complexes in materials and biochemistry, synthesis and structural studies of porphyrinoids, use of crystallography and rare-earth compounds in research and educational activities, and studies of supraoctahedral hexanuclear cluster complexes.

An X-ray diffractometer allows accurate and precise measurements of the full three dimensional structure of a molecule, including bond distances and angles, and provides accurate information about the spatial arrangement of a molecule relative to neighboring molecules. The studies described here will impact a number of areas, including organic and inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry and biochemistry. This instrument will be an integral part of teaching as well as research.

Project Report

Modern instrumentation is critical to both high quality chemical education and chemical research. This award from the National Science Foundation advanced both at Illinois State University. With the funds, we were able to purchase a new single crystal X-ray diffractometer. The new instrument allows for the rapid collection of data on molecular species to allow for the determination of the structure. The speed of data collection has enhanced several research programs at Illinois State University, at other area institutions in central Illinois, and those of other national and international collaborators. Hundreds of samples have been run. Many of the samples had a structure that was ambiguous based on other spectroscopic data, but the chemical connectivity was determined using X-ray crystallography. The data collected has resulted in many publications, presentations, and theses. At least ten more manuscripts are currently being prepared with data from the instrument. Many students, both in research and in classes, have been trained in the use of the instrument and used data collected on the instrument. Data from the instrument was collected and solved by students in CHE 380.45, X-Ray Diffractometry. Both undergraduate and M.S. students have presented crystal structures from the instrument at departmental, university, regional, and national meetings. Additionally, through our collaboration with Youngstown State University, we have been able to collect samples for them during times of instrument maintenance.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Chemistry (CHE)
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Carlos A. Murillo
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Illinois State University
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