Professor Sergiy Rosokha of Roosevelt University is supported by the Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry Program in the Division of Chemistry to conduct research of the halogen bonding between organic molecules and transition-metal complexes. This work includes spectral (UV-Vis, FT-IR, NMR), electrochemical and X-ray crystallographic measurements, as well as computational analysis of the supramolecular association between halogen-containing organic acceptors and inorganic complexes with diverse stereochemistry and electronic properties. It intends to establish: 1) the nature of this intermolecular bonding involving halogen atoms, 2) the main factors which determine formation and structural, spectral and thermodynamic characteristics of halogen-bonded complexes, and 3) the effects of this intermolecular interaction on the reactions of halogen-containing molecules.
Fundamental understanding of halogen bonding will facilitate preparation of hybrid conducting, magnetic and optical materials combining advantageous features of organic and inorganic counterparts. It will also clarify the interaction of halogenated molecules with biological substances which is a critical aspect for the rational design of new pharmaceuticals. Elucidation of the role of halogen bonding in reactivity will contribute to the development of more effective chemical and petrochemical syntheses. Two features of this project make it optimal for the training of undergraduate students and maximize its educational impact. First, it includes a variety of essential synthetic and instrumental techniques at moderate levels of complexity accessible to novice chemists. Second, it requires testing of several series of complexes, which permits involvement and close collaboration of many students. The participation in the project will advance problem-solving ability and experimental expertise of these students, as well as will improve their teamwork and communication skills. The research experience leading to publications and presentations at professional meetings will encourage students, many of whom are from the underrepresented in science groups, to explore career in science. It will also create a strong foundation for their subsequent contributions and success in industrial and academic settings.