With this award from the Chemistry Major Research Instrumentation Program that is co-funded by the Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities (CRIF) Program, Professor Craig Ogle from University of North Carolina Charlotte and colleagues Olya Keen, John Daniels, Jerry Troutman and Pinku Mukherjee will acquire a high-pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/ESI-MS) system and associated equipment. The proposal is aimed at enhancing research and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) quantification of trace organic contaminants (TrOCs) in the environment; (b) characterization of polysaccharide products of sugar polymer biosynthesis systems and of isoprenoid-linked sugars produced in vivo; (c) elucidation and characterization of defined protein-protein interactions governing oncogenic signaling pathways; (d) elucidatation of the mechanisms associated with imparting hydrophobicity on soils and industrial byproducts; (e) evaluation of recreational water quality (in swimming pools, spray pads, and water parks); (f) characterization of synthesized complexes of Ni(II), Al(III), and Si(IV) with several dipyridophenazine ligands; (g) electrochemical breakdown of toxic organic chemicals using low power alternating and direct currents (AC/DC); and (h) characterization of porphyrin based dyads, polymers, and nanomaterials synthesized by coupling mixed-substituent porphyrin compounds.

Mass Spectrometry (MS) is one of the key analytical methods used to identify and characterize small quantities of chemical species embedded in complex matrices. In a typical experiment, the components flow into a mass spectrometer where they are ionized into the parent ion and its fragment ions and their masses are measured. This highly sensitive technique allows detection and determination of the structure of molecules in a complex mixture. An instrument with tandem capability provides additional structural identification power through further fragmentation of ions produced in the spectrometer. The instrumentation provided by this award will provide faculty and students in several departments the opportunity to pursue research projects using modern instrumentation not heretofore available at the institution. Availability of the proposed instrumentation will increase existing collaborations and foster new partnerships that will expose undergraduate and graduate students to a more diverse research environment than they would have otherwise experienced, thus providing them a chance to better direct their scientific ambitions. It will impact the broader community through the activities of the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC), which has a mandate to foster university-business relationships, and the Regional Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (RACheL), which carries out chemical analyses for over 150 client companies in the greater Charlotte region and beyond.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Chemistry (CHE)
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Carlos A. Murillo
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University of North Carolina at Charlotte
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