This CAREER award supports research by Dr. Christopher J. Levy of Kansas State University to synthesize a series of helical transition metal complexes with different morphologies and to identify systems that produce stable single-stranded mononuclear helices. These complexes will be applied as catalysts for asymmetric oxidation reactions involving hydroxylation, epoxidation, and sulfoxidation. The long-term objective is to develop systems that are effective for inexpensive substrates and environmentally benign oxidants under mild conditions. Understanding the processes of helix formation and catalytic oxidations will be addressed through rigorous mechanistic investigations.
The educational plan utilizes a case study approach to chemistry teaching that will challenge students and promote critical thinking about the role of chemistry in society. Open house activities and displays directed at the general public will communicate the relevance, methodology, and solutions of green science and highlight the important contributions of the chemistry faculty. These same themes will be developed into a lecture, directed toward high school and community college students, which will be part of an existing university outreach program.
This career development plan synthesizes the ideals and practices of green oxidation chemistry into a coherent program of education and research. A core objective is to educate the scientific and general communities about the goals, benefits, and progress of green chemistry.