With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation Program that is co-funded by the Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities (CRIF) Program, Professor Kung Wang from West Virginia University and colleagues Jeffrey Petersen, Xiaodong Shi, Jessica Hoover and Brian Popp will acquire a single crystal X-ray diffractometer that will replace an obsolete diffractometer with a single-point detector. The project is aimed at enhancing research and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) studies of transition metal complexes for promoting catalytic C-C bond forming and dehydrogenative cross coupling reactions, for modeling enzymatic systems capable of the reductive coupling of CO, or for developing new achiral and chiral reagents; (b) preparation of ambiphilic, BINOLate-type, and 1,2,3-triazole ligand systems (BINOL = the chiral 1,1'-binaphthyl-2,2'-diol); and (c) synthesis of highly strained polycyclic aromatics that serve as end-cap templates for carbon nanotubes and heteroaromatics that display biological activity.
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 and research training. It will be the only modern diffractometer in the state which will positively benefit society through research, education, workforce training and outreach and increase the already historic collaborations with outer-of-state schools and used for summer enrichment programs involving middle, high-school and undergraduate as well as graduate students in the area.