With this award, the Chemical Synthesis Program of the Division of Chemistry is supporting the research of Professor Aaron Aponick of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Florida. The project focuses on the design of new kinds metal-containing complexes used in the synthesis of organic compounds used in agriculture, clean energy technologies and pharmaceuticals. The chemical industry relies on such reactions as means of producing new compounds and materials more easily than classical reaction chemistry (with less energy, time or required separations). The team led by Professor Aponick is developing catalysts that show promise for the applications in advanced manufacturing. This project also provides hands-on training for students. Public outreach is achieved by public lectures at the University of Florida. Public outreach also includes Chemistry Day at the Mall, Molecular Mania. This event is popular with children and fosters interactions with the public in general. Many visitors with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds participate.
The Chemical Synthesis Program of the Division of Chemistry is supporting the research of Professor Aaron Aponick of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Florida who is developing a new class of ligands for homogeneous catalysis. His "P-N" ligands incorporates imidazole substituents in an atropisomeric chiral biaryl backbone. Many P,N-ligands are known, but Professor Aponick's imidazole-based systems exhibit distinctive and often superior catalytic behavior. A major aim of the research is to elucidate the principles underpinning the reactivity and selectivity imparted by this modular ligand platform. Mechanistic studies are being employed to provide a fundamental understanding of the organometallic chemistry. The Aponick group is utilizing kinetic and crystallographic studies to interrogate how the coordination chemistry of these so-called Stack-ligands influences the catalytic activity. Further studies utilize the more basic and geometrically constrained imidazole moiety to enable new reactions that rely on what appears to be a bifunctional and hemilabile coordination motif. With this strategy, new enantioselective copper- and palladium-catalyzed reactions are being developed. This research program is providing hands-on training for students. Their professional development is emphasized in all aspects of the work.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.