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Investigation of Asymmetric 1,10-phenanthroline Derivatives


Name: Ian Klein
Year of Graduation: May 2010
Hometown: Stevens Point, WI
Major: Chemistry

Name: Dr. Kari Cunningham, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Research Specialty: Inorganic Photochemistry



During the summers of 2007 and 2008 I had the opportunity to participate in an undergraduate research project under the direction of Dr. Kari Cunningham. Our research was in the area of photochemically active coordinate compounds, specifically copper (I) phenanthrolines. The luminescent properties of these complexes were studied as a way of developing practical components for chemical sensors, display devices, and solar-energy conversion schemes.

10-phenathroline

Figure 1: The Numbering scheme for the 1,10-phenanthroline ligand. 
Copper1
Figure 2: The copper(I) complex of the ligand. The R groups represent the modifications we are attempting.
My involvement in the project centered on the use of organic chemistry to modify the phenanthroline ligands. Through this process, we were able to synthesize several novel compounds. As more is learned on these new compounds and their photochemical properties, there will be opportunity for publication in chemical journals. Although I have not yet been a part of a publication, I have had the opportunity to present my research in the forms of presentations and poster sessions on several occasions. I have been able to present here at St. Norbert (Spring 2008), at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois (Fall 2008), and at the national American Chemical Society meeting in Utah (Spring 2009).

I first became interested in undergraduate research at St. Norbert when the program was discussed during one of my General Chemistry lectures. Talking to my chemistry TA’s about the program I was told that research experience would help improve my lab skills and prepare me for graduate school; this is when I decided to apply.

After my first summer of undergraduate research I found that the techniques I had acquired over the summer applied directly to my chemistry labs at SNC and I was ahead of the game. However, knowledge of laboratory techniques was not all I acquired from my research. I also gained critical thinking and oral presentation skills.

What I value most about my undergraduate research experience is the new comfort-level about working and solving problems in a chemistry lab, as well as the large resume boost it provided. I have no doubt that my research experience at SNC was the driving force in my acceptance into a full-time chemistry internship at Kimberly-Clark during the spring of 2009. I am also confident that my research experience will have a positive impact on the graduate school applications I am preparing to submit in the coming months.

Professor Cunningham
Ian was one of the first of my research students to be supported by a Type B grant from the Petroleum Research Fund (PRF). During the summers that Ian and I have worked on this project, we have gained valuable insight into the reactivity of the 1,10-phenanthroline ring and the modifications that can be made to the 2 and 9 positions (Figure 1). This fundamental research has lead to novel contributions to the field of photochemistry.

2008 research students

Summer 2008 research students: Steve (’08), Ian (’10), Matt (’09), Beth (’10), Keeley (’09) and Justin (’10)
Ian Klein:
“What I value most about my undergraduate research experience is the new comfort-level about working and solving problems in a chemistry lab, as well as the large resume boost it provided. I have no doubt that my research experience at SNC was the driving force in my acceptance into a full-time chemistry internship at Kimberly-Clark during the spring of 2009. I am also confident that my research experience will have a positive impact on the graduate school applications I am preparing to submit in the coming months.”



St. Norbert Collaborative

Phone: (920) 403-3147
Fax: (920) 403-4086
E-mail: collaborative@snc.edu


St. Norbert College • 100 Grant Street • De Pere, WI 54115-2099 • 920-337-3181