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UT Arlington professor will use NSF funds to reveal reactions' inner workings
Date:11/13/2013

ry by-products," Dias said. "We may even find a way to direct reactions to a completely new pathway leading to even more useful products and molecules. Overall, through this work, we hope to create more energy efficient, sustainable and selective processes and develop new technology."

Dias will study the bonding and chemistry of zinc, copper, cadmium, silver, mercury and gold with alkene and alkyne compounds and carbon monoxide. The first phase of the lab's work will involve getting a better understanding of the electronic structure - how electrons are exchanged, distributed and shared between the metal and the ligand. They will also observe the structural effects of the interactions.

Some of the metals Dias is working with also facilitate the reaction of pi-acid molecules with each other, such as alkenes reacting with alkynes, leading to very useful and yet more complicated compounds used in pharmaceutical industry.

Dias' lab specializes in stabilizing usually reactive or unstable molecules so that they are stable enough to examine using a method called X-ray crystallography.

"Our dream is to find efficient ways of breaking and making bonds in and between molecules selectively to get what we want," he said.

Dias' team has already experienced noted success, publishing x-ray crystal structures that revealed new information about compounds featuring gold-ethylene and gold-carbon monoxide bonds in journals such as Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, Organometallics, and Inorganic Chemistry, which is based upon work supported by the prior National Science Foundation Grant CHE-0845321.

"Dr. Dias is focused on fueling advances in basic science that will have real effects on the industrial processes we count on each day," Pamela Jansma, dean of the UT Arlington College of Science said. "His previous success in the field has earned him the National Science Foundation's continuous support in unraveling complicated chemistr
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Contact: Traci Peterson
tpeterso@uta.edu
817-272-9208
University of Texas at Arlington
Source:Eurekalert  

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