Combining Structural, Spectroscopic, and Biochemical Tools to Understand and Control Electronic Structure within f-Block Complexes and Clusters
Assistant Professor Korey Carter; Department of Chemistry, University of Iowa
The biological and physical chemistry of actinides is not only relevant to a number of applied problems, it has also revealed some outstanding selectivity and specificity features of both synthetic and natural systems for f-element binding. Understanding the fundamental bonding interactions of these selective metal assemblies presents a rich set of scientific challenges as well as opportunities to design new molecular architectures with specific applications in mind. Our experimental approach uses a combination of structural, spectroscopic, and biochemical studies to characterize the selective binding of f-block metal ions by biomimetic hard oxygen-donor architectures and polyoxometalate (POMs) clusters. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray absorption studies (XAS) will be emphasized as these techniques have allowed for a pathway to explore the structural chemistry of some of the most exotic natural (AcIII) and synthetic (EsIII) radionuclides in the periodic table. EPR spectroscopy results will be highlighted as these have been used to definitively confirm and understand the behavior of the dioxygen radicals stabilized in actinide polyoxometalate species. Finally, preliminary efforts to tune f-element POMs so that they can harness atomic clock transitions for quantum information science applications will be described as well.