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April 12 @ 3:10 pm - 4:00 pm
Jacob Wimpenny (Heiden Group) will defend his final Master’s thesis.
DESIGNING LEWIS ACIDIC ELECTRON ACCEPTORS FOR MODELING COMPLEX BIOLOGICAL ELECTRON TRANSFER REACTIONS
Biological systems have evolved elaborate mechanisms of conserving energy through substrate level phosphorylation and the electron transport chain. A recently accepted third mechanism of biological energy conservation is electron bifurcation. Electron bifurcation fundamentally involves a two electron transfer reaction where the two electrons are spatially separated down two inequivalent thermodynamic pathways, with one being uphill energetically and one downhill, while remaining a spontaneous process. To investigate the reaction conditions required to bifurcate electrons, inorganic models capable of coordinating to a bifurcating site and accepting electrons are explored. Computational experiments served as a guide in selecting a Lewis acidic main group central atom for the complex. Redox-active ligands were utilized to serve as the terminal electron acceptor for the coordination complexes. Inorganic metallocenes and the fluorescent dye molecule BODIPY are ideal redox-active molecules because of their electron accepting activity and were integrated into a ligand framework to generate a redox-active ligand suitable for coordination about the central atom. An indium-metallocene model complex was synthesized and characterized herein, along with a methyl substituted BODIPY diamine ligand. The redox chemistry of both complexes was explored and showed potential to be useful as a model complex for the biological systems in question.