Investigation of Jack-in-the-box Systems

Host Faculty: Science
General Subject Area: Chemistry
Project Level: PhD
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Generating stable radicals from sterically loaded systems is in the very early stages of experimental investigation. The systems Z2R4 / ZR2 [Z = P or As, R = CH(SiMe3)2] provided the first known examples of molecules with relatively normal strong Z-Z bonds, which required no additional energy to break. The driving force for dissociation is the conformational change, which allows relaxation of the steric strain upon dissociation. This led to the term 'jack-in-the-box' molecules being applied to these systems. Other systems have been predicted to behave in this manner, although no experimental work has been carried out on them. This project would involve synthesis of the proposed systems and the study of their chemistry by various structural methods (GED, X-ray crystallography) as well as full computational studies of the reaction pathways.


Supervisor: Sarah Masters

Key qualifications and skills

Physical Chemistry Background, Some Computational Chemistry Experience

Does the project come with funding

No - the student must be self-funded

Final date for receiving applications



Gas Electron Diffraction; Computational Methods; Quantum Mechanics; Molecular Structure; Radicals