Microfluidic Reactor Design for Helicene Synthesis

How To Apply

Interested in participating in this research project? Contact the professor or graduate student listed below.


Dr. Ruel McKenzie (Polymer Engineering) | rmckenzie@uakron.edu

Graduate Student

Joshua Seylar | jcs201@zips.uakron.edu

Project Description

Helicenes are polycyclic aromatic compounds which are formed by ortho-fused aromatic rings that generate a non-planar, screw-shaped, three-dimensional structure that is inherently chiral and spring-like. The helical topology significantly contributes to the emergent properties of helicenes and has been garnering interest in the fields of nanotechnology, macromolecular and materials science. The conformational distortion of the π system causes a strong steric strain in the structure and, when coupled with the inherent molecular chirality, exhibits optical rotatory, chiro-optical and electro-mechanical properties. With helicenes, novel technologies such as passive energy devices, molecular switches and enantio-chemosensors can be developed. There are however, significant bottlenecks in the scale-up of helicene production. Photochemical reactions are the predominant mode of synthesis that typically requires highly dilute batch reactions for efficient production of helicenes. We seek a motivated and ambitious student, preferably with some understanding of reactor design and engineering, to help develop a microfluidic-based flow reactor system to study the reaction kinetics of the photocyclodehydrogenation reaction involved, as well as to utilize knowledge of the reaction kinetics and reactor to optimize and scale-up the synthesis of helicenes developed by our group.

Project Dates

Open until further notice

Search Terms

Advanced Materials, Sustainability, Chemical Reaction Engineering/Physical Chemistry/Chemical Physics, Physics, For Credit, Non-Credit, Non-Funded, STEM