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Concordia University of EdmontonFaculty of ScienceFeaturedResearch

Concordia Student wins First Prize at Western Canadian Undergraduate Chemistry Conference (WCUCC)

Posted on: May 10, 2017

Kathleen Navis, under the supervision of Dr. John Washington, won the first prize at the Western Canadian Undergraduate Chemistry Conference (WCUCC) held this last Thursday and Friday at the University of Alberta. She also participated at the Research Forum 2017 we held in April (photo). Congratulations to Kathleen!

Project:

Secondary Functionalization of Silicon Nanocrystals by Microwave-Assisted Esterification

Kathleen Navis, Prof. John Washington, and Prof. Jonathan G. C. Veinot

Department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Concordia University of Edmonton, in partnership with the Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

The synthesis of Silicon nanocrystals (SiNCs) has been widely explored for many years.  Nanocrystals are of interest because they display optical and electronic properties that are intermediate between their respective bulk materials and molecular compounds. These may be fine tuned by conjugating different classes of organic compounds to the nanocrystal surface.  Less attention has been paid to what reactions may be possible through the ligands themselves, so this project sought to develop a process for secondary functionalization. The method developed achieved this goal via esterification reactions involving carboxylic acid-terminated groups on the SiNCs’ surface.  Representative reactions and characterization of the SiNCs obtained will be presented, as well as a discussion of the breadth of chemistry possible using this synthetic strategy.