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IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists - 2002
Honorable Mention



Christopher J. Kuehl receives one of four Honorable Mention awards associated with the IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists, for his Ph.D. thesis work entitled "Supramolecular Organometallic Architecture via Self-Assembly."

Current address (at the time of application)

Chemistry Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory
C-SIC: Structural Inorganic Chemistry
MS J514
Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA

E-mail: kuehl@lanl.gov

Academic degrees

  • Ph.D. Supramolecular Chemistry, University of Utah, Sep. 2001
  • M.S. Organic Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Aug. 1995
  • B.S. Chemistry (Math minor), University of Minnesota, May 1993

Ph.D. Thesis

Title Supramolecular Organometallic Architecture via Self-Assembly
Advisers Prof. Peter J. Stang, Chemistry Department, University of Utah
Thesis Committee Prof. W.G. Bentrude, Organic Chemistry, Prof. C. J. Burrows, Bioorganic Chemistry, Prof. J. Simons, Theoretical Chemistry, and Prof. P. F. Crain, Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah


The formation of discrete supramolecular entities driven and held together through metal coordination has remained an intense area of study for the past decade. An attractive feature of this methodology is the rational design of diverse structures of predetermined shape, size, and functionality based on symmetry considerations.1 Creating new supramolecular architectures tests and refines our understanding of the fundamental principles of molecular self-organization.

Typically comprising a backbone of multi-dentate aromatic bridging ligands joined through transition metals, these inorganic nanostructures have demonstrated promise as a new class of functional receptor molecules. When considering that metal-containing macrocycles often possess magnetic, photophysical, and/or redox properties not accessible to purely organic systems, such studies in basic host-guest chemistry have broad implications for technologies such as molecular sensing, separations, and catalysis.

This dissertation presents several new approaches for the rational design and effective synthesis of metal-containing supramolecular species in the form of both discrete and infinite, two- and three-dimensional nanoscopic architectures. The shape, size, and functionality of the resultant structures were pre-determined by the chemical information encoded into the molecular subunits, from which the assemblies were formed.

<Download full-text essay, pdf file-448KB>

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