Synthesis of Biomimetic Models of Mono-Iron Hydrogenase (Chemical Synthesis: Organic & Inorganic)

This project is ongoing.

Hydrogenase enzymes found in methanogenic bacteria utilize dihydrogen (H2) as an energy source for the eventual reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) to sugars for use in cellular processes. Our lab's goal is to utilize the known crystal structure of one enzyme's active site (Mono-Iron Hydrogenase) to derive small molecules that resemble the structure and function of the native enzyme. The research will involve multi-step organic syntheses of ligands, and preparation of corresponding iron (Fe) and nickel (Ni) complexes. Various spectroscopies (NMR, UV/vis/NIR, EPR, etc) and measurements (electrochemistry, reactivity, magnetics) will also be pursued.


Prerequisite: One year organic chemistry (lecture & lab)

Preferred: CH341, Inorganic chemistry (lecture & lab)
CH Organometallics

Preferred: Sophomore entering Junior Year
Juniors will be considered
[Note: Due to requirement of summer research, Seniors need not apply]

Project-oriented approach

Project Timeline

The applicant must be available both Fall and Spring semesters.
Availability during Summer is required.
Attendance of weekly group meetings (1-2 hours)
Research units given commensurate with 12+ hours labwork
No monetary stipend available.


Assist graduate student & postdoc led research.
Preparative synthesis of organic ligands (multistep)
Metalation and synthesis of new inorganic complexes of new and existing ligands.
Perform and interpret spectroscopic characterization (IR, NMR, UV/vis)
Opportunity for independent senior research upon outstanding performance in lab.


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