All Research has been gratefully supported by the American
Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Fund #28704-GB3.
1. Ferrocene based Polymers
Organometallic polymers, Figure I, contain many promising properties.
Ferrocene is one of the first known organometallic compounds, and it has
been polymerized by using one of the most common polymer connecting groups,
i.e., the -S-S- or persulfide groups. This connecting group is common in
the vulcanization of rubber, made popular by Charles Goodyear, and contains
the same sulfur bonds broken and remade in the process of perming hair.
In order to make a better non-linear optical (NLO) material it is being
proposed that this polymer, with more polarizing groups will yield such
a material. This may be accomplished by the transmetallation of the ferrocene
molecule with sulfur and phosphorus. Work is in progress to obtain such
2. Chiral Ferrocenes in Catalysis
Chiral catalysts are sought for drugs, pesticides, pheromones,
and fragrances. A tiny amount of a catalytic chiral reagent can yield large
quantities of chiral product. Oftentimes, chiral centers are located at
a phosphorus atom in the catalyst. Also, ferrocenyl systems have shown
to be effective catalysts such as the diphenylphosphinoferrocene (dppf)
ligand on Pd which catalyzes carbonylative coupling and cyclization yielding
skeletons of biologically active isoflavanones and aurones. We wish to
incorporate the chirality that phosphorus offers onto the ferrocenyl system.
To date, very few chiral ferrocenylphosphines exist. The molecule shown
below has been synthesized in our lab. The potential exists for unique
bonding between the P atoms and other metals due to the adjacent N atom
and its lone pair. There may be an enhanced catalytic reactivity with these
ligands. These studies are ongoing.
3. Heavy Metal Reduction in Waste Streams
Heavy metal waste in General and Inorganic Chemistry labs has, and
will continue to be a problem for those in academia. Qualitative Analysis
schemes in General Chemistry can be used to reduce the amount of metal
waste in solution to limit the expense incurred by the institution. Using
principles from the Qualitative Analysis scheme, precipitation as sulfides
and/or hydroxides has lowered the concentrations of ten metals considered
to be toxic by the EPA. The results we have obtained to date are relevant
to industry as this generic procedure is common in their minimization of