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Title: Research-Focused Approach for Introducing Undergraduate Students to Aromatic Organic Synthesis at a Community College
The addition of research-focused experiences to undergraduate chemistry laboratory courses has been shown to bolster student learning, enhance student retention in STEM, and improve student self-identity as scientists. In the area of synthetic organic chemistry, the preparation of libraries of compounds with novel optical and electronic properties can provide a natural motivational goal for research-focused exercises that can be undertaken by individual students or collectively as a class. However, integrating such experiences into a community college teaching laboratory setting can face challenges imposed by the cost of supplies, limited laboratory space, and access to characterization facilities. To address these challenges, we have devised a sequence of inquiry-driven, research-focused laboratory exercises that can be readily integrated into an organic chemistry laboratory course with minimal cost. This sequence consists of a multistep synthesis of perylenediimide dyes that introduces students to advanced synthetic techniques, such as organometallic coupling reactions, column purification, and reactions performed under inert atmosphere. This high-yield, three-part synthesis can be easily varied by individual students or small groups within a class to form a broad library of compounds with potential utility for applications in light harvesting, molecular electronics, catalysis, and medicine. We describe the design of low-cost workstations for chemical synthesis under inert atmosphere and provide auxiliary lesson plans that can be used to expand the scope of a laboratory course beyond synthetic organic chemistry by introducing students to concepts in molecular spectroscopy.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2003735
NSF-PAR ID:
10471897
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
American Chemical Society
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Chemical Education
Volume:
100
Issue:
2
ISSN:
0021-9584
Page Range / eLocation ID:
572 to 580
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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