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Creators/Authors contains: "Sharada, Shaama Mallikarjun"

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  1. Oxide dissolution is important for metal extraction from ores and has become an attractive route for the preparation of inks for thin film solution deposition; however, oxide dissolution is often kinetically challenging. While binary “alkahest” systems comprised of thiols and N -donor species, such as amines, are known to dissolve a wide range of oxides, the mechanism of dissolution and identity of the resulting solute(s) remain unstudied. Here, we demonstrate facile dissolution of both bulk synthetic and natural mineral ZnO samples using an “alkahest” that operates via reaction with thiophenol and 1-methylimidazole (MeIm) to give a single, pseudotetrahedral Zn(SPh) 2 (MeIm) 2 molecular solute identified by X-ray crystallography. The kinetics of ZnO dissolution were measured using solution 1 H NMR, and the reaction was found to be zero-order in the presence of excess ligands, with more electron withdrawing para -substituted thiophenols resulting in faster dissolution. A negative entropy of activation was measured by Eyring analysis, indicating associative ligand binding in, or prior to, the rate determining step. Combined experimental and computational surface binding studies on ZnO reveal stronger, irreversible thiophenol binding compared to MeIm, leading to a proposed dissolution mechanism initiated by thiol binding to the ZnO surface with the liberation of water, followed by alternating MeIm and thiolate ligand additions, and ultimately cleavage of the ligated zinc complex from the ZnO surface. Design rules garnered from the mechanistic insight provided by this study should inform the dissolution of other bulk oxides into inks for solution processed thin films. 
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  2. null (Ed.)
    To facilitate computational investigation of intermolecular interactions in the solution phase, we report the development of ALMO-EDA(solv), a scheme that allows the application of continuum solvent models within the framework of energy decomposition analysis (EDA) based on absolutely localized molecular orbitals (ALMOs). In this scheme, all the quantum mechanical states involved in the variational EDA procedure are computed with the presence of solvent environment so that solvation effects are incorporated in the evaluation of all its energy components. After validation on several model complexes, we employ ALMO-EDA(solv) to investigate substituent effects on two classes of complexes that are related to molecular CO 2 reduction catalysis. For [FeTPP(CO 2 -κC)] 2− (TPP = tetraphenylporphyrin), we reveal that two ortho substituents which yield most favorable CO 2 binding, –N(CH 3 ) 3 + (TMA) and –OH, stabilize the complex via through-structure and through-space mechanisms, respectively. The coulombic interaction between the positively charged TMA group and activated CO 2 is found to be largely attenuated by the polar solvent. Furthermore, we also provide computational support for the design strategy of utilizing bulky, flexible ligands to stabilize activated CO 2 via long-range Coulomb interactions, which creates biomimetic solvent-inaccessible “pockets” in that electrostatics is unscreened. For the reactant and product complexes associated with the electron transfer from the p -terphenyl radical anion to CO 2 , we demonstrate that the double terminal substitution of p -terphenyl by electron-withdrawing groups considerably strengthens the binding in the product state while moderately weakens that in the reactant state, which are both dominated by the substituent tuning of the electrostatics component. These applications illustrate that this new extension of ALMO-EDA provides a valuable means to unravel the nature of intermolecular interactions and quantify their impacts on chemical reactivity in solution. 
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