Donna J. Nelson

ORGANIC CHEMISTRY OF SINGLE-WALLED CARBON NANOTUBES


Donna J. Nelson
Professor

BS, 1974, University of Oklahoma
PhD, 1980, University of Texas, Austin
PPostdoc, 1980-1983, Purdue University

Email: djnelson@ou.edu
Phone: (405)325-2288

Link to Group Website

Our labs and collaborations create and probe SWCNT-biomolecule materials and SWCNT-polymer systems in order to design and study applications, characteristics, and theories of SWCNTs and graphene. ?Example concepts are (1) electronic nanosensors and molecular recognition, (2) plant self-repair, and (3) energy-generating thermopower waves.? Their commonality is organic analytes, from small molecule to polymer, adsorbing irreversibly to single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) surfaces.? Because the mechanism is not understood, we probe both SWCNT complexes and analytes by a variety of organic chemistry techniques, including NMR.
At left: (1) A SWCNT-tamoxifen pharmaceutical synthesized in PI’s lab.? (2) A polymer adsorbed into a specific conformation can create a selective analyte binding site; determining the strongest polymer adsorption sites facilitates understanding analyte binding determinants.? (3) Select nitrogen-rich organics, complexed to SWCNTs and ignited, create a thermal energy wave traveling down the SWCNT; characterizing the SWCNT complex improves understanding the phenomenon and enables optimizing organic compound selection.
Organic chemistry techniques, including NMR, determine the strongest points of association between complexed organic molecules and SWCNTs, which are those closest to the protons with greatest chemical shift change.? This enables predicting and determining strongest complexing molecules, cites, and functionalities, along with some geometrical characteristics.? These projects promise heretofore unrealized opportunities for new materials and systems.

Research keywords:
organic chemistry of single walled carbon nanotubes; organic mechanisms and education; science policy