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Department News

Todd Austell and Frank Leibfarth earn 2021 University Teaching Awards

We are pleased to share that Todd Austell, teaching professor and associate director of undergraduate studies and Frank Leibfarth, assistant professor of chemistry, earned 2021 University Teaching Awards!

Tiny Molecules, Big Potential

North Carolina native and organic chemist Sidney Wilkerson-Hill is investigating ways to recreate the power of plants in the lab — work that could lead to advances in drug development.

Happy Holidays!

The Department of Chemistry wishes you a happy and healthy holiday season. View holiday video message from department members.

Kate Vannoy earns Department of Justice fellowship to study electrochemical detection of illicit substances in saliva

Kate Vannoy is a recipient of a Department of Justice fellowship. She is looking forward to working on her research project with the goal of producing a cost-effective electrochemical sensor that is capable of simultaneous, in-field quantification of trace amounts of illicit drugs in solvated powder and saliva. 

Research

Zeev Luz Commemorative Issue

In this Commemorative Issue of Liquid Crystals, former collaborators and contemporaries express their admiration of Zeev Luz’s legacy with an array of invited articles spanning a range of topics at the intersection of magnetic resonance with ordered fluid phases.

Application of Atomic Layer Deposition in Dye-Sensitized Photoelectrosynthesis Cells

This review focuses on applications of ALD in DSPECs for the preparation of solar fuels based on modified semiconductor surfaces. In this area, ALD has been used to prepare core/shell structures that modify surface-interfacial electron transfer, to prepare structures that stabilize surface-bound chromophores and catalysts, and for the preparation of overlayer structures that stabilize electrodes for water oxidation and photocathodes for H-2 or CO2 reduction.

Understanding the Synthesis of Linear–Bottlebrush–Linear Block Copolymers: Toward Plastomers with Well-Defined Mechanical Properties

The kinetics of grafting-through polymerization of PDMS11MA macromonomers was studied to establish correlations between reversible first-order kinetic trends and network mechanical properties. By varying the reaction conditions, including the initial monomer concentration, targeted degree of polymerization, and solvent, the syntheses of macroinitiators and chain extensions were optimized with improved chain-end fidelity while maintaining a high yield and provided elastomers with consistent desired mechanical properties.

Identifying and Evading Olefin Isomerization Catalyst Deactivation Pathways Resulting from Ion-Tunable Hemilability

Hemilabile ligands are found in many leading organometallic catalysts, but it can be challenging to tune the degree of hemilability in a particular catalyst. This work explores the impact of cation-tunable hemilability on the speciation of iridium(III) pincer-crown ether catalysts during high-activity olefin isomerization.

Faculty Spotlights

Faculty in the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina help define solutions to the pressing scientific problems of the day. A significant, and key, component of our department’s strategic plan is to cultivate the next generation of scientific leadership. Faculty, from our assistant professors to our most senior and distinguished colleagues, are international leaders in their subfields, garnering local, national, and international recognition and accolades commensurate with their excellence in research and teaching.

Student Spotlights

Our graduate students form the next generation of scientific leaders. As a department, we seek to recruit and mentor a diverse cohort of students dedicated to excellence in the classroom and research laboratory. The creativity, drive, collegiality, and accomplishments of our graduate students in tackling difficult scientific problems are significant reasons why UNC is an international leader in chemical research.