Dr. Scott Bunge: "Inorganic and Materials Chemistry"

Inorganic and Materials Chemistry

Our research group intends to make a strong contribution to the fields of inorganic chemistry, nanoscale science and technology, and materials science. With this aim, standard Schlenk and glovebox techniques are employed to synthesize a variety of low-coordinate air and moisture sensitive inorganic precursors. Characterization methods include multinuclear NMR, X-ray crystallography, FT-IR and UV/VIS spectroscopy, TGA/DTA, SEM, TEM and X-ray powder diffraction.

These investigations, while rooted in traditional aspects of chemistry, will often involve students in collaborations with an array of other scientists and engineers. Group members will have their own projects; however, each group member's research will have significant overlap with others in the group. As such, the students' depth of fundamental chemical principles will become augmented by exposure to a breadth of additional concepts. It is anticipated that such a combination of skills results in a fertile and creative environment for achievement of research goals. Therefore, students should frequently expand beyond the reaches of classical chemistry subjects, and embrace additional areas, as required, for the successful execution of a specific project.

Self-Assembly of Inorganic Nanocrystals

It is envisioned that working on nanoscale materials will lead to unprecedented products in electronics, biotechnology, medicine, transportation, agriculture, environment, national security and other fields. To achieve these products, one of our initial goals is attaining a fundamental scientific understanding of nanoscale phenomena, particularly collective phenomena. In support of this goal our research proposes a rational and convenient method to construct and examine the properties of hybrid, self-assembled inorganic/organic nanostructures. A variety of individuals (from 1st year undergraduate students to experienced post doctoral fellows) will contribute to this project while gaining both training and education in nanotechnology. This is a fundamental tenant of the nation’s nanotechnology initiative.

Gold Chemistry

In today's society, gold chemistry currently has an important role in fields such as electronics and medicine. However, there is still a current lack of understanding in the fundamental reaction chemistry of gold. The development of gold (I) chemistry is dominated by the viewpoint that gold is a prototypical soft Lewis acid, which forms its most stable complexes with soft Lewis bases. Accordingly, the synthesis of gold (I) complexes with hard Lewis bases such as oxygen, nitrogen, or carbon has been limited to a select number of examples. Such complexes have been described as intrinsically unstable, and therefore, have a pronounced tendency to either decompose to gold metal or aggregate into ill-defined clusters. Similar problems, although to a lesser extent, have been described for copper and silver. This instability has historically been described as a limitation to the development of gold chemistry. However, a few recent reports have hinted that a much richer field of coordination chemistry might be accessible. Therefore, in order to contribute to the understanding of this important metal, it is the goal of this research proposal to investigate the chemistry of previously "inaccessible" gold (I) alkyls, amides and alkoxides.

These novel complexes will be isolated as crystalline solids and characterized via solution and solid-state NMR, X-ray crystallograpy, FT-IR and UV/VIS spectroscopy. Throughout this investigation, the stability and reaction chemistry of these complexes will be investigated. It is the intention of this proposal to generate a large family of complexes in order to gain a true appreciation for the intrinsic stability of gold complexes

Group 11 Metal-Organic Precursors

The semiconductor industry continues to undergo rapid technological changes, especially in fabricating nanoscale integrated circuit (IC) devices. Smaller device features and a need for increased chip surface area have led to the use of multilevel interconnections to increase the functionality of IC devices. The search for better performance has led to consideration of materials such as Cu, Ag, and AU for use as interconnections. Historically, industry has relied on well-established approaches, such as physical vapor deposition, to create such interconnects. However, due to considerations such as cost and the nanoscale size regime the devices now have entered, interconnects fabricated via metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) and more recently nanocrystal deposition are increasingly favored. Currently, there is a lack of suitable CU, Ag, and Au precursors that have attributes desired for MOCVD and nanocrystal synthesis.