Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ian's Project

Hi everyone, Alright, well my project has a long and complicated title... don't believe me?

It's called the Synthesis and Characterization of Copper and Cobalt Complexes with Dithione Ligands.

Ok, well now that that is out of the way... Let's explain what in the world this means. A ligand is just a molecule that binds to a metal like copper, cobalt, or molybdenum. The two types of ligands are dithiolene and dithione. The differences between the two are just how the elements are bonded together. Sometimes there are single bonds and sometimes double bonds. On the dithione, the double bonds let the extra hydrogen go away.

These ligands containing sulfur are found often in the body bonded to m
olybdenum. My project is to create copper and cobalt version of the man-made form of the molybdenum complex and compare the three using Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy(UV-Vis), Infrared spectroscopy(IR), and Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy(NMR).
My Experiment So Far:
Alright, so now that you have some background info, let's get into what I am actually doing...

1. 2. 3.

First I took N,N diisoproyl ethylene diamine(1.) and reacted it with diethyl oxalate (2.) to get the1,4-diisoproyl – 2,3- piperazinedione (3.) and from there we reacted it with Lawesson's reagent to create number 4. which is the dithione ligand. This reaction can be very random sometimes because the Lawesson's reagent can form many different things. In order to get only the ligand we had to do something called column chromatography. The white and yellow parts are just some random things that are waste. We only wanted the dark brown portion which is the ligand.

From here we recrystallized the ligand using hot ethanol then letting it sit in the fridge for the night. Once we got the ligand we were able to use it to create the copper complex. We first had to react copper (I) oxide in acetonitrile with perchloric acid to create [Cu(CH3CN)4][CLO4]. The[Cu(CH3CN)4][CLO4] reacts with air so we had to do the experiment in the dry box which is filled with nitrogen instead of air.
From here we reacted it with the ligand to create the final product, the copper dithione complex. The next things we need to do are create the cobalt dithione complex in much the same way as how we created the copper dithione complex. We also need to characterize the ligand and complexes using the UV-Vis, NMR, and IR.

And lastly, just some random thing that i had to learn in order to be able to do some of these reaction is dispensing liquid nitrogen. It is actually really simple... as long as you wear gloves because it can get a little cold.


  1. YES! Finally after over an hour of editing my post I got the numbers on my first picture to appear at least somewhere near where they should be. Each one is just showing a molecule and the name when I am describing it.

  2. Awsome job, Ian.

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