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Karen Nordell Pearson

Hope College
Putting the pieces together: Discovering and understanding the structures of new coordination polymers
Crystal engineering, traditionally the domain of organic chemists, has been refined and extended in recent years by inorganic and materials chemists to synthesize a new class of organic-inorganic hybrid materials called coordination polymers. These materials represent an expanding research area that weds the fields of coordination chemistry, polymer synthesis and solid state chemistry by the linking of metal ions, complexes or clusters via organic ligands to create polymeric structures. The inclusion of transition metal ions with varying coordination preferences, coupled with the limitless library of organic linking ligands, has given rise to great structural diversity, ranging from simple one-dimensional, linear polymers to two- and three-dimensional layered and network structures of high intricacy. Using solvothermal synthesis in sealed glass ampoules, undergraduate research students in my laboratory have discovered more than 20 new crystal structures. A recent example, [Co(bpp)2(H2O)2]2NO3·bpp·H2O, consists of infinite one-dimensional chains containing two independent Co2+ centers coordinated to two water molecules and four bridging 1,3-bis(4-pyridyl)propane (bpp) ligands linked into infinite two-dimensional layers and a three-dimensional framework by extensive hydrogen bonding. This and other results from our research will be presented.
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