Thursday, May 27, 2004

A project!

I think I have a project. Basically, it will center around designing non-innocent ligands that will oxidatively bind actinide species in solution preferentially over lanthanides. The approach I want to take is a computational one. Essentially, this is a hard-soft acid-base problem. I need to find a ligand that is hard enough to oxidize the actinide, but soft enough that it will bind the actinide and not a lanthanide. If I can compute the energy difference between the frontier orbitals for a large number of ligands, the ones with a HOMO-LUMO gap the same size as the energy difference between the 3+ and 4+ state of the actinide should be the best candidates for oxidative binding. Now, all I need to learn is computational chemistry!

Monday, May 17, 2004

Science Diary

This is my diary of science. The intent is to log my progress toward an advanced chemistry degree as I work here at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Read this blog, and you'll learn more than you probably care to know about my adjustment to life as a grad student, about the chemistry of f-elements, and about what I think about life in Missouri.

Today's project is the synthesis of uranyl chloride starting material for a host of reactions to come. It's not my starting material, and they're not my reactions, but it's a process that I'll be repeating many times, so learning it now will save a lot of time in the future.

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