Electronic and nuclear magnetic moments (spins) are present in nearly all matter. Our group is fundamentally interested in how to tune the properties of these spin systems in molecules and materials via the chemist’s toolkit: synthesis. Our goal is to use synthesis for the development of structure-property relationships. To achieve these goals, we must (1) prepare novel materials/molecules, which we do using Schlenk lines or one of our two glove boxes, and (2) thoroughly characterize prepared substances, applying an extensive array of spectroscopic and physical techniques. We leverage this fundamental science to develop solutions to pressing technological challenges, such as MRI detection of disease, discovery of new reactivity paradigms, and the design of transformative materials. Two recently-published projects are summarized below – check out our publications for more information about our chemistry!

Nuclear Spin Patterning

Understanding what governs phase memory relaxation time (Tm) is an essential challenge in controlling qubits. We sought to understand how the nuclear spins neighboring a metal ion influence the electron spin properties. A series of patterned ligands was created to investigate the role of nuclear spin on phase memory time in a V(IV) system.

Jackson, C. E.; Lin, C.-Y.; Johnson, S. H.; van Tol, J.; Zadrozny, J. M. “Nuclear-Spin-Pattern Control of Electron-Spin Dynamics in a Series of V(IV) Complexes” Chem. Sci.201910, 8447-8454. DOI: 10.1039/C9SC02899D.

Magnetic Thermometry

Current magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology only images tissue. However, measuring local temperature within the body noninvasively would be a powerful diagnostic tool. Sensing temperature by MRI requires temperature-sensitive nuclear spin properties. Cobalt-59 NMR was used to investigate the effect of increasingly rigid ligand frameworks around a Co(III) nucleus.

Ozvat, T. M.; Peña, M. E.; Zadrozny, J. M. “Influence of Ligand Encapsulation on Cobalt-59 Chemical-Shift Thermometry” Chem. Sci. 201910, 6727-6734. DOI: 10.1039/C9SC01689A