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Dr. Tamara Hamilton

Welcome to the Hamilton Research Group at Barry University! Research in the group is performed entirely by undergraduates, who learn techniques including organic synthesis, solid-state chemistry, synthesis of air-sensitive materials, column chromatography, self-assembly, coordination chemistry, green chemistry, crystallization, NMR, UV/Vis spectroscopy, IR spectroscopy, and analysis of X-ray crystallographic data.

Our research program has two goals:

  • Development of environmentally benign syntheses of porphyrins and metalloporphyrins using a solvent-free approach including grinding and heating in slurries.
  • Construction of a family of new catalyst-embedded metal-organic polyhedra and evaluation of their efficacy as catalysts.

Solvent-free Synthesis of Porphyrins

We combine an aldehyde with pyrrole in the presence of an acid catalyst and grind using a mortar and pestle. After a few minutes grinding, a pink crystalline powder forms. Presence of a porphyrin is confirmed by UV/Vis spectroscopy.

Pyrrole, an aldehyde, and an acid catalyst are combined in a mortar. The reactants are colorless liquids.
Pyrrole, an aldehyde, and an acid catalyst are combined in a mortar. The reactants are colorless liquids.
After c. 1 min grinding, a pink powder starts to form.
After c. 1 min grinding, a pink powder starts to form.
After c. 6 min grinding, the reaction mixture is completely transformed to a pink, crystalline product.
After c. 6 min grinding, the reaction mixture is completely transformed to a pink, crystalline product.

Construction of Metal-Organic Polyhedra From Porphyrins

We hope to construct a family of metal-organic polyhedra (MOPs) having porphyrin molecules as their faces. The resulting MOPs will hopefully act as efficient catalysts for a number of organic reactions.

Current Students

  • Andrea Orvieto
  • Simon Astor

Former Students

  • Frantzesca BĂ©lancourt
  • Cherice Boyce

Links

Current group: (L to R) Dr. Hamilton, Andrea Orvieto, Simon Astor.
Current group: (L to R) Dr. Hamilton, Andrea Orvieto, Simon Astor.

Simon works up a reaction.
Simon works up a reaction.

A reaction on the Schlenk line.
A reaction on the Schlenk line.

Distillation of propionic acid
Distillation of propionic acid

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