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| Group News |


March 12, 2015: Miguel was recently recognized for his organic chemistry career excellence as one of 10 recipients of the 2015 ACS Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award. In his twenty-three years as a professor at UCLA, he has become known as an authority on organic solid-state chemistry and has researched everything from the photochemistry of crystalline solids and molecular machines to chemical reactions for synthetic applications within the bulk of solids, as applicable to green chemistry.

The Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards were established in 1984 by the ACS Board of Directors and a total of nine UCLA faculty have received awards.  As part of his award, Miguel will give a talk in the Arthur C. Cope Symposium at the upcoming 250th ACS National Meeting in Boston this coming August 16-20.
More information about Miguel’s distinguished chemistry career and about the other award recipients, including Professor Neil Garg, can be found, here.

Congratulations, Miguel!

December 15, 2014: Morgan Howe and Dr. Hai-Bao Duan, from Nanjing Xiaozhuang University, in Nanjing China, have joined the group as new members. Morgan decided to start work in our group after completing her first quarter at UCLA, while Dr. Duan will be spending a year as a visiting professor at UCLA. Welcome Morgan and Hai-Bao!


December 5, 2014: Vanessa and Tim have passed their oral exams! Congratulations to both of them!
January 21, 2014: There is a new Doctor in the group! Today we celebrate the successful defense of Kady's doctoral thesis. In addition to her excellent work helping maintain the high quality of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Kady has been working on her Ed.D in Organizational Leadership at the University of La Verne. We are lucky to have Kady be part of our group. Congratulations Kady!


| Research Highlights |


December 12, 2014: Organic Based Lithium Ion Batteries – Lithium Ion Batteries have become ubiquitous in smaller electronics, appearing everywhere from your laptop to your cell phone. Despite this, they still rely on environmentally unfriendly, non-renewable metals at the cathodes, due to the impressive performance of these materials. In our recent Chemistry of Materials paper, we describe a strategy to improve the performance of more renewable and less toxic organic compounds that could compete with strategies using their non-renewable counterparts.


October 21, 2013: Isomorphic polymorphs found! While polymorphism is the ability of a given structure to crystallize in different forms, isomorphism is the ability of two or more distinct structures to adopt the same crystal packing.  As described in our recent paper in Crystal Growth and Design, the systematic replacement of hydrogen by fluorine atoms in the phenylene rotator of a series of steroidal molecular rotors leads to the formation of several sets of isomorphic polymorphs.  Some of their structures are related by loss of solvent and/or by thermal phase transitions. 



July 18, 2013: Rotation in crystals is determined by the size and symmetry of the rotator - Smaller rotators have smaller moments of inertia and fewer van der Waas contacts to hinder their motion, which makes them faster.  It is therefore remarkable that a relatively large bicyclo[2.2.2]octane, with an activation energy of only Ea = 1.15 kcal mol−1, has faster rotational motion than smaller methyl and methoxy groups in the same steroidal structure. In our most recent JACS article, we describe how to sort out the dynamics of the three different groups and we explain how the misalignment between crystallographic and BCO symmetry axes creates an advantageous 6-fold axial symmetry order that more than makes up for its larger size.


April 10, 2013: Large differences in size and shape between the triazoline reactants and aziridine products provide the means to document solid-to-solid reactions that follow different phase transformation mechanisms. Denisse de Loera’s JACS article documents the quantitative thermal and photochemical formation of aziridines with bulky substituents.


| Research | Solid state organic chemistry; Structure-reactivity correlations; supramolecular organic photochemistry and absolute asymmetric synthesis; chemical dynamics in organic crystals; X-ray diffraction and solid state NMR; crystal engineering; and organic materials science.
| Contact | University of California, Los Angeles
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
607 Charles E. Young Drive East
Los Angeles, CA 90095
| Office | Molecular Sciences Building, Room 4505-C
Phone: 310-825-3159
| Labs | MSB 4240, MSB 4241, MSB 4235, MSB 4210
| Links |

California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI)

Materials Creation Training Program (MCTP)

Organization for Cultural Diversity in Chemistry



Our research, education, and outreach activities are made possible by generous grants from the National Science Foundation.

See also...

Photo gallery of group events (updated January 2014)

Older research highlights (April 2009-October 2012)

Older news (February 2008-July 2012)