Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. TheMIT Department of Chemistryis taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
The Chemistry Education Office staff is responsible for administering the educational programs in the Department of Chemistry. Students can find answers to many questions about the undergraduate and graduate programs on the department website, and they are encouraged to stop by and see the staff in the office located in 6-205.
The student-run outreach programs in the Department of Chemistry aim to bring the excitement of chemical sciences to the community through lively demonstrations designed to illustrate a broad range of chemical principles. Graduate students visit science classes in high schools and middle schools in the Greater Boston area with a view to demystifying chemistry through hands-on experiments. ClubChem, an undergraduate chemistry organization, conducts Chemistry Magic Shows for elementary schools and youth programs in the Greater Boston area.
Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. MIT Chemistry is taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry at its most fundamental level, unraveling the biochemical complexities of natural systems, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
Figure: Reactions between a dithiol or tetrathiol nucleophile and three different model electrophiles. a, Formation of two-, three- and four-point junctions by SNAr using 3,4,5,6-tetrafluorophthalonitrile 1 , hexafluorobenzene 2 and octafluoronaphthalene 3 , respectively. Orange arrows show possible sites for connection to 1,2-benzenedithiol 4 and 1,2,4,5-benzenetetrathiol 8 . Those are thermodynamically favoured and lead to ladder macrocycles and networks, respectively.
A paper authored by Wen Jie Ong and Professor Timothy M. Swager was recently published in Nature Chemistry.
Abstract: Dynamic covalent chemistry, with its ability to correct synthetic dead-ends, allows for the synthesis of elaborate extended network materials in high yields. However, the limited number of reactions amenable to dynamic covalent chemistry necessarily confines the scope and functionality of materials synthesized. Here, we explore the dynamic and self-correcting nature of nucleophilic aromatic substitution (SNAr), using ortho-aryldithiols and ortho-aryldifluorides that condense to produce redoxactive thianthrene units. We demonstrate the facile construction of two-, three- and four-point junctions by reaction between a dithiol nucleophile and three different model electrophiles that produces molecules with two, three and four thianthrene moieties, respectively, in excellent yields. The regioselectivity observed is driven by thermodynamics; other connections form under kinetic control. We also show that the same chemistry can be extended to the synthesis of novel ladder macrocycles and porous polymer networks with Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface area of up to 813 m2 g−1.
Research in the Swager Group is broadly focused on synthetic, supramolecular, analytical, and materials chemistry. They are interested in a spectrum of topics with an emphasis on the synthesis and construction of functional assemblies. Molecular recognition pervades a great deal of our research. Chemosensors require recognition elements to discriminate chemical signals. Electronic polymers are one of the areas that our group is well known for having made many innovations. The group is constantly developing new electronic structures, properties, and uses for these materials. Recently we have launched an effort to create functionalized carbon nanotubes and graphenes. They have advanced new chemical methods for their functionalization and utilization in electrocatalysis and chemical and radiation sensing. In the area of liquid crystals we make use of molecular complimentarity and receptor-ligand interactions to provide novel organizations.