Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Gellert Mezel

Second Advisor

Dr. Ramakrishna Guda

Third Advisor

Dr. Steven Bertman


Self-assembly, nanojars, anion encapsulation, impurity amplification, fluorescence

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Self-assembly is a powerful tool utilized by synthetic chemists to create large, intricate structures for a variety of applications such as drug delivery, adaptable materials and electronics. In contrast to stepwise synthesis, this process allows the formation of intricate molecular architectures starting from synthetically rudimentary building blocks. Nanojars are class of self-assembling, cyclic copper(II) pyrazolate coordination compounds that encapsulate oxoanions with negative two or three charge. The strong anion binding characteristics of nanojars have potential towards developing novel tools for detecting biologically and environmentally relevant anions such as carbonate, sulfate and phosphate.

This work addresses the design and synthesis of several fluorescent pyrazole derivatives as ligands for nanojars. Three novel fluorescent ligands were prepared and characterized by NMR and high-resolution mass spectrometry. The subsequent synthesis of nanojars with these ligands was explored. Preliminary investigation of the photophysical properties of both the ligands and nanojars using UV/Vis and fluorescence spectroscopies are presented.

In addition, this report examines the amplification of an impurity that was observed in nanojars. Statistical models were used to fit the experimentally observed distributions of species in ESI-MS. The broader implications of this discovery to self-assembling molecules in general are discussed.

Included in

Chemistry Commons