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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

Aliz Leon - CSU Stanislaus

Hi everyone, my name is Aliz Leon, and I am a senior chemistry student from California State University Stanislaus GO WARRIORS!!! Currently I am participating in the REU program at the University of Cincinnati for ten weeks working with my graduate student Brandi James in Dr. Anna Gudmundsdottir. This summer my project is synthesizing 2,2-diazido-2,3-dihydroinden-1-one (diazido) and completing a product studies to determine what the product after the molecule is shot with light (photolyzed) is produced. It is known that azides are good for rapid reactions but also great precursor to forming nitrene(s). Nitrenes are significant because the nitrogen only has six valence electrons but two are covalently bonded and four are non-bonded making the nitrene a great intermediate in many chemical reactions. We know that starting with an azide will release nitrogen gas resulting in a nitrene where in the case of my project we are starting a diazide. From previous work and current results starting with a diazido has resulted in a single nitrene then continuing with photolysis ending with the photoproduct. Our goal for the summer it to determine what molecule is the photoproduct to then determine the mechanism for the reaction starting from diazido to the photoproduct. This project is important because research on single azides has be done but more work needs to be completed on diazides. Also this work is very significant because knowing how azides and nitrenes work could lead to more sustainable synthetic chemistry field where light could be used to our advantage.

Here is what Aliz has to say about her experience in the REU program

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