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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

Karissa Carter, Norfolk State University

Karissa Carter is a recent graduate of Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. She was accepted into a graduate program at the University of California, Davis where she will be pursuing her PhD in Chemistry starting Fall 2021. She is currently a researcher in Dr. Hairong Guan’s lab where she is investigating the synthetic pathway of a nickel complex that was formed from a tetradentate Schiff-base ligand. In general, a Schiff base is a compound with an imide functional group that contains an organic side chain on the nitrogen. Schiff-base ligands are called salen ligands if they are formed from salicylaldehyde and diamine derivatives. Salen ligands are unique in the formation of metal catalysts because they contain an interesting N2O2 donor set. Although they are typically easy to prepare, an unknown reaction occurred during the crystallization of a Ni(salophen) complex; a side chain was added to the imide nitrogen in the H2salophen ligand. To study this reaction, Karissa is synthesizing and reducing the H2salophen derivative formed from 2,4-di-tert-butylsalicylaldehyde and phenylenediamine. After forming the ligand, she will attempt to synthesize the Ni(salophen) complex. If successful, the nickel complex could potentially be a new catalyst.

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