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SFU Chem Student wins "Honourable Mention" in a National Award for Inorganic Chemistry

February 10, 2023

Thomas Karpiuk wins National CSC-Inorganic Division "Honorable Mention" Award for Undergraduate Research in Inorganic Chemistry (AURIC Award)

Research conducted in the Leznoff Group laboratory revolves around combining metal cations with linker molecules so that the metals are bridged together into a network called a coordination polymer. The beauty of this approach is that the resultant structure of a coordination polymer can be controlled by simply choosing the appropriate building blocks. Because material properties are intrinsically linked to structure, this strategy has been instrumental in creating a wide array of functional materials. Thomas's project was focused on using this approach to rationally design materials incorporating the f-block metals—the lanthanides and actinides at the bottom of the periodic table. In comparison to the d-block metals, the chemistry of the f-block metals is underexplored and often unpredictable. However, the lanthanides and the uranyl [UO2]2+ cation have unique emissive properties, being of interest for the development of phosphors with colour-tunable emission or sensors with a luminescent response to toxic fumes. According to Thomas, "I looked to leverage the unique structural features of cyanometallate linkers, to investigate how the incorporation of these f-block metal cations into coordination polymers can be controlled. I would like to thank Prof. Danny Leznoff and all the members of the Leznoff Group, for their guidance and support."

As part of the Award, Thomas will give an invited lecture at the CSC Conference this summer, here in Vancouver.  Congratulations Thomas!