Uttam Pokharel

CHEMISTRY

Assistant Professor of Physical Sciences


EDUCATION:

Ph.D. University of Kentucky
Postdoc Louisiana State University

SPECIALIZATION:

Synthetic Organometallic chemistry
Metal-organic supramolecular Chemistry

COURSES:

CHEM 102 — General Chemistry II
CHEM 105 — General Chemistry I
CHEM 109 — General, Organic and Biological Chemistry for Nursing
CHEM 110 — Introductory Chemistry Lab
CHEM 221 — Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 222 — Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 226 — Organic Chemistry Lab
CHEM 327 — Intermediate Organic Chemistry (lecture and lab)
CHEM 421 — Advanced Organic Chemistry
CHEM 451 — Research Problems

CONTACT:

137 Beauregard Hall
985.448.4504
uttam.pokharel@nicholls.edu
CV

RESEARCH:

Our interdisciplinary research focuses on synthesis of organic, coordination, and organometallic compounds under standard Schlenk line technique and their characterization using 1HNMR, 13CNMR, IR, MS and microanalysis. The structural problems of the complicated molecules are solved by single-crystal X-ray crystallography. In addition, we routinely use UV-Vis spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry in order to study the electronic and redox behavior of the compounds. We are currently focused in following two areas.

  1. Organometallic acenes:
  2. The linearly-fused polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, commonly known as acenes, are promising class of compounds for organic opto-electronic applications. The extended π-conjugation in these molecules lowers the gap between highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO), a desirable feature for semiconducting applications. Our group is interested to extend the acene chemistry to organometallic arena by incorporating a redox-active metal center as an integral part of the acene backbone. We explore the stability of cyclopentadienyl(Cp)-capped polyacene complexes by tuning the electronic properties of metal center and the ligands bound to it. We assume that the electron-rich metal center can coordinate effectively with electron-deficient aromatic ligand while electron-deficient metal requires electron rich ligand. Our primary focus is to develop synthetic methodologies to get to the π-extended organometallic acenes and study their suitability for organic electronic applications.

  3. Metal-organic supramolecules:
  4. The coordination properties of transition metal ions and the directional nature organic ligands have been utilized to design varieties of functional metal-organic supramolecules. The discrete metal-organic supramoleculecules can serve as host to interact with small molecular guests. In addition to host-guest interactions, the redox properties of the transition metal centers have been employed to activate small molecular guests. We are interested to study the activation/reduction of carbon dioxide to carbonate/oxalate by employing bimetallic complexes. The metal centers, separated by organic or organometallic linkers with N-donating termini, are reduced chemically or electrochemically and then reacted with carbon dioxide.  In addition, we are interested to explore the properties of metal-organic supramolecules derived from 1, 1’-bisubstituted ferrocene as a linker group.

CURRENT GRANT SUPPORT:

Louisiana Board of Regents (Pfund)
Title: Organometallic polyacenes for organic opto-electronic applications
June 1, 2017 – May 31, 2018
Role: PI, amount: $19,600

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:

Cherutoi, J. K.; Sandifer, J. D.;  Pokharel, U. R.; Fronczek, F. R.; Pakhomova, S. and Maverick, M. W. Externally and Internally Functionalized Copper(II) β-Diketonate Molecular Squares. Inorganic Chemistry 2015, 54, 7791 – 7802.

Pokharel, U. R.; Fronczek, F. R. and Maverick, A. W. Reduction of carbon dioxide to oxalate by a binuclear copper complex. Nature Communications 2014, 5

Pokharel, U. R.; Fronczek, F. R. and Maverick, A. W. Cyclic pyridyltriazole- Cu(II) dimers as supramolecular hosts. Dalton Transaction 2013, 42, 14064-14067.

Pokharel, U. R.; Selegue, J. P. and Parkin, S. Ruthenocene 1,2-Dicarboxylic Acid, Carboxylic Anhydride, and Acid Chloride: A Facile Route to Metallocene-Fused Acenequinones.” Organometallics 2011, 30, 3254-3256.