Molecular sensing paradigms : enantioselective recognition of chiral carboxylic acids and interfacial sensing
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Determining the presence of an analyte of interest, and finding the enantiomeric purity of chiral molecules are challenging tasks. This work in molecular recognition is carried out routinely by many different researchers, including both academic as well as industrial research groups. The following dissertation presents original research directed toward two different areas of interest to the molecular recognition community: enantioselective sensing in solution, and sensing at a defined interfacial environment. This work begins with a review of the non-chromatographic ways that the enantiomeric purity of chiral carboxylic acids is determined, presented in Chapter 1. Carboxylic acids are important functional groups, both for organic synthesis as well as pharmaceutical drug development. Chapter 2 presents efforts that have been made to rapidly assess both the enantiomeric purity and identity of chiral carboxylic acids, utilizing the technique of exciton-coupled circular dichroism (ECCD). A twist is imparted on a complex, and can be correlated with the absolute configuration of the stereocenter. The enantiomeric composition can be rapidly determined. After creating the assay, the focus of the work shifted toward applying this system to new classes of analytes. Chapter 3 covers chemo- and enantioselective differentiation of [mathematical symbol]-amino acids, and continues to discuss the expansion to [mathematical symbol]-homoamino acids. Then a synthetic substrates was tested, and a series of reactions screened to determine if any enantioselectivity had been imparted by a Baeyer-Villiger oxidation. Finally, the enantiomeric composition of a biaryl atropisomer, a compound lacking a stereocenter, was determined. The signal produced from this assay is at a relatively short wavelength, and efforts were undertaken to push this signal to longer wavelength. Chapter 4 is a compendium of the lessons that were learned upon attempting to create a self-assembled sensing system. The final chapter details work that was done in collaboration with Professor Katsuhiko Ariga at the National Institute of Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan. In this chapter, an indicator displacement assay was carried out for the first time at the air-water interface. This contribution opens the door for sensing to be carried out at defined regions, rather than free in bulk solution.