Chemistry Projects 2007
Synthesis of Luminescent Materials
Faculty Mentor - Carl Kemnitz
Molecular structures containing the organic oxadiazole unit have been shown to be robust
photoluminescent and electroluminescent materials with potential applications as OLEDs (organic
light emitting diodes). OLEDs are being investigated as flexible digital displays. Imagine a computer
screen you can roll up and put in your pocket. The goal of this project is to make novel organic
oxadiazoles in the laboratory and investigate their stability and luminescent properties.
Characterization of the chemical structure will be done by ultraviolet, infrared, and nuclear
magnetic resonance spectroscopies.
Kemnitz Luminescent Group Poster
Computational Quantum Chemistry
Faculty Mentor - Carl Kemnitz
One of the many beautiful things about quantum mechanics is that it can predict the molecular
properties and chemical reactivity of molecules that may live for only a microsecond in the lab.
The down side is that the mathematics is too involved for even the most brilliant mathematician to
solve in a reasonable time frame (months or years). Enter the computer. Computational Quantum Chemistry
gives all the hard work to the computer and allows the chemist to solve chemical problems. The goal of
this project is to find out why some C-H bonds are stronger than others. It's astonishing that such a
fundamental question is still debated to this day. The project involves the use of state-of-the-art
quantum chemical software to compute the properties of hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon radicals.
The Kemnitz Quantum Group Poster is not available before publication of research results.
Biological Prospecting of Medicinal and Culinary Herbs
Faculty Mentor - Roy LaFever
Throughout human history plants have been utilized in myriad of ways. Humans' consumptive
use of plants range from staple foods and culinary flavorings to herbal and pharmaceutical
preparations. The herbal and pharmaceutical preparations from plants have been used to treat a
wide variety of health concerns. CSUB presently has a state of the art greenhouse facility which
is used to grow a number of medicinal herbs for research purposes. The focus of this research is
two-fold. First to examine the constituents of these plants through chemical means, and secondly
to screen plant extracts for important biological activities. This type of research is ideally suited
for a small group, or team. A group of 2-3 secondary students and a team leading educator will
cultivate medicinal herbs in the greenhouse and produce extracts from the plants for chemical analysis.
This analysis will identify and quantify the isolated constituents in preparation for carrying out
biological activity assays. The assays will examine antibacterial activity, antioxidant potential,
and anticancer activity. The latter assays will be carried out in conjunction with Dr. Ravi Patel of
the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center (CBCC) here in Bakersfield. The skills obtained by carrying
out this research will include basic chemical skills and laboratory techniques as well as hands-on
experience utilizing sophisticated analytical instrumentation. In addition, the assays designed to
screen for biological activities will expose the team to a highly interdisciplinary project that
bridges the disciplines of chemistry, biochemistry, and biology.
LaFever Group Poster
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for the respective projects. Please feel free to contact either of the program directors with any
questions you might have.