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Research Overview

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The CB11H12⁻ carborane anion is one of the most stable molecular clusters known.
My research explores the synthesis of molecules constructed from a cage of boron atoms (boranes) and analogues where at least one atom in the framework is carbon (carboranes). My work in this area is informed by 15 years of research experience working with 1-carba-closo-dodecaborate(1⁻) (i.e. CB11⁻), a carborane cluster with potential uses as pharmaceuticals, medical imaging agents, chemical catalysts, and building blocks for new optical and electronic materials. Research projects in my group at Whitman continue to explore the chemistry of CB11⁻, as well as that of other related boron-based clusters. The techniques employed and questions investigated in this work are relevant to the subdiciplines of organic and inorganic chemistry.

Boron clusters were first prepared several decades ago, but relatively few methods have been developed for synthetically modifying these molecules. Difficulties in the synthesis of the CB11⁻ cluster and its derivatives remain a primary reason that their use in practical applications has been limited. The development of efficient synthetic methods for use with the CB11⁻ system would allow for the preparation of a host of new compounds and facilitate the use of this cluster in a variety of applications.

Support for this work has been provided by Whitman College, the National Science Foundation, and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

Current Research Students

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Claire Andrus, '24 - Chemistry and Anthropology double major at Whitman College
Daria Alicic, '24 - Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology major at Whitman College
Dori Buttleman, '25 - Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology major at Whitman College


Click to expand/collapse († denotes Whitman student coauthor)

"Exhaustive Cyanation of the Dodecaborate Dianion: Synthesis, Characterization, and X-Ray Crystal Structure of [B12(CN)12]2–" Kamin, A. A.,† Juhasz, M. A.* Inorganic Chemistry, 2020, 59, 189-192.

"Microwave-assisted iodination: Synthesis of heavily iodinated 10-vertex and 12-vertex boron clusters" Juhasz M. A.,* Matheson, G. R.,† Chang, P. S.,† Rosenbaum, A. R.,† Juers, D. H., Synthesis and Reactivity in Inorganic, Metal-Organic, and Nano-Metal Chemistry, 2016, 46 (4), 583-588.

"A Boron Cluster with a Pair of Carboxylic Acid Groups on Adjacent Borons: Synthesis and Structure of 7,12-(COOH)2-CB11H10⁻." Dwulet, G. E.,† Juhasz, M. A.* Inorganic Chemistry Communications, 2015, 51, 26-28.

"Tetraethylammonium 7,12-Dicyano-1-Carba-closo-Dodecaborate" Juhasz, M. A.*, Juers, D. H., Dwulet, G. E.,† Rosenbaum, A. J.† Acta Crystallographica, 2014, E70, o411-o412.

"Copper-promoted Cyanation of a Boron Cluster: Synthesis, X-ray structure, and Reactivity of 12-CN-closo-CHB11H10⁻" Rosenbaum, A. J.,† Juers, D.H., Juhasz, M. A.* Inorganic Chemistry, 2013, 52 (19), 10717-10719.

† denotes Whitman student coauthor

Past Group Members

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Sam Weiss, '23 - Chemistry Ph.D. student at University of British Columbia
Woody Walters, '22 - Chemist at CUI Solutions, Inc., Kansas City, KS
Grant Domecus, '21 - Chemistry Ph.D. student at University of California, San Diego
Ashe Kamin, '20 - Chemistry Ph.D. student at University of Washington
Ethan Raffman, '20 - Chemistry Ph.D. student at University of California, Irvine
Natalie Hodis, '21 - Biology Major, Whitman Class of 2021
William Mendelsohn, '18 - Laboratory Operations Assistant, Foundation Medicine, Cambridge, MA
Greg Hof, '18 - Chemistry Major, Whitman Class of 2018
Julian Reed, '18 - Extraction Chemist at OMIC USA, Portland, OR
Austin Shaff, '17 - Chemistry Ph.D. student at University of Washington
Walker Bruhn, '17 - IT Service Technician, Portland, OR
Clint Vorauer, '16 - Medicinal Chemistry Ph.D. student, University of Washington
Greg Dwulet, '15 - Patent Agent at Calyx Law, San Francisco, CA
Graham Matheson, '15 - Materials Engineer at Oerlikon AM, Munich, Germany
Rosie Midget, '15 - Data Monitoring Committee Coordinator, Axio Research, Edmonds, WA
Paul Chang, '13 - Medical school student at Univerity of Nevada, Reno
Aaron Rosenbaum, '12 - Anaestesiology resident, Salt Lake City, UT
Laura Coulson, '12 - Aquatic Ecology Ph.D. student, WasserCluster, Lunz, Austria
Nathan Neff-Mallon, '12 - Software Support Engineer at ColdQuanta, Madison, WI
Donna Phan, '12 - Surgery Resident, Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, NY
Matthew Badura, '11 - Analytics Consultant, Campfire Analytics, Seattle, WA
Kieran Burkholder, '11 - Swimming Coach and Ballet Performer, Helena, MT