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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.

Although boron clusters were first prepared several decades ago, 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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Natalie Hodis, '21 - Chemistry Major at Whitman College
Austin Kamin, '20 - Chemistry Major at Whitman College
Ethan Raffman, '20 - Chemistry/History Double Major at Whitman College


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"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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William Mendelsohn, '18 - Recent Chemistry Graduate
Greg Hof, '18 - Recent Chemistry Graduate
Julian Reed, '18 - Recent Chemistry Graduate
Austin Shaff, '17 - Director of Operations, Oleo, Inc., Seattle WA
Walker Bruhn, '17 - Laboratory Technician for Precept Wines, Walla Walla, WA
Clint Vorauer, '16 - Medicinal Chemistry Ph.D. student, University of Washington
Greg Dwulet, '15- Chemistry Ph.D. student, University of Colorado
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 - Medical school student, UC San Diego
Laura Coulson, '12 - Aquatic Ecology Ph.D. student, WasserCluster, Lunz, Austria
Nathan Neff-Mallon, '12 - Data Capture Analyst, Extract Systems, Madison, WI
Donna Phan, '12 - Surgery Resident, Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, NY
Matthew Badura, '11 - Actuarial Analyst, The Regence Group
Kieran Burkholder, '11 - Applying to graduate school