2007 Participants
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Jacob Kilgore
Working with Dr. William Price

View Jacob's webpage here: http://mupfc.marshall.edu/~kilgore14/

Gas-Phase Chemistry of Hyperbranched Polymers

Hyperbranched polymers (or dendrimers) are regularly branched polymers with a treelike structure that can be tuned for size, shape, and chemical functionality. This new class of compound has shown potential for useful host-guest chemistries including site-specific drug delivery, catalysis, nanoelectronics, genetic therapy, and nonlinear optics.  It has recently been demonstrated that some types of dendrimers have specific physical properties that are well-suited for growing nanoparticles. The dendrimer branches form pores that can be used as selective gates to control accessibility of small molecules to the interior of the nanoparticle-dendrimer complex. The terminal groups on the periphery of the dendrimer, such as the alcohol-terminated dendrimer, can be used to control the ability of the nanoparticle to go into solution and be modified to bond to various surfaces and other molecules. Techniques for characterizing these complexes are usually conducted in solution or on a surface. However, these techniques tend to be slow, sample limited and clumsy with samples of particles of varying size. Mass spectrometry has revolutionized the characterization of biomolecular polymers.  The Price group has been using mass spectrometry to characterize the gas-phase structure and fragmentation pathways of PPI dendrimer - divalent metal complexes.  Here we extend the use of electrospray - ion trap mass spectrometry to characterize metal nanocomplexes captured within alcohol-terminated dendrimers for potential uses as new catalysts and drug-delivery vehicles.