During my four years in the CATCO group supervised by Dr. Kraka, I have been exposed to various topics targeted to address a multitude of chemical problems, broadening our knowledge of modern chemistry research as we know it. In undertaking the age-old problem of understanding the nature of chemical bonding, I could modestly contribute with my work, using in-house tools based on vibrational spectroscopy.
First part of my dissertation is focused on inventing new methods and tools to efficiently investigate chemical bonding, followed by the study of some non-covalent interactions, imperative in catalysis and solid-state chemistry. This includes analysis of hydrogen bonds in trivial systems like small dimers which is all the way extended to complex hydrogen-bond networks in ice crystals. Also, as dihydrogen-bonded complexes are key intermediates in catalytically driven hydrogen generation from water, their role is probed for a series of B- and Al-based hydride catalyzed reactions. The nature of much debated HH interactions in sterically congested systems like naphthalene derivatives are also examined. The insights offered by these combined efforts will guide the future experiments and help in new material and catalyst design.
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Nanayakkara, Sadisha, "From Small Molecules to Infinite Crystals: Probing Noncovalent Interactions through Vibrational Spectroscopy" (2021). Chemistry Theses and Dissertations. 23.