Research in the Tykwinski Group
Our research program is best described as following a physical organic chemistry approach, namely we examine the detailed relationship between chemical structure and molecular reactivity/properties. We often develop synthetic routes to carbon-rich molecules with defined structure, based on the use of sp-hybridized carbon as a primary building block. These molecules are designed to provide answers to both fundamental and applied questions in organic chemistry, as well as physics and materials science. In terms of molecular properties, we commonly explore electronic characteristics though, for example, NMR spectroscopy, electrochemical methods, X-ray crystallography, emission and absorption spectroscopies (as well as EPR, vibrational, and transient absorption spectroscopies through collaborations). In some cases, our unique molecules are designed and synthesized to answer specific questions posed by collaborators, as we strive to provide molecules for use in, for example, molecular electronics and solar energy capture. For example, are molecules are currently used as molecular wires in single-molecule devices, solar cells, TFTs, and to explore the process of singlet fission. Some of the molecules that we are currently infatuated with include cumulenes and polyynes, acenes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, as well as synthetic model compounds for the asphaltenes.