Synthesis of a Homochiral Metal–Organic Framework

Summer 2017

Leo Porter-Zasada : Chemistry

Mentor: Jeffrey Long

In this project, I will attempt to create a less expensive and more effective method to
synthesize and separate chiral compounds in large quantities. Because a large percentage of biological molecules are chiral (i.e. they have non-superimposable mirror images), many bioactive and pharmaceutical compounds are also chiral, and separations and synthesis of these chiral compounds is a pivotal challenge in pharmaceutical research. To address this challenge, I aim to create an enantiopure chiral metal–organic framework (MOF) by introducing chiral additives during synthesis to induce bulk homochirality. Preliminary findings indicate this MOF could potentially be useful for separating chiral molecules or for synthesizing enantiopure molecules directly in a catalytic reaction. 

Dear Rose Hills Foundation, Thank you so much for your generous contribution, and for giving me the opportunity to do research this summer. This experience is so valuable, because I get to start changing the world even while I’m still earning my undergraduate degree. I will carry the lessons I learn this summer into my life, and future as a researcher.