On Thursday, November 3rd, UConn Early College Experience, and the UConn ECE Faculty Coordinator for, Chemistry, Fatma Selampinar met with ECE certified CHEM Instructors for their annual professional development conference.
The group heard from Dr. Michael Kienzler, Assistant Processor, Chemistry, UConn. Dr. Kienzler discussed molecular photoswitches that reversibly interconvert between isomers when irradiated with different wavelengths of light. At the same time, using ring strain to increase reactivity of a substrate is a well-established technique for completing otherwise sluggish chemical reactions. In his research he is interested in combining these two ideas to develop cyclized photoswitches to reversibly generate ring-strain, and study the activation of functional groups for light-dependent spatiotemporal control of target reactions, in particular for ring-opening polymerizations and for electrocyclzation reactions.
After a short lecture, ECE Chemistry Instructors were able to participate in an experiment "Synthesis and Photoswitching of Azobenzene" before ending the day with lunch and conversations about their UConn Chemistry courses.
UConn Chemistry Courses offered through Early College Experience.