Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Chemistry and Biochemistry


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Ken D. Shimizu


Aromatic interactions play a key role in many important processes, such as the formation and stability of biological and synthetic assemblies, facilitation of molecular recognition processes, and catalysis of chemical reactions. One of the key factors determining the strength of aromatic interaction is the solvent environment. Therefore, developing model systems that can accurately measure the influence or effects of solvents on non-polar interaction strengths is a task of great importance. Over the years, we have been approaching this challenge via designing and analyzing molecular devices that can quantitatively report aromatic interaction energies under various solvent and chemical environments. With this methodology, we have: 1) studied the ability of protic solvents to dissolve aromatic surfaces via solvent OH-π interactions, 2) determined the influence of anions on solvophobic interactions in organic solvent, 3) measured the strength of individual Ag-π interaction and its sensitivity to changes in solvent environment and interaction geometry, and 4) studied the CH-π interactions of fluorinated aromatic surfaces. The knowledge and experience gained in the studies of these small model systems contribute to the development of more effective predictive solvent models but also help guide further experimental research on aromatic interactions.


© 2018, Josef M. Maier

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