Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Cassandra T. Eagle

Committee Members

Dane W. Scott, Reza M. Mohseni


Single crystal X-ray crystallography instructional materials were developed using a variety of compounds including sugar, Epsom salt, pyrite, copper(II) acetate, and rhodium(II) acetate. Rhodium(II) acetate was reacted with a variety of functionalized benzonitriles, and when crystals were obtained, characterized using single crystal X-ray crystallography. Rhodium(II) acetate with adducts of 4-nitrobenzonitrile and 4-(dimethylamino)benzonitrile were also characterized using proton NMR spectroscopy and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. Rhodium(II) acetate with adducts of 4-(dimethylamino)benzonitrile was used as a catalyst in a proof-ofconcept reaction to determine if it acts as a catalyst in cyclopropanation reactions. Further, the new rhodium(II) acetate dinitrile compounds were investigated to determine if they would yield a different product ratio of cyclopropanes than that from the model Rh=CRR' mediated reaction between ethyl diazoacetate and styrene. The resulting cyclopropanation products were characterized using Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry. Preliminary experimental results yielded a trans- to cis-2-phenylcyclopropanecarboxylate ratio of 40:60.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

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