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Dr. Francis X. Flores

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Cal Poly Pomona

Research Interests:

Students in my group undertake research projects that fall under the area of physical organic chemistry. Research in this area focuses on the elucidation and understanding of structure - reactivity relationships, intrinsic barriers, and reaction mechanisms. For example, my current research efforts involve kinetic studies of nucleophilic addition to alpha,beta-unsaturated compounds such as alpha,beta-unsaturated ketones, lactones as well as alpha,beta-unsaturated transition metal carbene complexes. We utilize a variety of kinetic methods, including stopped- flow spectrophotometry for monitoring fast reactions as well as conventional UV-Vis spectroscopy for slower reactions. Students in my group also gain valuable synthetic experience in that the synthesis of the target compounds involve reactions learned in their undergraduate organic courses, like the Aldol condensation and enamine chemistry. The synthesis of the alpha,beta-unsaturated organometallic complexes require the students gain experience in handling air senstive compounds such as n-butyllithium, methyllithium and phenyllithium.


Our group has recently begun studying the above reactions from a more theoretical point of view. In particular, we are using PC Spartan Pro to investigate equilibrium geometries of the abovementioned compounds. Equilibrium geometries can provide potential insight into the importance and extent of resonance development in these systems. Students involved in these computational studies learn to use a variety of theoretical models, including Semi-Empirical, Hartree-Fock, and Density Funtional Theory.

 





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