Acquisition of a Supercritical Fluid System for Diverse Undergraduate Curricular Activities

Grant Details


Chemistry (12)

Supercritical fluid (SCF) technology is being introduced into the undergraduate curriculum to complement many traditional topics already discussed and to enhance chemical education to prepare students for a variety of work environments. This environmentally-friendly medium is often mentioned only briefly in current undergraduate curricula, usually without any hands-on laboratory experience, even though the diversity of applications involving SCFs continue to mount in virtually every sector of the scientific workplace.

A SCF system is being introduced into five different undergraduate chemistry laboratory courses - two analytical, one inorganic, one physical, and one materials courses. Experiments are being adapted primarily from the research literature and implemented into these courses. Analytical experiments are utilizing the system for extraction of analytes from difficult matrices using environmentally-friendly solvents. Inorganic experiments are exploiting the properties of SCFs to isolate novel complexes possessing labile ligands, and other compounds that are traditionally difficult to synthesize/purify. Physical experiments are examining solubility and phase behavior of various co-solvents/SCF mixtures. In addition, thermodynamic and kinetic parameters for a variety of reactions are monitored around the critical point to determine the effects of such media. Semi-empirical and DFT calculations are being carried out to predict speciation within a SCF medium and to compare experimental results. Materials experiments are invoking this technology for polymerization, crystallization, nanoparticle deposition, and thin-film growth applications.

Effective start/end date01/1/0212/31/02


  • National Science Foundation: $29,289.00


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