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Title: Investigations into the role of α-amino acids as chiral modifiers for Ni-based enantioselective heterogeneous hydrogenation catalysts
Author: Wilson, Karen E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 4661
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2011
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The hydrogenation of β-ketoesters over chirally modified Ni catalysts is a celebrated and thoroughly researched example of an enantioselective heterogeneous catalytic reaction. Enantioselective heterogeneous processes, although extremely attractive in terms of fewer complications in the separation of products from the catalyst, are hindered in their viability as industrial applications due to the lack of detailed knowledge on how chirality is conferred to the metal surface. Surface science techniques have afforded substantial progress into determining mechanisms between modifier, reactant and catalyst to explain the source of enantioselectivity of the system. In this study, a combination of solution and ultra-high vacuum (UHV)-based experiments allow a more realistic interpretation of the surface chemistry underpinning the catalytic reaction as the key step in achieving enantioselective performance is the adsorption of chiral modifiers from solution. The behaviour of (S)-aspartic acid and (S)-lysine on Ni{111} and their interaction with the prochiral β-ketoester methylacetoacetate is investigated in this study to understand their potential as chiral modifiers for the system. In UHV, scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS), and temperature programmed desorption (TPD) are used to analyse the conformation and order of the amino acids on the metal, and their thermal stability. Additionally, liquid-solid interface RAIRS and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) are used to examine the modified Ni surface, prepared under aqueous conditions, to give an accurate representation of the catalytic studies. It has been found highly likely that, for (S)-aspartic acid modified Ni{111}, enantioselective sites exist at step or step/kink defects, formed by corrosive leaching of the Ni substrate. Conversely, lysine appears to bind with a high sticking probability to Ni, in the form of lysine islands, and does not appear to etch the Ni chirally. Finally, similar experiments have been carried out on Au{111}, where lysine was found to chiral restructure the surface and form nanofingers, and 2D Ni clusters grown on Au{111} in order to investigate the formation of possible metal-organic frameworks.
Supervisor: Baddeley, Christopher J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Heterogeneous ; Catalysis ; Enantioselectivity ; Chirality ; Nickel ; Gold ; Aspartic acid ; Ultra-high vacuum ; Liquid-solid interface ; Lysine