Skip to main content

Luke Malaisrie and Tim Li Awarded Two Undergraduate Research Grants

Undergraduate researchers Luke Malaisrie and Tim Li have both been awarded the Baker Program in Undergraduate Research Grant ($4000) as well as the Summer Undergraduate Research Grant ($4000) for outstanding grant proposals.

Luke Malaisrie’s grant proposal was based on his independent project ‘Crystalline Polyrotaxanes,’ an endeavor to which he has/will work in collaboration with graduate student James Seale. The year-long project hopes to verify the upper-limit of cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) rings capable of being pumped by an artificial molecular pump onto a wide range of polymer chains. Crystallization of the resulting polyrotaxanes will be attempted in order to determine whether the highly-charged dense rings increase the polymer chain’s affinity for crystallization.

Tim Li’s grant proposal was based on his research in the synthesis, structure and functions of metal-organic frameworks starting from October 2022. Collaborating with Dr. Shuliang Yang, Tim will use the “Crystalline Sponge” method in single-crystal X-ray diffraction (SCXRD) to determine the precise structures of viologen–bipyridinium derivatives indispensable in the construction of mechanically-interlocked molecules (MIMs). Tim will synthesize suitable host crystalline sponges, selectively introduce members from the viologen family into the sponges, and unveil the structures of the chosen viologens.

Pictured below — Undergraduate researchers Luke Malaisrie and Tim Li: