Markus Etzkorn, Ph.D.

Markus Etzkorn
Chemistry
Associate Professor
Burson 268
704-687-4913

Website: Etzkorn Group

Preparative and physical organic chemistry, construction of complex fluorinated frameworks for molecular recognition or self-assembly with potential applications in sensing and sequestration; mechanistic investigation of the chemistry of unusual polycyclic scaffolds; extended (fluorinated) pi-systems as ligands in organometallic systems.

The Etzkorn group targets fluorinated molecular tweezers of different molecular architecture in a convergent approach from various tether scaffolds and fluoroarene building blocks. The introduction of fluorine substituents in the arene pincers alters the molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) in the binding cavity – in contrast to almost all known molecular tweezers the MEP is inverted – and thus induces a selectivity for electron-rich guests, e.g., electron-rich arenes or anions. The non-covalent p-p and anion-p interactions between the tweezers and guest units are of fundamental importance in supramolecular chemistry with potential applications in biology, chemistry and their interface. Novel fluorinated molecular tweezers will therefore significantly expand experimental data for molecular recognition that is based on the aforementioned supramolecular binding motifs. Ultimately we target sensing and sequestration of biologically important and environmentally hazardous species, respectively.