Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science




Organic Chemistry

First Advisor

Aaron Sadow


The drive to find heterogeneous catalysts for known and new reactions is of great interest. This interest comes from the increase in stability of the catalyst, the ease of separation from the reaction, and the ability to reuse the catalyst. In recent years, mesoporous silica has emerged as a very beneficial support for catalysts due to its highly Si-OH rich surface and immense surface area per gram.

A new zinc complex supported on the surface of SBA-15 type mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) has been discovered. This system thus far been tested for hydrosilylation of carbonyl containing compounds and epoxidation of α, β-unsaturated ketones. The deprotonation of silanols on the surface of MSN with ZnEt2 leads to the immobilization of ZnEt on the surface of MSN (MSN-ZnEt). Suspending MSN-ZnEt in an alcoholic solvent will lead to the corresponding MSN-ZnOR. MSN-ZnEt, MSN-ZnOEt, MSN-ZnOtBu and MSN-ZnOOtBu. Each of these MSN-Zn complexes have been isolated. MSN-ZnEt and MSN-ZnOEt have been characterized with FTIR, ICP-OES, BET, chemisorption, and TEM.

In the last few years additive manufacturing has begun to be incorporated into the chemical world by 3D printing custom chemical reactors for specific reactions and functionalized filament. We have successfully used stereolithography (SLA) three-dimensional (3D) printing, which photopolymerizes acrylic resin into a solid polymer, to create catalyst inserts that vary in surface area and contain a transition metal catalyst. Also, we have used SLA printing to create a unique reactor design to allow gas to flow into the vessel and hold up to 5 bar of pressure while also being able to release this pressure safely.

Copyright Owner

Jacob Fleckenstein



File Format


File Size

60 pages