1,5-Benzodiazepine Educational Synthesis – Update #3

Good afternoon, everybody!

I have successfully obtained a clear H1-NMR for my 2,2,4-trimethyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-1,5-benzodiazepine synthesis, and narrowed down my procedure to a consistent yield of reasonably pure product!  I have found the melting point for this NMR-verified product to be consistently within the range of 95 – 98 °C using the Mel-Temp device, instead of 121 – 124 °C, which is the experimental range found by BIONET-Key Organics on ChemSpider; upon further researching on the same ChemSpider page, however, I have found theoretical confirmation from EPISuite of a melting point around 99 °C, which is much closer to mine.  There still exists the possibility of atmospheric contaminants within my product, messing with the melting point, but such is science.

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Artificial Photosynthesis: Heterogeneous Photochemistry

This summer, I was put on a new project that goes in a different direction. Artificial photosynthesis has many possible potential pathways to generate hydrogen gas; our focus has been on homogeneous systems. Wendy Zhang, the master’s student from Dr. McNamara’s lab, has synthesized a catalyst that can be utilized in heterogeneous photochemistry. My new direction will be to test the capabilities of this heterogeneous system to reduce protons to hydrogen gas.  Heterogeneous photochemistry differs from homogeneous photochemistry by using nanoparticles sensitized with a chromophore and catalyst. Common semiconductors that have been used are TiO2, ZnO, CeO2, CdS and ZnS. By utilizing a compatible set of semiconductor, chromophore and catalyst, hydrogen gas can be harnessed. These systems can be utilized in solar photoreactors. These reactors can have lower cost and be more efficient. Heterogeneous photochemistry provides another avenue of harnessing the sun’s energy.

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A Literature Review… On the Methods Sections

I am currently searching the existing literature about Facebook use in order to find studies that use experimental designs in which the participants interact with their own social media accounts. So far, this search has been both uniquely challenging and rewarding. When conducting literature reviews in the past, I always focused on the theory and findings presented in various articles. Thus, the introduction, results, and discussion sections drew my attention more than anything else. Now the tables have turned, and I am searching methods sections for a type of experiment, no matter the theory behind it. Unfortunately, article titles and keywords tend not to focus on the methods, hence my challenge. However, this search has forced me to engage with bodies of social psychology literature I had never thought to explore. I now know more than I ever expected to about narcissism, envy, loneliness, and a variety of other topics. This search, challenging as it is, has become a chance to expand my horizons, and a reminder that there is a plethora of engaging research taking place outside of my political psychology niche.