Kraig A. Wheeler, Ph.D.
B.A., University of Minnesota, 1987
Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1992
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Texas at Austin, 1993
CHM 1310 - General Chemistry I
CHM 2440 - Organic Chemistry I
CHM 2445 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
CHM 2840 - Organic Chemistry II
CHM 2845 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
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Research InterestsMolecular topology, crystal engineering, solid-state reactions, intermolecular forces (e.g. hydrogen bonds), X-ray crystallography, molecular recognition processes, supramolecular and structural chemistry.
One remaining Holy Grail in Science is the prediction of material structure based solely on chemical composition. Since the physical properties of materials e.g. color, magnetism, solubility, molecular recognition behavior etc., originate from the organization of the fundamental building blocks (atoms and molecules), an intimate understanding of the forces that determine material structure is of great importance.
Data from single-crystals (materials with three-dimensional periodicity) has provided a natural starting point for many investigations in this area. Serious thought has been given to this area and efforts to engineer molecular alignment (and other materials) remain the focus of many investigations.
Unfortunately, predictions of crystal structures from knowledge of chemical composition of the fundamental components are far from being realized by intuition, by design, or by other physical principles. The difficulty with controlling molecular assemblies stems from an insufficient assignment of all crystal-packing contributors and a lack of understanding of the specificity of recognized intra- and intermolecular interactions. Ongoing projects in Dr. Wheeler’s laboratory seek to i) control and predict the self-assembly of molecules into extended networks and ii) design enantiocontrolled solid-state reactions. Program objectives include:
• Exploiting molecular shape as a design tool for the construction of predictable structural aggregates;
• Constructing crystalline architectures with functional properties (e.g. nanoporous, NLO materials, and
• Exploring the hydrogen bond specificity of chemical systems with multiple acceptor and donor groups;
• Investigating the favorable alignment and photochemical behavior of sulfonamidecinnamic acids
Representative Publications (undergraduate co-authors underlined)
“Enantiocontrolled Solid-State Photodimerizations via a Chiral Sulfonamidecinnamic Acid,” Crystal Engineering Communications 2011, 13, 3134-3137, Wheeler, K.A.; Wiseman, J.D.; Grove, R.C. [selected as hot article, cover]
“A Photoreactive Crystalline Quasiracemate,” Chemical Communications 2010, 46, 7322-7324. Grove, R.C.; Malehorn, S.H.; Breen, M.E.; Wheeler, K.A.
“Structural Studies of Racemates and Quasiracemates. 2-(3-Bromophenoxy)propionic Acid and 2-(3-Methoxyphenoxy)propionic Acid” Crystal Growth & Design 2008, 8, 3863-3870. Breen, M.E.; Tameze, S.L.; Dougherty, W.G.; Kassel, W.S.; Wheeler, K.A. [selected as cover article]
“Structural Studies of Racemates and Quasiracemates. Chloro, Bromo, and Methyl Adducts of 2-Phenoxypropionic Acid” Crystal Growth & Design 2008, 8, 612-619. Lineberry, A.M.; Benjamin, E.T.; Davis, R.E.; Kassel, W.S.; Wheeler, K.A.
“Rediscovering Pasteur’s Quasiracemates” Angewandte Chemie, International Edition 2008, 47, 78-81. Wheeler, K.A.; Grove, R.C.; Davis, R.E.; Kassel, W.S. [selected as frontispiece]