Research objectives and content
The pricipal objective is to extend to fluorocarbons the method for determining the structure, conformation and orientational order of molecules in liquid crystalline phases which is based on obtaining dipolar couplings from NMR spectra. This will require developing methods for analysing the very complex spectra produced by fully fluorinated molecules. These spectra cannot be simplified by the standard method used for hydrocarbons which consists of partial deuteriation followed by deuterium decoupling. Fluorine does not have a stable isotope, and so the only method to simpplify spectra is to use multiple quantum spectroscopy. This technique has not been applied before the fluorcarbons. The method will be tested on simple model compounds and will then be applied to determining the structure and conformation of perfluoro-n-butane.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The objective is to learn the whole process of how structure, conformation and orientational order of molecules in liquid crystalline phases are determined by NMR spectroscopy. This will involve learning how to do two-dimensional NMR experiments have a wide range of application in many areas of Chemistry and Physics, and so too do the basic ideas used in the analysis of the data. The experience gained in Southampton will enable me to understand how to apply these techniques to other problems in the future. I will also attend postgraduate lecture courses given by members of the Southampton Liquid Crystals Institute. These cover all aspects of liquid crystals science, and this will enable me to broaden my knowledge of liquid crystals.
Links with industry / industrial relevance
The Southampton Liquid Crystal Institute has many active links with Industry. My own project does not have an industrial link, but I will be able to take part in the regular seminar days when members of th SLCI talk about their work to the Industrial partners.