Acquisition of Equipment for High-Throughput Experimentation

Project Details


With this award from the Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities: Multi-user (CRIF:MU) program, Professor Steven Zimmerman and colleague John Hartwig from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will acquire a high-throughput experimentation (HTE) system. The proposal is aimed at enhancing research training and education at all levels, especially in areas of study such as (a) catalytic reactions exploiting main group compounds, (b) discovery and mechanistic analysis of transition metal-catalyzed reactions, (c) high-throughput development of chemical sensor systems, (d) discovery of biologically active organic molecules, and (e) discovery of organic molecules that bind RNA.

A high-throughput experimentation system incorporates robotics, data processing and control software as well as a variety of different technologies to synthesize, analyze and screen multiple reaction conditions and outcomes in an automated way that otherwise would require a multitude of individual experiments. By entailing grid-based sampling of physical and chemical variables, the technique saves time and is capable of carrying out reactions in a combinatorial manner and is useful in chemical and biological systems and especially for studies in catalysis. The proposed HTE equipment will be used to educate students through both research and formal course instruction and as part of outreach activities. In addition, the system will be used by participants in special programs that bring underrepresented groups to campus, such as the Snyder Scholars Program. Furthermore, the system will be used in laboratory experiments that will be conducted by chemistry majors in an advanced laboratory course and in a short laboratory course conducted by high school teachers who participate in the NSF-funded EnLIST program of the Math and Science Partnerships. Finally, the system will create a capability for synthetic chemists within the High Throughput Facility at Illinois, which has been established as an open facility for members of nearby undergraduate institutions.

Effective start/end date15/01/1131/12/13


  • National Science Foundation


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