V. Nicholas Vukotic

2011 and 2012 Scholarship Program Recipient

V. Nicholas Vukotic, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada

2011 Research Proposal:
Utilizing Molecular Machines in the Construction of Dynamic Solid State  Materials

2012 Research Proposal:
Development of New Materials Which Have Application in Non-linear Optics, Ferroelectronics, Piezoelectrics, and Other Technologically Important Physical Properties


Research Synopsis

My research centers on the development of interlocked molecules which can function as rotors, spectroscopic switches, or molecular shuttles in solid-state, crystalline, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).  A variety of artificial molecular switches and molecular machines have previously been reported based on the relative motion of mechanically interlocked components. However, the vast majority of these systems can only be studied in solution where the molecules are in a constant state of flux and are randomly dispersed.  The ability to organize these molecules in high density, while still allowing the free volume required for them to operate, is a key step in producing materials in which the physical properties of the material can be tuned at the molecular level and creating ultra-dense molecular based memory.  This research is multidisciplinary and requires organic synthesis, solution NMR analysis, single crystal X-ray diffraction, powder X-ray diffraction, materials analysis, and solid state NMR analysis. 


Selected Publication

V. Nicholas Vukotic, Kristopher J. Harris, Kelong Zhu, Robert W. Schurko, and Stephen J. Loeb, Nature Chemistry, 2012, 4, 456-460 

*Featured Front Cover of June Issue*
Reprinted with Permission of the Nature Publishing Group, London


Impact of the scholarship

The value of the Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship goes far beyond its monetary amount.  Since winning the award I have received accolades from both academic and industrial organizations.  The scholarship has increased my professional network and allowed me to attend several crystallography-oriented conferences.  I am very grateful to the ICDD for establishing a crystallography directed scholarship award, which any aspiring crystallographer would be honored to receive. 



Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada (2014)
Department of Energy (DOE) - Travel Award (2013)
NSERC (CGS D) - Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship (2011-2014)


Professional Pursuits

I am currently completing my Ph. D. thesis in Chemistry. Once complete, I plan to pursue material science oriented research in an academic or industrial setting while utilizing the powerful tools of X-ray diffraction.



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