AEI: Exploring solvent effects and mechanisms for organic reactions using computational methods

COMP 210

Orlando Acevedo, and William L. Jorgensen, Department of Chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8107
Density functional theory (DFT) and QM/MM simulations have been carried out on a series of organic reactions to explore the origin of solvent effects on reaction rates and mechanisms. Presented is the influence of dipolar aprotic and protic solvents and ionic liquids on SNAr, Kemp decarboxylation, Cope elimination and Diels-Alder reactions. Obtaining quantitative agreement with experimental free energies and geometries required development of improved force fields, methodology, and sampling. My career goals include: (1) building a research program focused upon the application and development of new computational tools that target drug discovery, organic and enzymatic catalyst design, and alternative environmentally friendly solvent design, (2) encouraging minority students to pursue the field of chemistry. I am prepared to teach General, Organic, and Physical Chemistry courses.