The chelation of heavy metals is of great importance due to the wide variety of applications, such as nuclear waste remediation, MRI contrast agents, and chelation therapy. Carbamoylmethyl phosphine oxides (CMPOs) are currently used as bidentate chelating agents in the TRUEX process, which is involved in nuclear waste remediation. However, many metals require a greater denticity for efficient chelation. Our lab’s current interest lies in preorganizing these ligands with a tripodal cap to produce more efficient and selective binding agents by taking advantage of the chelate effect. By derivatizing these tripodal CMPOs, we hope to increase the variety of target metals and applications. Current efforts towards the synthesis of these compounds will be described.
Faculty Mentor: Shannon Biros, Chemistry