Garner Research Group News

June 2022: I attended the Catalysis Gordon Research Conference at Colby-Sawyer College. There were lots of good presentations and the weather was wonderfully cool. I gave poster on our GC catalysis work.

February 2022: A new graduate student, Mark Wilson, has joined the Garner Research Group. Mark did his undergrad work at Rhodes College and is working on the “low-cost fixed-bed reactor project. Welcome Mark!

January 2022: Breanna’s paper “A crystalline, internally-coordinated chloroborane for asymmetric hydroboration” has been accepted at Tetrahedron!  The finalized paper can be seen here.

July 2021: Dr. Garner has again been selected as an ACS Science Coach. He has been working with Memphis University School chemistry teacher Analice Sowell since fall of 2020. Last academic year we accomplished the synthesis and testing of a superabsorbent polymer in her Materials Science class. This is the material used in disposable diapers, and can absorb 1000 times its weight in DI water, though only about 50X of liquids with dissolved salts as encountered in diapers.

July 2021: Seminar to ACS “Project SEED” students

On July 22nd, Dr. Garner presented a seminar “The importance of “keeping your eyes open”: Learning to consider the value of the unexpected.” to approximately 150 high school students planning to study chemistry as undergraduates. I used the most famous examples of important discoveries that were not the original goals of the research, such as the discoveries of Teflon, penicillin and microwave heating. This was done using Zoom, and student participation in the “active learning” parts was good.

Summer 2021: Prospectus oral exams

Both Breanna von Dollen and William Hutcherson have passed their Prospectus oral exams, in which the outline of their dissertations and aspects of their projects to be completed have been described. The “road ahead” is clear, happy researching to both of you!

End of Spring 2020 Semester

This unusual semester came to an end with undergrad researcher Jared Kaiser graduating with a BS in chemistry; he plans to take a gap year before medical school. In other news, Bre von Dollen and William Hutcherson have completed their MS degrees and are on course for the PhD degree. Congratulations to all.


Mole Day 2019 poster presentation

Senior undergrad Jared Kaiser presented his work at Rhodes College’s Mole Day celebration on Tuesday October 22nd, titled “A new way to use a GC to study heterogeneous catalysis.”. And he won a second place award. Congratulations Jared!

Summer 2019 News

Our full paper describing quantitative aspects of vapor diffusion crystallization has been accepted at Dalton Transactions. It can be accessed here (requires institutional access). This is the first time anyone has reported the volume or composition changes over time for any diffusing solvent combinations. We identified about two dozen combinations that give greater solvent parameter changes than does the widely-used ether/dichloromethane example. Hopefully this data will help other research groups to better plan out vapor diffusion crystallizations.

Below is a movie of three vapor diffusions, all containing a speck of Reichardt’s dye, a very solvatochromic material. On the left is methanol diffusing into triethylamine, a rare combination that diffuses with no volume change, yet results in very significant diffusion (64 mol% MeOH in the inner vial at 24 h!). It begins colorless because the dye is insoluble in the very nonpolar triethylamine. But around the 6 hr mark, the dye begins to dissolve, giving a blue, then purple and finally a reddish solution (the dye in pure methanol is red). The center one is pentane diffusing into 1,2-dichloroethane, and on the right is benzene diffusing into NMP.

Movie #2 MeOH into TEA etc

NOS 2019

Dr. Garner attended the 2019 National Organic Symposium at Indiana University, presenting on recent results of our vapor diffusion crystallization study.

Ex-undergrad starts grad school

Last summer’s undergraduate, Quentin Savage, has graduated from University of Tennessee Martin, and has begun graduate school at Baylor University working on total synthesis in the laboratory of Professor John Wood. Best wishes, Quentin!


January 2019 News

We welcome three new undergrads to the lab. Harmeet Singh is working with David on the nitrogen ligand project.  Emmie Chambers is working with Breanna on the chiral borane project. And Nancy Pont Bryant is working directly with Dr. Garner on the immobilized NLO materials project. Undergrad Jared Kaiser is now working with William on the GC reaction project.


November 2018 News

Our group gave two posters at the Southwest Regional ACS meeting in Little Rock.  The posters were SWRM 162 “Using a GC injection port as a reactor:
rapid discovery of metal-catalyzed reactions.” with undergraduate Jared Kaiser, and SWRM 365 “An internally-coordinated chiral alkylchloroborane:
determining asymmetric induction in hydroboration without oxidation.” with undergraduate Quentin Savage.

October 2018 News

Welcome William Hutcherson!

William comes to U of M from Austin Peay State University and will be working on the reaction discovery project, along with undergrad Jared Kaiser.


September 2018 News

We are back into the academic workflow. Except for autosampler downtime, instruments are working well. In the catalysis project, new reactions are being discovered most every week.  In the lab, David Ide and Jared Kaiser continue their projects, and Bre von Dollen will be joining them (see below).


Welcome Breanna (“Bre”) von Dollen!

Bre comes to U of M from the University of Tennessee, Martin program and will be working on the chiral chloroborane project. The goals of this project are to develop new applications of a crystalline, enantiomerically pure borane reagent that has both hydride and chloro functionalities. As such, it can be used for both hydroborations and carbonyl reductions, including intramolecular variations.


July 2018 News

Ayumi is leaving for Texas, where her husband has accepted an Assistant Professor position in psychology at Prairie View A&M. We’ll miss her joyful and hardworking presence here. Best wishes, Ayumi.


Summer 2018 News

I have four lab workers this summer:

Ayumi Shigemoto (Visiting Scientist, BS and MS in Chemical Engineering)

David Ide (graduate student, BS from UT Chattanooga)

Jared Kaiser (U of M undergraduate)

Quentin Savage (summer undergrad from UT Martin)

After much work replacing seals, gloves, etc., our glove box has achieved dryness. In fact, it is soooo dry that we read -16% relative humidity! This is an artifact of the inexpensive gauge we are using, but prior experience has shown that figure is very close to the maximum dryness I have ever observed for a box of this type.  Our two GCs and the GC-MS are functioning well, and the last few loose ends from lab-setup are quickly being tied up. We are beginning to get some serious synthesis and analysis accomplished!  And our lab has to be one of the coldest places in Memphis (that’s a good thing).


June 7th, 2018: Open House

Today we held an “open house” for our laboratory to showcase how far it has come from a neglected and cluttered physical chemistry lab to a bright, clean and functional organic research lab. This required a huge effort, aided much by Ayumi Shigemoto and more recently by David Ide and Jared Kaiser. Much lab-setup and organization was required, and Jared did a fair bit of painting. About 15 grad students and faculty attended the late-afternoon get-together.


May 15th, 2018

U of Memphis grad student David Ide has joined my laboratory and has already shown an aptitude for lab-setup. David will be working on some new tridentate ligands based on 2,6-bis-hydrazinopyridine. Welcome!


March 23, 2018

Ayumi Shigemoto has joined my laboratory. She holds BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering, and has done a lot of organic synthesis and analysis. Ayumi is very knowledgable in capillary gas chromatography, very helpful in a couple of my projects. She contacted me looking for a chemistry-related way to spend a couple of days each week, and I am so glad she did.


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