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Tamara Hanna

2004 - 2005 CSIP Fellow

Research Interest:
Chemistry and Chemical Biology


I am finishing my second year of graduate school, currently working towards my Ph.D. in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. My research involves the functionalization and activation of dinitrogen by titanium, and understanding when dinitrogen will bind to a metal based on its ligand substituents. My project involves the use of equipment such as a high vacuum line and a drybox, as most of the molecules I work with are air and water sensitive.
The information gained in this project could eventually help to make the production of nitrogen-containing organic molecules catalytic.

As an inorganic chemist, most of the reactions I run are highly colored. I am interested in bringing these colors into the classroom, perhaps in a lab that allows students to synthesize cobalt complexes from simple starting materials and examine the crystallinity of these compounds by growing their own crystals. By changing the solvent or temperature, the students can see under which conditions the crystals grow best. I like making chemistry fun, so instead of just teaching balancing equations and stoichiometry, I think a lab that allows students to make esters (to create yummy smells like pineapple, citrus and wintergreen) by combining the proper number of moles of reactants would be an interesting way to enforce lecture material. I have a whole collection of demos and experiments that can brighten any chemistry class and I hope to find chemistry teachers as excited as myself to show these students how exhilarating science can be!





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