• Name: Leslie A. Nickerson, Ph.D.
  • Institution: Idaho State University
  • Department: Chemistry
  • Phone: 208-282-2668
  • Email: leslienickerson@isu.edu

Summary: Research in the Nickerson lab is focused on adapting traditional organic transformations that use metal-halide based Lewis acids to more sustainable processes using Lewis acidic heterogeneous materials such as clays and zeolites. This adjustment makes methods safer and more sustainable because the heterogeneous materials are easily recycled and reused and the waste production is far less than when using traditional Lewis acids. Current projects are focused on modifying the Friedel-Crafts acylation, ester hydrolysis, and the Prins-pinacol rearrangement.

Minimum classes: Preference will be given to students that have completed organic chemistry I and II.

Projects: Summer students can be incorporated into either of the projects to help establish consistent and reliable methodologies. They can also be part of the substrate scope expansion to identify the limitations for each project. The proposed research will provide student researchers valuable skills in organic synthesis, method development and materials chemistry. Students will learn organic chemistry techniques, experimental design with an emphasis on safety considerations, data analysis, and spectroscopic techniques including NMR and GC. This work will be ideal for any students that want to learn more about implementing sustainable methods in organic chemistry.

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