Bachelor’s and Master’s Defences 2018

Traditionally, in the first half of June, our bachelor and master students defend their theses. This year there were 3 masters students and 2 bachelor students from our group. Here is how the students described their theses.

Alo Rüütel “Synthesis of bambusuril macrocycles and investigation of their binding properties”, master’s defence
In my master’s thesis, I synthesized bambusuril macrocycles. These receptor molecules are very potent anion binders. Usually, molecular receptors do not function in water because they are not able to bind target molecules with sufficient strength. Some bambusuril derivatives are able to function in aqueous media, which makes them a very special type of macrocyclic receptors. It is possible to use these molecules as ionophores for anion selective electrodes.

Ernesto de Jesus Zapata Flores “Determination of free diisocyanates in polyurethane foam”, master’s defence
My thesis focused on the test of a proposed method to analyze free diisocyanates in polyurethane foams for two reasons, by one side those compounds can represent a danger if care is not taken when the foam is used, and by the other side, new legislation is more aggressive against those compounds. The method is a simpler alternative to achieve the derivatization of diisocyanates.

Andre Leesment “Gas phase acidity measurements of superacids using FT-ICR method”, master’s defence

My master’s thesis was based on gas-phase acidity measurements of some very strong acids. Such strong acids are widely used in organic synthesis as reactants and/or catalysts. The anions of such acids exhibit high stability, which makes the valuable components of contemporary energy storing devices. The obtained results allow us to work on expanding the self-consistent gas-phase acidity scale with acids stronger than the ones experimentally measured so far.

 

Lisett Kiudorv “Quantitative analysis of clay components using ATR-FT-IR spectroscopy”, bachelor’s defence
The main purpose of my bachelor’s thesis was to develop a method that enables quantitative analysis of clays using ATR-FT-IR spectroscopy combined with the chemometric partial least squares method. The developed method is quick and easy to use and reduces the required sample size to around a milligram. The dramatic decrease in sample size makes it possible to analyse samples from archaeology and art. The method was then used to analyse six archaeological samples including one of the oldest potteries found in Estonia and an Egyptian pottery, which holds a bird’s mummy.

Elisabeth Parman “Determination of pKa values of fluorocompounds in water using 19F NMR”, bachelor’s defence
The main aim of my bachelor’s thesis was to determine pKa values of fluorocompounds in water using 19F NMR. This method is not particularly commonly used, but it can be used to verify or disconfirm values that have been measured with different methods, especially in cases where the measurements with other methods are problematic. For example, the purity and accurate concentration of the measured compound need to be concerned for most of the methods, but with 19F NMR it is not problematic.

 

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