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Dr. Curtis Zaleski

Professor of Inorganic Chemistry

Office: FSC 313

Phone: (717) 477-1522

View Dr. Zaleski's website.

Research Introduction

Research in the Zaleski group focuses on coordination chemistry and magnetochemistry. Working with a class of inorganic molecules known as metallacrowns, we are investigating the electronic and magnetic properties of these compounds. To synthesize these metallacrowns, we strive to use readily available ligands. Hopefully these molecules will have interesting magnetic properties and behave as single-molecule magnets.

Technical Summary

So what are metallacrowns and single-molecule magnets (SMMs)? Metallacrowns are the inorganic analogues to organic crown ethers. Metallacrowns contain a M-N-O repeat unit and often contain multiple metal centers in an individual molecule. Due to the high density of metal centers in one molecule, they potentially have interesting magnetic properties, such as single-molecule magnetism. SMMs are molecules that contain a single magnetic domain within a metal-based complex. In ac magnetic susceptibility experiments, the SMM behavior is manifested as a frequency dependent signal. The cause of the signal is the slow relaxation of the magnetization of the molecule. The magnetization is hindered by an energy barrier which is equal to S2|D|, where S is the ground spin state and D is the magnetoanisotropy of the molecule. Thus by increasing the spin of the molecule or by increasing the anisotropy of the molecule, a better SMM can be synthesized. The goal is to produce SMMs with high operating temperatures.

We are also collaborating with Dr. Vincent Pecoraro at the University of Michigan and Dr. Matteo Tegoni at the University of Parma. Please check out the Pecoraro group and Tegoni group webpages to find out more about their research.

Recent Publications

# Indicates Shippensburg University Undergraduate Student Researcher Co-author

(1) Scalia, J. C.#; Zeller, M.; Zaleski, C. M. Synthesis and Crystal Structure of an Adjoined Metallacrown: An Archetypal 12-Metallacrown-4 Connected to a Collapsed 11-Metallacrown-4. J. Chem. Crystallogr. 2023, 53, 307-320.

(2) Aziz, O. A.#; Zeller, M.; Zaleski, C. M. Crystal Structure of a Heterotrimetallic 12-metallacrown-4 with 2-Propylvalerate Anion Bridges. Acta Cryst. 2022, E78, 1178-1183.

(3) Salerno, E. V.; Foley, C. M.#; Marzaroli, V.; Schneider, B. L.; Sharin, M. D.; Kampf, J. W.; Marchiò, L.; Zeller, M.; Guillot, R.; Mallah, T.; Tegoni, M.; Pecoraro, V. L.; Zaleski, C. M. Unique Dimerization Topology and Countercation Binding Modes in 12-Metallacrown-4 Compounds. Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., 2022, 2022, e202200439.

(4) Lutter, J. C.; Zaleski, C. M. A Structural Examination of Metallacrowns with Main Group Elements in the Ring Positions. In Advances in Metallacrown Chemistry; Zaleski, C. M., Ed.; Spinger Nature: Cham, Switzerland, 2022; pp 333 – 377.

(5) Aziz, O. A.#; Zeller, M.; Zaleski, C. M. Crystal structure of an indium-salicylhydroximate complex cation: [In4(H2shi)8(H2O)6](NO3)4·8.57H2O. Acta Cryst. 2022, E78, 926 – 931.

(6) Elisseva, S. V.; Travis, J. R.#; Nagy, S. G.#; Smihosky, A. M.#; Foley, C. M.#; Kauffman, A. C.#; Zaleski, C. M.; Petoud, S. Visible and Near-infrared Emitting Heterotrimetallic Lanthanide-Aluminum-Sodium 12-Metallacrown-4 Compounds: Discrete Monomers and Dimers. Dalton Trans. 2022, 51, 5989 – 5996.

(7) Lutter, J. C.; Boron, T. T., III; Chadwick, K. E.#; Davis, A. H.; Kleinhaus, S.; Kampf, J. W.; Zaleski, C. M.; Pecoraro, V. L. Identification of Slow Magnetic Relaxation and Magnetocoolant Capabilities of Heterobimetallic Lanthanide-Manganese Metallacrown-Like Compounds. Polyhedron 2021, 202, 115190.

(8) Michael, C. H.#; Zeller, M.; Zaleski, C. M. Syntheses and Crystal Structures of a Series of Dysprosium-Manganese-Sodium 12-Metallacrown-4 Compounds with Halogenated Benzoate Bridging Anions. J. Chem. Crystallogr. 2021, 51, 562 – 574.

(9) Foley, C. M.#; Armanious, M. A.#; Smihosky, A. M.#; Zeller, M; Zaleski, C. M. Syntheses and Crystal Structures of a Series of Manganese-Lanthanide-Sodium 12-Metallacrown-4 Dimers. J. Chem. Crystallogr. 2021, 51, 465 – 482.

(10) Travis, J. R.#; Smihosky, A. M.#; Kauffman, A. C.#; Ramstrom, S. E.#; Lewis, A. J.#; Nagy, S. G.#; Rheam, R. E.#; Zeller, M; Zaleski, C. M. Syntheses and Crystal Structures of Two Classes of Aluminum-Lanthanide-Sodium Heterotrimetallic 12-Metallacrown-4 Compounds: Individual Molecules and Dimers of Metallacrowns. J. Chem. Crystallogr. 2021, 51, 372 – 393.

Current Group Members

  • Ally Wood

  • Dakota Traver

  • Jaden Perrin

  • Adam Hasan

Previous Group Members

  • Benjamin Klahr: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Matthew Smith: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Brian Emerich: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Phillip Pickett: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Katelyn Moore: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Jacob Herring: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Christopher Lenivy: B.S. Biology Shippensburg University
  • Brian Sirovetz: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Nicole Walters: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Michael Azar: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Collin Bender: B.S. Geoenvironmental Studies Shippensburg University
  • Jacob Lutter: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Benjamin Tigyer: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Kelcie Zegalia: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Amy Melhorn: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Kelsey Mengle: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Ian Kuhn: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Jordan Travis: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Gerard Van Trieste: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Abigail Kauffman: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Sarah Nagy: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University
  • Alyssa Smihosky: B.S. Chemistry Shippensburg University

Personal Interests

Outside of chemistry, Dr. Zaleski enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, Washington Nationals baseball, Ohio State Buckeyes football, and anything science fiction.

Contact the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry 327 Franklin Science Center 1871 Old Main Drive Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1629 Fax: (717) 477-4048