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Dr. Curtis Zaleski

Professor of Inorganic Chemistry

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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)        Lutter, J. C.; Zaleski, C. M.; Pecoraro, V. L. “Metallacrowns: Supramolecular Constructs with Potential in Extended Solids, Solution-State Dynamics, Molecular Magnetism, and Imaging”  In Advances in Inorganic Chemistry;van Eldik, R. and Puchta, R., Eds.; Academic Press: Cambridge, MA, 2018; Vol. 71, pp 177 – 246.

(2)        Atzeri, C.; Marzaroli, V.; Quaretti, M.; Travis, J. R.#; Di Bari, L.; Zaleski, C. M.; Tegoni, M. “Elucidation of 1H-NMR Paramagnetic Features of Heterotrimetallic Lanthanide(III)/Manganese(III) 12-Metallacrown-4 Complexes” Inorg. Chem. 2017, 56, 8257-8269.

(3)        Boron, T. T., III; Lutter, J. C.#; Daly, C. I.#; Chow, C. Y.; Davis, A. H.; Nimthong-Roldán, R.; Zeller, M.; Kampf, J. W.; Zaleski, C. M.; Pecoraro, V. L. “The Nature of the Bridging Anion Controls the Single-Molecule Magnetic Properties of DyX4M 12-Metallacrown-4 Complexes” Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 10597 - 10607.

(4)        Travis, J. R.#; Zeller, M.; Zaleski, C. M. “Facile Carboxylate Ligand Variation of Heterotrimetallic 12-Metallacrown-4 Complexes” Polyhedron 2016, 114, 29 – 36.

(5)        Travis, J. R.#; Zeller, M.; Zaleski, C. M. “Crystal structure of tetraaqua(dimethylformamide) tetrakis(l-N,2-dioxidobenzene-1-carboximidato)tetrakis(l-trimethylacetato)tetramanganese(III)sodiumyttrium–dimethylformamide–water (1/8.04/0.62)” Acta Cryst. 2015, E71, 1300 – 1306.

(6)        Chow, C. Y.; Trivedi, E. R.; Pecoraro, V.; Zaleski, C. M. “Heterometallic Mixed 3d-4f Metallacrowns: Structural Versatility, Molecular Magnetism, and Luminescence” Comments Inorg. Chem. 2015, 35, 214 – 253.  [This article was selected as the cover feature for the 2015 volume.]

(7)        Zaleski, C. M.; Lutter, J. C.#; Zeller, M. “Crystallization of the MnII[12-MCMnIII(N)shi-4]2+ Structure with 1,2,4-Triazolate from Methanol” J. Chem. Crystallogr. 2015, 45, 142 – 150.

(8)        Mengle, K. A.#; Longenecker, E. J.#; Zeller, M.; Zaleski, C. M. “One-Dimensional Coordination Polymers of 12-Metallacrown-4 Complexes: {Na2(L)2[12-MCMnIII(N)shi-4]}n, where L is either -O2CCH2CH3 or -O2CCH2CH2CH3J. Chem. Crystallogr. 2015, 45, 36 – 43.

(9)        Daly, C. I.#; Zeller, M.; Zaleski, C. M. “Crystal Structure of Di-m-chloro­acetato-hexa­kis­(di­methyl­formamide)­tetra­kis­(m-N,2-dioxido­benzene-1-carboximidato)tetra­manganese(III)disodium di­methyl­formamide disolvate” Acta Cryst. 2014, E70, 494 – 498.

(10)      Azar, M. R.#; Boron, T. T., III; Lutter, J. C.#; Daly, C. I.#; Zegalia, K. A.#; Nimthong, R.; Ferrence, G. M.; Zeller, M.; Kampf, J. W.; Pecoraro, V. L.; Zaleski, C. M. “Controllable Formation of Heterotrimetallic Coordination Compounds – Systematically Incorporating Lanthanide and Alkali Metal Ions into the Manganese 12-Metallacrown-4 Framework” Inorg. Chem. 2014, 53, 1729 – 1742.

Current Group Members

  • Collin Foley
  • Lauren Stains
  • Rachel Rheams

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.