Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Robert N. Compton

Committee Members

Robert Hinde, Joseph Macek, Stuart Elston, Chuck Feigerle


Chirality is subtle geometric property where objects lack reflection plane symmetry. In this thesis I study three chiral molecules using a combination of experimental and theoretical methods to elucidate the relationships between conformation freedom, solvent choice, and temperature. The importance of nuclear motion when predicting the optical rotation is explored. For carvone, corrections with each nuclear mode coordinate is important. Predictions of the ORD have the incorrect sign without the inclusion of vibrational corrections. For the case of two newly synthesized amino acid derivatives the vibrational corrections did not correct the sign of the calculated ORD to bring it into agreement with experiment. This case is still an unanswered question. Additionally, I measured the negative ion properties of the dehydrogenated amino acid derivatives and a cluster of the dehydrogenated ion and neutral with collision induced dissociation and used these results to estimate the bond dissociation energies.

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