1-Methyl-3-alkyl-2(3H)imidazolethione Complexes of Metal Halides: A Thematic-Ligand Approach to Involve Undergraduates in Research Projects
A method that we have used to attract undergraduates into research projects incorporates a thematicligand approach using a class of thiourea-type ligands known as 1-methyl-3-alkyl-2(3H)-imidazolethiones (mait) to make new metal and nonmetal halide addition products never before reported in the literature. A related selenium analog and a bidentate thione are also employed in the process, which to date has produced 24 new compounds. Twenty-one student co-authors, 10 female and 11 male, have been involved in the presentation of these results in a total of 15 published in peer-reviewed journals and in 13 presentations at regional, national, or international symposia. The students start the work as a team research project in an intermediate inorganic synthesis laboratory course by first making the ligand and then its addition product which is characterized by standard methods during the course. Many of the attempts are failures, but teams that produce new compounds often go on to research projects that result in further structural characterization through collaborative efforts with the Georgia Institute of Technology or with Clemson University. A case study involving the synthesis and characterization of 1-methyl-3-(2-propyl)-imidazole-2(3H)-thione (mipit) and its bismuth trichloride adduct, BiCl3 (mipit)2 is presented in this report.
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