Year of Publication


Document Type



Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Arthur Cammers-Goodwin


Although molybdenum blue solutions have been known for more than twocenturies, an understanding of their chemical nature is only beginning to emerge.This dissertation aimed at elucidating the structural nature of the polydisperse,nanoscopic components in the solution phases and the solid states of partiallyreduced polyoxomolybdate (Mo-POM). The study offered at least fourcontributions to the area: (1) a rational protocol for the molecular recognition ofMo-POM with de novo organic hosts. (2) demonstration of kinetic precipitation ofa dynamic mixture of polyoxomolybdates and application of the technique to thestudy of the dynamic mixture by TEM (3) characterization of the Mo-POMnanostructures by an unusual combination of complementary analyticaltechniques. (4) a general approach for the synthesis of crown-ethers-containingtripodal molecules.The molecular recognition of Mo-POM with designer tripodal hexaminetris-crown ethers opened a window to the solution phase structures of Mo-POMnanoscopic components. Studies with a series of structurally analogous hostsprobed the relationship between the structure of the molecular host and theformation of nanostructures.An unusual combination of complementary analytical protocols: flow fieldflowfractionation, electron microscopy (transmission and scanning), andinductively coupled plasma – emission spectroscopy, was used to monitor thesolution-phase evolution of Mo-POM nanostructures. The crystallization – drivenformation of keplerate Mo-POM and solution-phase evolution of structurallyrelated nanoscopic species were apparent in the self-assembling process ofpartially reduced Mo-POM.