Catch ⁹₄Be if you can : exploiting second-sphere hydrogen bonding toward chelation of beryllium : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand
Beryllium is a crucial metal in the automotive, aviation, nuclear and consumer industries. The unique combination of high rigidity, low density, thermal stability and conductivity makes it highly useful in consumer products such as cell phones and computers. However, beryllium is considered to be the most toxic non-radioactive element, a class A carcinogen, and the cause oflife-threatening chronic beryllium disease. Even with its poor reputation, its use is continued in commercial, industrial, and governmental applications. In contrast, the efforts to understand beryllium's fundamental chemistry have been severely neglected. We are interested in developing a suite of chemical chelators which show strong and selective binding towards beryllium. These studies will lead to specific applications such as the detection of beryllium in the environment, protocols to remediate its contamination, and therapies for individuals exposed to its toxicity. This work will focus on both the computational studies of tetradentate ligands and their synthesis. These have been designed to bind strongly to beryllium.