North Florida College's Dr. Manoharan Mariappan Presented Innovative Research at American Chemical Society's Annual Meeting, published in Nature Communications Chemistry

MADISON, FL (April 20, 2023) – North Florida College (NFC) is proud to announce the recent presentation of Dr. Manoharan Mariappan's collaborative research at the 2023 American Chemical Society's Annual Meeting. The paper, titled "Ionic Bergman cyclization-triggered cycloaromatization cascade: A low energy path to graphene nanoribbon-metal hybrid materials," highlights the innovative work he has been conducting in the field of Computationally Organic Chemistry.

In an interview, Dr. Mariappan explains how the research team, led by Dr. Dinesh Vidhani, discovered a novel cyclization that leads to a zwitterionic system by using quantum chemical computations. While their research initially focused on electronic materials, they ended up uncovering new cascade cyclizations of Bergman cyclizations, which allowed them to propose efficient electronic materials such as copper- and gold-substituted polyaromatic compounds.

The significance of the research cannot be overstated as metal-substituted polyaromatic compounds can be used as new materials in various electronic industries. These materials' electronic band gap is even smaller than the material currently available in electronic devices, such as those made by Apple and Samsung.

Dr. Mariappan believes that these compounds can be tested and proven effective by experimental organic chemists in a wet lab, and once proven, they can be used as new materials in various electronic industries. Dr. Mariappan stated, “Our research work provides an excellent opportunity for future chemists to explore new possibilities in the field of electronic materials." NFC takes pride in having strong faculty members like Dr. Mariappan, who are dedicated to research and bringing their findings back to their academic life.

When asked how he would use this research in his courses, Dr. Mariappan explains that he would use the research materials in organic chemistry courses when teaching the reactions of conjugated systems and the applications of UV-VIS spectroscopy. He also plans to extend his research work with the assistance of excellent students in Organic Chemistry and General Chemistry II.

Dr. Mariappan was asked about the impact of presenting the collaborative findings at the ACS Annual Meeting. He expressed his great honor at having the research published in the prestigious Nature Communications Chemistry, an open access journal from Nature Portfolio. He also mentioned that presenting the paper at the ACS National Meeting gave him, his collaborators and their work international recognition. Furthermore, their presentation would be published not only in ACS publishers but also on Research Gate and Google Scholar sites.

Dr. Mariappan's co-presentation at the ACS’s Annual Meeting is a significant achievement and highlights the NFC's commitment to having an excellent faculty for future scientifically inclined students. Dr. Mariappan's research work shows that NFC faculty members are capable of conducting world-class research in their respective fields, with the aim to inspire students to pursue a career in science.

Dr. Dinesh Vidhani, the project director and principal investigator, is a colleague from their time working together at Florida State University. Dr. Vidhani is a distinguished multidisciplinary scientist with a PhD degree from Florida State University. He was mentored by the esteemed organometallic chemist Dr. Marie E. Krafft, and subsequently served as a research associate and research faculty-I at FSU before joining the faculty at Miami Dade College. As an independent scientist, Dr. Vidhani has dedicated his career to the pursuit of knowledge and discovery. Over the years, his research group has explored a wide range of topics with profound implications for society, including the development of novel drug molecules that target the deadly SARS-COV-2 virus, the exploration of kappa opioid receptor inhibitors, and the optimization of semiconductor efficiency.

Members of the research group also included students Rosemary Ubeda and Thalia Sautie from the Department of Math & Natural Science at Miami Dade College, and Diana Vidhani from Miami Dade Virtual School.

Throughout his research, Dr. Vidhani has been at the forefront of scientific discovery, constantly pushing the boundaries of knowledge.

In regards to the collaboration, Dr. Vidhani had this to say, "Working with Dr. Mariappan was a great experience. It allowed us to bring together our expertise in computational and experimental chemistry, and develop a research project that resulted in significant findings. Our work in discovering the low-energy path to graphene nanoribbon-metal hybrid materials through ionic Bergman cyclization-triggered cycloaromatization cascade was both exciting and rewarding. It's a great feeling to have our work published in a prestigious journal like Nature."

North Florida College is proud to have Dr. Mariappan and to be able to showcase the exceptional quality of our faculty to future students interested in scientific research.

Dr. Mariappan's research is an excellent example of the kind of groundbreaking work that is being done by NFC faculty members, and the college is committed to providing students with the opportunity to learn from the best and brightest in the scientific community to prepare them for success in their future careers.


Manoharan Mariappan, PhD, North Florida College Chemistry Professor

Manoharan Mariappan PhD

Dinesh Vidhani, PhD, Miami Dade College Assistant Professor in Chemistry

Dr. Dinesh Vidhani