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Arsalan Mirjafari, Ph.D. - Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers, FL, US

Arsalan Mirjafari, Ph.D. Arsalan Mirjafari, Ph.D.

Expert in materials chemistry | Florida Gulf Coast University


Arsalan Mirjafari develops materials to solve major societal challenges, such as resources, health and energy.





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Arsalan Mirjafari, Ph.D., is an associate professor of chemistry at Florida Gulf Coast University. He has been working on development of cutting-edge organic materials, particularly ionic liquids, for over 18 years. His research interests cover all aspects of the science of ionic liquids, from their synthesis and fundamental physicochemical properties to their applications in sustainable energy and materials as well as medicine.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Material Characterization

Materials Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

Ionic Liquids

Education (4)

University of South Alabama: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Chemistry 2012

University of Isfahan: Ph.D., Organic Chemistry 2009

University of Isfahan: M.S., Organic Chemistry 2003

University of Isfahan: B.S., Chemistry 2000

Affiliations (2)

  • American Chemical Society : Member
  • Materials Research Society : Member

Languages (2)

  • English
  • Farsi

Selected Media Appearances (2)

FGCU chemistry department makes hand sanitizer for campus, local hospitals

NBC2  tv


Dr. Mirajafari and FGCU chemistry students develop hand sanitizer to donate to local healthcare workers.

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FGCU chemistry students, professor make hand sanitizer

Fox 4  tv


Dr. Mirajafari and FGCU chemistry students develop hand sanitizer to donate to local healthcare workers.

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Selected Event Appearances (3)

Insights into structure-property relationships in thioether-based amphiphlic ionic liquids

American Chemical Society National Meeting  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


One click away from products: Click chemistry as a powerful tool for the synthesis of ionic liquids for undergraduate chemistry students

American Chemical Society National Meeting  Orlando, Florida


Ionic liquids and click chemistry: A promising combination for development of functional materials with diverse applications

American Chemical Society National Meeting  Washington, D.C.


Patents (1)

Long-term DNA preservation and storage at ambient temperature

US 2020/0080131 A1

Finding a suitable medium for dissolution of DNA without losing their structures (denaturation) and stay stable for a long period is major challenge in the field of DNA nanotechnology. This work introduces a novel class of aprotic-protic ionic liquids (APILs) possessing two aprotic and protic domains for ultra-long-term DNA preservation and storage at ambient temperature. The chemistry was employed herein is facile and cost-effective. These materials described herein alleviate the need of cryogens and freezers, allowing storage of the DNA molecules at ambient lab temperatures in the presence of water. Importantly, this would allow DNA-APILs system directly to an amplification process without being subjected to prior DNA extraction, purification or quantification.

Selected Research Grants (3)

Rapid identification and quantification of heavy metals and microplastics in CBD oil

The Consortium for Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Research $65,643


Project narrative: Cannabis has shown great promise for the treatment of many medical conditions. There are, however, substantial uncertainties surrounding the nature and content of contaminants in cannabis plants. This project aims to develop reliable, rapid, efficient, inexpensive techniques for the determination of key contaminants within the cannabis plant and to accelerate research in this promising industry to ensure consumer/patient safety Anticipated impact: This project intends to provide a better understanding of the contaminants present in medicinal products derived from the cannabis plant. Ensuring that these medicinal products are free of toxins is essential for public health.

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Click synthesis and physicochemical characterization of amphiphile ionic liquids with enhanced fluidity and diverse functionalities

ACS Petroleum Research Fund−Undergraduate Research (UR) Grants $70,000

2018 In this proposal, we received funding to synthesize a thoughtfully conceived library of novel ionic liquids with profoundly enhanced fluidity. The “click” reactions are utilized to incorporate a diverse array of functionalities into the ionic liquid structures in quantitative yields. They are scrutinized using key physicochemical analyses, i.e., melting point, glass transition temperature, thermal stability, density, and temperature-dependent viscosity, which together will provide us insight into their structure–properties relationship. Our objective is to create low-melting and chemically-stable ionic liquids with long non-polar side chains, which impart non-polar-like solvent properties to the compounds, thus rendering them capable of dissolving larger amounts of non-polar solutes (e.g. hydrocarbons) than traditional ionic liquids. In this respect, the mutual miscibility limits of the proposed ionic liquids with hydrocarbons for aliphatic/aromatic separation and extraction of sulfur-containing polyaromatics will be investigated.

Acquisition of a 400 MHz NMR spectrometer to support undergraduate research and chemical education at Florida Gulf Coast University

National Science Foundation $274,466

2015 With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) and support from the Chemistry Research Instrumentation Program (CRIF), Florida Gulf Coast University acquired a 400 MHz NMR spectrometer. The instrument will allow research in different areas including organic synthesis and materials, peptide, forensic and inorganic chemistry and enhance the teaching program at the university. The research will impact areas of biological and environmental interest including DNA stability, anti-viral peptides, precursors to novel drugs and gas adsorption materials. In general, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the most powerful tools available to chemists for the elucidation of the structure of molecules. It is used to identify unknown substances, to characterize specific arrangements of atoms within molecules, and to study the dynamics of interactions between molecules in solution. Access to state-of-the-art NMR spectrometers is essential to chemists who are carrying out frontier research. This instrument will be an integral part of teaching as well as research performed by undergraduate students at Florida Gulf Coast University. The NMR will also increase the chemistry department's capability to collaborate with local law enforcement institutions on drug identification as well as with local bio-tech companies. The proposal is aimed at enhancing research and education at all levels, especially in areas such as synthesizing (a) bio-inspired ionic liquids; (b) medicinally relevant natural products; (c) bioactive molecules; (d) studying structure and function of membrane disruptive anti-viral peptides; (e) studying forensic applications of NMR with concentration in long-term structural and chemical stability of DNA; and (f) studying metal-organic materials from pillared discrete structures.

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Selected Articles (3)

Autocatalytic synthesis of bifluoride ionic liquids by SuFEx Click Chemistry

Angewandte Chemie International Edition

Taha Hmissa; Dr. Xiaofei Zhang; Dr. Nilesh R. Dhumal; Dr. Gregory J. McManus; Dr. Xu Zhou; Dr. Hunaid B. Nulwala; Dr. Arsalan Mirjafari

2018 Ionic liquids with bifluoride anions possess properties such as high conductivity, wide electrochemical windows, and low viscosity that make them attractive materials for various electrochemical devices. However, owing to the lack of reliable synthetic routes, bifluoride‐based ionic liquids have seldom been explored. Herein, an autocatalytic strategy for the HF‐free synthesis of bifluoride‐based sulfonamide ionic liquids based on the sulfur(VI) fluoride exchange (SuFEx) reaction is reported. This reaction requires no chromatographic purification, and yields are quantitative. The thermophysical properties (phase transition behavior and decomposition temperature) and electrochemical stabilities of the resulting products were studied. The products with alkyl, aryl, and perfluoroalkyl side chains exhibited extraordinarily wide electrochemical windows (up to 6.0 V) with reproducible results among multiple replicate measurements.

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Ionic liquid syntheses via click chemistry: expeditious routes toward versatile functional materials

Chemical Communications

Arsalan Mirjafari

2018 Since the introduction of click chemistry by K. B. Sharpless in 2001, its exploration and exploitation has occurred in countless fields of materials sciences in both academic and industrial spheres. Click chemistry is defined as an efficient, robust, and orthogonal synthetic platform for the facile formation of new carbon–heteroatom bonds, using readily available starting materials. Premier examples of click reactions are copper(I)-catalyzed azide–alkyne Huisgen cycloaddition (CuAAC) and the thiol–X (X = ene and yne) coupling reactions to form C–N and C–S bonds, respectively. The emphasis of this review is centered on the rapidly expanding area of click chemistry-mediated synthesis of functional ionic liquids via CuAAC, thiol–X and oxime formation, and selected examples of nucleophilic ring-opening reactions, while offering some thoughts on emerging challenges, opportunities and ultimately the evolution of this field. Click chemistry offers tremendous opportunities, and introduces intriguing perspectives for efficient and robust generation of tailored task-specific ionic liquids – an important class of soft materials.

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Ionic liquids with thioether motifs as synthetic cationic lipids for gene delivery

Chemical Communications

Jamie C. Gaitor, Lauren M. Paul, Melissa M. Reardon, Taha Hmissa, Samuel Minkowicz, Matthew Regner, Yinghong Sheng, Scott F. Michael, Sharon Isern and Arsalan Mirjafari

2017 This study introduces a novel class of imidazolium- and ammonium-based ionic liquids possessing two C12 and C14 tails and thioether linkers designed for lipoplex-mediated DNA delivery. Imidazolium-based ionic liquids displayed efficient gene delivery properties with low toxicity. Thiol–yne click chemistry was employed for the facile and robust synthesis of these thioether-based cationic lipioids with enhanced lipophilicity and low fluidity.

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