Research interest and current projects

Molecular and Materials Chemistry, Metal-Metal Multiple Bonds, Organometallic Chemistry

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Research in our group currently encompasses almost all of the elements of the periodic table. We are currently investigating a large number of research projects that are attempting to address topical, but yet fundamental problems in the fields of inorganic, organometallic and materials chemistry. These projects can be separated into several general areas:

MM Quadruple Bond Complex:
Compounds with multiple bonds between metal atoms are of interest in terms of their structure, bonding, spectroscopy, and reactivity. Our group has an active program in exploring all aspects of the above. We have shown that these compounds are synthetically useful as "inorganic functional groups" and can be used in selective organic transformations, e.g., as templates for carbon-carbon, carbon-hydrogen, and carbon-oxygen bond cleavage and formation, and as the building blocks for clusters and polymers. Indeed it seems that M-M multiple bonds could provide entry into new classes of polymers and liquid crystals with fascinating optical, magnetic, and electronic properties. Also, M-M multiple bonds may be used to form copolymers with organic molecules leading to materials with novel properties.

Degradable Polymers Catalysis:
Polymer Catalysis. Functionalized lactides find use as drug delivery agents, biodegradable polymers and in tissue engineering. Polyethers find numerous applications as such materials as SpandexTM and LycraTM and in the synthesis of polyurethanes. Recently we have been developing single site metal alkoxide catalysts (LnMOR) for the ring-opening polymerization of strained cyclic esters such as L-lactide. Since many of these polymers have medicinal applications, the selection of the metal and ligands can be critical as the catalyst can remain entrained in the polymer at ppm levels.

Within these topics there are great opportunities for creative synthetic endeavors in conjunction with mechanistic and theoretical studies as well as a need for the utilization of a wide range of physical methods in the characterization of molecules and materials.