Alexander Miller

Alexander Miller

Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies

   Kenan Laboratories A400
  Group Website
  Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Energy Catalysis, Synthetic Organometallic Chemistry, Metal-Ligand Cooperation

Research Synopsis

Research in the Miller group revolves around transformations relevant to global energy concerns, including the storage of solar energy in chemical fuels, proton-coupled electron transfer reactions, and hydrocarbon transformations. Our approach starts with the design and synthesis of transition metal catalysts, then shifts to examining catalyst performance with a focus on understanding reaction mechanism in order to inform catalyst improvements.

Our catalysts feature multifunctional ligands: beyond simply supporting the metal center, the ligands position additional functionality in the secondary coordination sphere of the metal and work in concert with the metal center to enhance key steps in catalytic cycles.

Professional Background

University of Chicago, BS, 2005; California Institute of Technology, PhD, 2011; Dreyfus Environmental Chemistry Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington, Seattle, 2011-2012; James Moeser Award for Distinguished Research, University Research Council, 2014; NSF CAREER Award, 2016; Sloan Research Fellowship, 2016;

Research Group

News & Publications

Here we elucidate the fundamental factors controlling the two binding modes and determining which is favored for a given metal–ligand system, using both quantitative density functional theory (DFT) and qualitative molecular orbital (MO) analyses.


In this work, a photochemically induced aqueous ketone reduction catalyzed by [Cp*Ir(bpy)H][Cl] is reported and benchmarked to the competing hydrogen evolution reaction (HER).