Research Inorganic

Inorganic Research

Inorganic chemistry is a discipline that spans areas ranging from materials chemistry to organic synthesis and on to broad problems in energy. The Inorganic Division at the University of North Carolina ranks among the top ten nationally and has been a major strength of the Chemistry Department for decades.

Graduate students in the Inorganic Division are exposed to an exciting research environment, cutting-edge characterization and catalysis facilities, an exciting educational curriculum, and a collegial mentoring environment, all of which together provide an excellent foundation for future careers in industry and academia.

The Inorganic Division is deeply involved in several overarching departmental themes. Catalysis is a particularly prominent research area at UNC, with ongoing activities involving the synthesis of complexes for a broad range of homogeneous catalysis applications – energy, biomass remediation, small molecule synthesis, site-selective activation, asymmetric catalysis, and polymerization – and the exploitation of transition metal complexes in photocatalytic water splitting and carbon dioxide reduction and for applications in biotechnology.

Functional materials chemistry is another strength at UNC, with highly visible research activities in solar fuels, nanoparticles/quantum dots, and photovoltaics.

Recent Research Results

Accessing Photoredox Transformations with an Iron(III) Photosensitizer and Green Light

Efficient excited-state electron transfer between an iron(III) photosensitizer and organic electron donors was realized with green light irradiation.

Stereospecific Nickel-Catalyzed Reductive Cross-Coupling of Alkyl Tosylate and Allyl Alcohol Electrophiles

Herein, we report a nickel-catalyzed reductive coupling of allyl alcohols with chiral, nonracemic alkyl tosylates.

Determining the Overpotential of Electrochemical Fuel Synthesis Mediated by Molecular Catalysts: Recommended Practices, Standard Reduction Potentials, and Challenges

This Review details approaches for the determination of thermodynamic potentials for common fuel-forming reactions and for the determination of electrochemical overpotential, and underscores the need to employ methods that enable meaningful comparisons between molecular catalysts.

Representative Publications


ACS Journal of the American Society.

Photosynthesis Research.

ACS The Journal of Physical Chemistry.

Photocatalytic Transfer Hydrogenation in Water: Insight into Mechanism and Catalyst Speciation David M. Kaphan, Kelsey R. Brereton, Rachel C. Klet, Ryan J. Witzke, Alexander J. M. Miller, Karen L. Mulfort, Massimiliano Delferro, and David M. Tiede Organometallics 2021 40 (10), 1482-1491 DOI: 10.1021/acs.organomet.1c00133

ACS Catalysis.
Catalytic Dehydrogenation of Alkanes by PCP–Pincer Iridium Complexes Using Proton and Electron Acceptors Arun Dixith Reddy Shada, Alexander J. M. Miller, Thomas J. Emge, and Alan S. Goldman ACS Catalysis 2021 11 (5), 3009-3016 DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.0c05160

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