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Current research in the Tolman group encompasses synthetic bioinorganic and organometallic/polymer chemistry. In the bioinorganic area, our objective is to gain a fundamental structural, spectroscopic, and mechanistic understanding of metalloprotein active sites of biological and environmental importance via the synthesis, characterization, and examination of the reactivity of model complexes (Figure 1). The current goal of our research in the organometallic/polymer area is to synthesize and characterize a variety of metal complexes for use as catalysts for the polymerization of cyclic esters. In this project, particular emphasis is being placed on developing and understanding the mechanism(s) of processes for the controlled synthesis of polymers derived from renewable resources (Figure 2).
While the synthesis of new molecules lies at the center of our research effort, we also use a wide array of techniques to characterize the compounds we prepare and to examine their reactivity. Among the characterization methods that we use are X-ray crystallography, NMR, EPR, UV-Vis, FTIR, and resonance Raman spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, GC/MS, and cyclic voltammetry. We also endeavor to unravel reaction mechanisms through kinetics and isotope labeling experiments. Students and postdoctoral associates in the group thus obtain a highly multidisciplinary training in the synthesis, structural and spectroscopic characterization, and mechanistic study of organic, inorganic, and organometallic molecules.
Figure 1. Copper-oxygen complexes that model catalytic intermediates.
Figure 2. Indium catalyst for the heterotactic polymerization of D,L-lactide.
Financial support for the research is provided by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and UM Institute for Renewable Energy and the Environment.
|**Now available online, Copper, Palladium, and Platinum-Containing Complexes of an Asymmetric Dinucleating Ligand, by Mohammad Reza Halvagar, Benjamin Neisen, and William B. Tolman, Inorganic Chemistry 2012, ASAP (dx.doi.org/10.1021/ic301914u).|
|**Dabanjan Dhar and Hongtu Zhang have joined the group as graduate students. Debanjan will be working on the bioinorganic side, while Hongtu will be working on catalysis in the CSP subgroup. Debanjan comes to us from the Indiant Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India, where he worked in the laboratory of Prof. R.N. Mukherjee. Hongtu is originally from China, but obtained his BS degree from Michigan State University where he worked with Prof. Mitch Smith. We are happy to have them aboard!--11/20/12|
|**Bill will be Editor-in-Chief of Inorganic Chemistry starting in January, 2013. For details, see the announcement in C&EN. Follow the journal on twitter!--11/20/12|
|**Dr. Will Shearouse has joined the group as a postdoctoral associate.Will obtained his PhD from the University of Cincinnati, where he worked with Professor James Mack. He is working on a joint project with the group of Professor Theresa Reineke.Welcome, Will!--11/13/12|
|**New graduate student Nicole Gagnon has joined the group! She joins us from the University of Arizona, where she did graduate work in the lab of Prof. Elisa Tomat. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of St. Benedict in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She will be working in the bioinorganic area in close collaboration with Ben and Reza. Welcome aboard, Nicole!--8/16/12|
|**Just appeared online: Roles of Monomer Binding and Alkoxide Nucleophilicity in Aluminum-Catalyzed Polymerization of ε-Caprolactone, by Keying Ding, Maria O. Miranda, Beth Moscato-Goodpaster, Noureddine Ajellal, Laurie E. Breyfogle, Eric D. Hermes, Chris P. Schaller, Stephanie E. Roe, Christopher J. Cramer, Marc A. Hillmyer, and William B. Tolman, Macromolecules, 2012, ASAP (DOI: 10.1021/ma301130b).--6/18/12|