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The paper "Secondary Sphere Hydrogen Bonding in Monocopper Complexes of Potentially Dinucleating Bis(carboxamide) Ligands" by Benjamin D. Neisen, Pavlo V. Solntsev, Mohammad R. Halvagar and William B. Tolman has appeared online (DOI: 10.1002/ejic.201501060) in the European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry.

Welcome to two new undergraduate researchers, Alex Benson and Devon Urness! They will be working on Center for Sustainable Polymers projects with Drs. Megan Fieser and Dan Stasiw.

Welcome to Megan Fieser, a new postdoctoral researcher in the lab who is working on a collaborative Center for Sustainable Polymers project focused on understanding the mechanism of copolymerization of bio-derived anhydrides with epoxides. Megan received her Ph.D. from UC Irvine, where she performed research in organometallic lanthanide/actinide chemistry in the group of Bill Evans. -- 7/27/15


Best wishes to Elodie Marlier, who has left the lab to start her new position as Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. We're glad she's nearby, and wish her the best!-- 7/27/15

Welcome to Dan Stasiw, a new postdoctoral researcher in the lab who is working on a project focused on understanding cyclic ester polymerization mechanisms under the rubric of the Center for Sustainable Polymers. Dan joins us after receiving his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.-- 7/7/15


The paper "[CuO]+ and [CuOH]2+ Complexes: Intermediates in Oxidation Catalysis?" by Nicole Gagnon and William Tolman has been published online in Accounts of Chemical Research. See: -- 6/16/15

TOC graphic

Welcome to three new members of the group who are doing summer research! Janaya Sachs is a Lando/REU student who is working on the copper bioinorganic project, Hillis Johnson is a CSP summer student who is working on decarbonylation catalysis, and Anna Luke is an incoming graduate student who is spending the summer working on mechanistic studies of ring-opening polymerization (CSP). We're glad to have Janaya, Hillis, and Anna join us! -- 6/10/15

Janaya Sachs, Hillis Johnson, and Anna Luke

Congratulations to Pavlo Solntsev, who has accepted a scientist position at Cortec Corporation, starting June 22, 2015, where he'll work on biorenewable corrosion inhibitors. It's always great to see group members land a good job! -- 5/13/15

The paper "Sustainable Polyesters Derived from Glucose and Castor Oil: Building Block Structure Impacts Properties" by William Shearouse, Leon M. Lillie, Theresa Reineke, and W. Tolman is now available in ACS Macro Letters (click here) -- 2/16/15

Lillie TOC

The paper "Olefins from Biomass Feedstocks: Catalytic Ester Decarbonylation and Tandem Heck-type Coupling" by Alex John, Levi T. Hogan, and Marc A. Hillmyer is now available in Chemical Communications (click here). -- 1/13/2015

decarbonylation TOC

The paper "Hydrogen Atom Abstraction from Hydrocarbons by a Copper(III)-Hydroxide Complex" by Debanjan Dhar is now available online in J. Am. Chem. Soc. (click here). -- 1/12/15

Debanjan TOC

Welcome to Courtney Elwell, who has just joined the group as a first year graduate student. Courtney received her undergraduate degree at Union College. She will work in the copper bioinorganic area.--11/14

Welcome to Dr. Elodie Marlier, who just joined the group as a postdoctoral associate. Elodie received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, having worked with Profs. Kris McNeill and Connie Lu, and has been a lecturer at St. Olaf College. She is co-advised by Prof. Marc Hillmyer on a project supported by the Center for Sustainable Polymers.

A belated formal welcome to Dr. Andy Spaeth, who joined the group recently as a postdoctoral associate. Andy received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, where he worked in the group of Mikhail Barybin.

Welcome to Leon Lillie, a new graduate student in the group who is jointly advised by Professor Theresa Reineke. Leon will be working on a project under the rubric of the Center for Sustainable Polymers, with his lab work to be done primarily in the Reineke group.

Congratulations to Maria O. Miranda, who successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled "Polymerization Kinetics of Cyclic Esters by Metal Alkoxide Complexes and Catalytic Decarbonylation of Bio-Derived Carboxylic Acids to Commodity Alkenes"! Maria, who has been co-advised by Prof. Marc Hillmyer, will take some time off this summer before starting a position at 3M. We wish her the very best as she moves onto the next stage of her career!

The paper "Aliphatic Polyester Block Polymers: Renewable, Degradable, and Sustainable" by Marc A. Hillmyer and William B. Tolman has appeared online in Acc. Chem. Res. (

It's been a busy few months (April/May, 2014)! A paper describing Reza Halvagar and Pavlo Solntsev's work has appeared: "Oxygen-Bridged Dicopper(II,III) and (III,III) Complexes: Models for Putative Intermediates in Oxidation Catalysis" Mohammad Reza Halvagar, Pavlo V. Solntsev, Hyeongtaek Lim, Britt Hedman, Keith O. Hodgson, Edward I. Solomon,Christopher J. Cramer, and William B. Tolman, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, ASAP (DOI: 10.1021/ja503629r). Also, the work of Dave Boyce and Janie Salmon appeared: "Linkage Isomerism in Transition Metal Complexes of Mixed (Arylcarboxamido)(arylimino)pyridine Ligands" David W. Boyce, Debra J. Salmon, and William B. Tolman, Inorg. Chem. 2014, 53, ASAP (DOI: 10.1021/ic500638z). And finally, a collaborative paper with Karen Goldberg's group at U. Washington has appeared: "Oxygen-Promoted C-H Bond Activation at Palladium" Margaret L. Scheuermann, David W. Boyce, Kyle A. Grice, Werner Kaminsky, Stefan Stoll, William B. Tolman, Ole Swang and Karin I. Goldberg, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, ASAP (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201402484). CONGRATULATIONS to Reza, Pavlo, Dave, and Janie. -- 5/13/14

We say goodbye, with great appreciation for their hard work and accomplishments, to several postdoctoral associates who have left the lab for greener pastures: Anthony Ostlund (HB Fuller), Reza Halvagar, and Will Shearouse (P&G). -- 5/13/14

A belated welcome to Dr. Anthony Ostlund, a postdoctoral associate jointly advised by Professor Hoye. Tony has been working in the Hoye labs on new biorenewable polyurethanes since early this fall.--12/12/13

A new video describing the research activities in the UM Department of Chemistry features some of us! Click here to view it.

Welcome to Hanna Macaranas, a new graduate student in the group! Hanna received her B.S. from the University of Southern California, and will be working on mechanistic studies of polymerization catalysis.--12/4/13

Welcome to Che (Tom) Wu, a new graduate student in the group! Tom received his B.S. in our department, after having done computational research with Profs. Lu and Gagliardi. He'll now turn to experimental work in the bioinorganic side of the group.--11/25/13

Several new publications have appeared from the group recently: "Isolation of a 2-Hydroxytetrahydrofuran Complex from Copper-Promoted Hydroxylation of THF" Mohammad Reza Halvagar and William B. Tolman, Inorganic Chemistry, 2013, 52, 8306-8308. "Renewable carvone-based polyols for use in polurethane thermosets" Spencer C. Knight, Chris P. Schaller, William B. Tolman and Marc A. Hillmyer, RSC Advances2013, 3, 20399-20404. "Understanding the Mechanism of Polymerization of e-Caprolactone Catalyzed by Aluminum Salen Complexes" Maria O. Miranda, Yvonne DePorre, Hugo Vazquez-Lima, Michelle Johnson, Daniel J. Marell, Christopher J. Cramer, and William B. Tolman, Inorganic Chemistry, 2013, DOI: 10.1021/ic402255m.

Welcome to two new undergraduate researchers in the group, Luis Torrealba and Levi Hogan. Luis is working with Ben Neisen on a copper-oxygen project, while Levi will be working with Alex John on a catalysis project starting in January. (Nov. 2013)

We say goodbye to Jacqui Tehranchi and Janie Salmon, who from these pictures are both happy and sad to go. Jacqui successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis and will take a position with Beckman Coulter in October. Janie will stay in the department as a Lecturer, with a full load of General Chemistry classes. We'll miss you both, Jacqui and Janie!



Dr. Keying Ding is shown here cutting her congratulatory cake at her last group meeting! She's off to take a position as Assistant Professor at Middle Tennessee State University in August. We'll miss you, Keying!--7/18/13

keying with cake

Two new publications from the group are now available online: Synthetic Models of Copper-Nitrosyl Species Proposed as Intermediates in Biological Denitrification. Debra J. Salmon and William B. Tolman, Struct. Bond. 2013, DOI: 10.1007/430_2013_93, and Reactivity of (Dicarboxamide)M(II)-OH (M = Cu, Ni) Complexes: Reaction with Acetonitrile to Yield M(II)-Cyanomethides. Jacqui Tehranchi, Patrick J. Donoghue, Christopher J. Cramer, and William B. Tolman, Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., 2013, DOI: 10.1002/ejic.201300328.

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 (

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

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

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

Good news received in the mail from the NIH: extension of Bill Tolman's MERIT Award for an additional 5 years of support without having to submit a competing application, effective 8/1/13. Hurray!--6/6/12

Yvonne Deporrey has joined the group as a summer Lando student. She is currently an undergraduate chemistry major at Michigan State University. She's working this summer on polymerization kinetics with graduate student Maria Miranda. Welcome, Yvonne!--6/612

Spencer Knight received an NSF predoctoral fellowship. He will be joining the PhD program at UC Berkeley in the fall. He graduated summa cum laude, and has completed an honors thesis entitled "Mechanistic Studies of Indium Catalysts for the Polymerization of Lactide and Synthesis of Biorenewable Polyols from Carvone." Congratulations Spencer, and good luck at UCB!--6/6/12

Maria Miranda won a travel award for her presentation at the 11th Annual Graduate Research Symposium. Full story here. David Boyce also did a great job presenting his research at the symposium. Congratulations to both Maria and Dave!--6/6/12

The paper "Catalytic decarbonylation of biomass-derived carboxylic acids as an efficient route to commodity monomers" by Maria O. Miranda, Agostino Pietrangelo, Marc A. Hillmyer, and William B. Tolman has been published online in Green Chemistry (available to institutional journal subscribers in both HTML and PDF formats HERE). We thank the National Science Foundation (grant CHE-0842654 to W.B.T. and M.A.H. and a Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. 00006595 to M.O.M.) and the Center for Sustainable Polymers, a National Science Foundation supported Center for Chemical Innovation (CHE-1136607) for financial support of this research.--1/5/12

Two new graduate students have joined the group! Welcome to Ben Neisen and Gereon Yee, who will both work on the bioinorganic chemistry side of our research program. Ben received his B.S. from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, where he did undergraduate research with Prof. Victor Nemykin. Gereon received his B.S. degree from the University of California, Davis, where he worked in the laboratory of Prof. Louise Berben. We are excited to have both Ben and Gereon on board!--11/23/11

The following paper has now been published: “Rapid C-H Bond Activation by a Monocopper(III)-Hydroxide Complex” Patrick J. Donoghue, Jacqui Tehranchi, Christopher J. Cramer, Ritimukta Sarangi, Edward I. Solomon, and William B. Tolman, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 17602–17605 (DOI: 10.1021/ja207882h).

The following paper from the group has now been published: “X-ray Absorption Spectroscopic and Computational Investigation of a Possible S…S Interaction in the [Cu3S2]3+ Core” by Ritimukta Sarangi, Lei Yang, Stuart G. Kohl, Laura Gagliardi, Christopher J. Cramer, William B. Tolman, and Edward I. Solomon, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 17180–17191. (DOI: 10.1021/ja111323m).

Dr. Keying Ding joins the group officially on September 12. She worked with Connie Lu's group after receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, under the tutelage of a Tolman Group alum, Prof. Pat Holland. Welcome Keying!--9/2/11

Drs. Agostino Pietrangelo, Lei Yang, and Aalo Gupta have left for greener pastures. Ago is now Assistant Professor at U. Rutgers, Newark, Lei is now Assistant Professor at U. Central Arkansas, and Aalo is a research scientist at Conoco-Phillips in Oklahoma. It's sad to see them go, but we're of course happy for their successes!--8/16

Dr. Lei Yang has accepted a faculty position at the University of Central Arkansas! Congratulations, Lei!--4/8

Stephanie Roe has been selected to receive a prestigious NSF graduate fellowship! Congratulations, Stephanie!--4/6

The paper "Reactions of Ph3Sb=S with Copper(I) Complexes Supported by N-Donor Ligands: Formation of Stable Adducts and S-Transfer Reactivity" by Lei Yang and Jacqui Tehranchi has been published in Inorganic Chemistry (2011, 50, 2606-2612)--4/6

Dr. Agostino Pietrangelo has accepted a faculty position at the University of Rutgers, Newark! Congratulations, Ago!

Dr. Janie Salmon has joined the group, and is working on new ligands for the copper-dioxygen project. She comes to us from the group of Katrina Miranda at the University of Arizona. Welcome, Janie!--4/5

Elizabeth Korsmo has joined the group as a first-year graduate student. She is working on the dinucleating ligand/copper project in collaboration with Reza Halvagar. Welcome, Liz!--4/1

Stephanie Roe has joined the group as a first-year graduate student. She will be working on the polymerization catalysis project in collaboration with M. Hillmyer. Welcome, Stephanie!--12/2

Aalo Gupta has been invited to present a lecture on his research at the 2011 Gordon Research Seminar on Bioinorganic Chemistry, February 3-6, 2011, in Ventura, CA. Congratulations, Aalo!--11/22

Dr. Mohammad Reza Halvagar has joined the group, and is working on the copper-dioxygen project. He comes to us from the group of Prof. Dehnen at the University of Marburg. Welcome Reza!--11/22

Dr. Beth Moscato-Goodpaster has joined the group, and is working on kinetics studies of cyclic ester polymerizations catalyzed by metal-alkoxide complexes. She comes to us from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she worked in the laboratory of Clark Landis. Welcome Beth!--10/10

Spencer Knight has been invited to present his work at the 2nd Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at Florida State University. Congratulations, Spencer!--9/17/10

Dr. Senthil A Gurusamy-Thangavelu has joined the group, and will be working on the soy oil project in collaboration with Tom Hoye. His bench will be in the Hoye lab. He comes to us from Northwestern University, where he worked with Prof. Lambert. Welcome Senthil!--9/13/10

Dr. Noureddine Ajellal has left the laboratory to take a position with Prof. Bruno Amedori at Ingénierie et Architectures Macromoléculaires, Institut Charles Gerhardt, Ecole Nat Sup de Chimie de Montpellier. Good luck to Nour!--8/29/10

The paper "Mechanistic Study of the Stereoselective Polymerization of D,L-Lactide Using Indium(III) Halides" by Agostino Pietrangelo, Spencer Knight, Aalo Gupta, Letitia Yao, Marc Hillmyer, and William Tolman has been published in J. Am. Chem. Soc 2010, 132, 11649–11657.--8/29/10

Justine Olson has finished her work in the lab and is on her way to Iowa City, to begin her graduate studies in Chemistry at the University of Iowa. Good luck, Justine!--7/28/10

Bill will be presenting two talks on Monday, August 23, at the ACS National Meeting in Boston, MA: (1) "Ligand effects on copper-oxygen reactivity" and "Modeling the CuZ site in nitrous oxide reductase: synthesis and properties of copper-sulfur complexes".--7/22/10

Congratulations to Jennifer Lowe and Sungjun Hong, who successfully defended their Ph.D. theses! Jennifer is now working for Dow in Pennsylvania, and Sungjun will soon be starting a postdoctoral position at UCLA with Prof. Omar Yaghi.--7/22/10

Congratulations to Aalo Gupta, who has been selected to receive a 2010-11 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.--5/7/10

The Forum on Oxygen Activation and Reduction edited by W. Tolman and E.I. Solomon appeared in Inorganic Chemistry (issue 8:

Congratulations to Maria Miranda, who received an NSF graduate fellowship.--4/15/10

Dorian Nelson has taken a position at HB Fuller as Senior Scientist, Global Reactivities.--4/1/10

Spencer Knight was awarded a Heisig-Gleysteen Fellowship to support his summer research. Congratulations!--4/1/10

Aalo Gupta's paper “Copper/alpha-Ketocarboxylate Chemistry With Supporting Peralkyated Diamines: Reactivity of Copper(I) Complexes and Dicopper-Oxygen Intermediates” appeared in Inorganic Chemistry 2010, 49, 3531-3539.--4/10