Dorothy H. Gibson

Professor, Organic Chemistry


Our research interests are in transition metal organometallic chemistry which bridges organic and inorganic chemistry. Small molecule activation is one area of intense research activity where organometallic chemistry can play a role, for example in catalytic processes involving CO and CO2. The fixation of these small molecules is important in establishing synthetic routes to organic compounds that have traditionally been derived from petroleum, including hydrocarbons and alcohols that can be used as fuels. Particular efforts are directed towards CO2 fixation since this greenhouse gas is strongly implicated in global warming. Our current efforts involve ruthenium and rhenium polypyridine complexes with C1 ligands which may be catalyst precursors or intermediates in catalytic processes. Synthesis, structural characterization and reactivity studies are being done in order to design effective catalysts.