Research Highlights

Research in the Grapperhaus Group focuses on the synthesis, characterization, and application of coordination compounds. Members of the group gain experience in inorganic syntheses, electrochemical methods, spectroscopy (FT-IR, UV-vis, NMR, EPR, etc.), x-ray crystallography, mechanistic investigations, and density functional theory computations.  

In general, the group is interested in metal-ligand complexes with ligands that actively participate in the reactivity of the complex. This includes ligand-centered oxidation-reduction reactions involving the transfer of electrons. This “redox non-innonence” has been employed by the Grapperhaus group for electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution/oxidation and for the selective sensing of ethylene. Additionally, we are interested in ligand-centered reactions involving atom-transfer such as additions, alkylations, and oxidations. These reactions have been used to help understand the role of sulfur-oxidation to tune the activity of nitrile hydration catalysts relevant to nitrile hydratase and to develop a Cu Schiff-base complex that reversibly binds methanol through ligand-centered addition/elimination.

Currently, the group is focused on projects involving:

  • ligand-centered electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolving reaction and activation of small molecules
  • metal-based therapeutics
  • non-covalent interactions in extended structures
  • ligand development and reactivity