Robert M. Buchanan, Ph. D

Professor of Chemistry

Phone: 502-852-6580
Department of Chemistry
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292


Additional Appointments:

  • Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Associate Director of  the Institute of Advance Materials and Energy Research



  • 1973 B.A.   Western Maryland College
  • 1980 Ph.D. University of Colorado

Laboratory Team Members:

  • Abdul Maye, Undergraduate Student
  • Anthony Mattingly, Undergraduate Student
  • Philip Bauer, Ph.D., Graduate Student
  • Brian Frye, M.S. (Chemistry Dept. Fellow—x-ray position), Graduate Student
  • Matt Cecil, M.S. (part-time), Graduate Student
  • Leland Civils M.S. (GEMS Fellow), Graduate Student
  • Tomi Hill, M.S., Graduate Student
  • Sam Asem, Ph.D., Graduate Student
  • Larry Woods, Ph.D., Graduate Student


Research Focus:

Synthesis, structure, and magnetic properties of inorganic and bioinorganic compounds; active site models of mu.-oxo iron proteins; polynuclear manganese complexes as models of PSII and pseudocatalase proteins; mixed valence complexes; C-H bond function; conducting polymers; phthalocyanine complexes, electrocatalysis.


Selected Publications:

  • Haddad AZ, Garabato BD, Kozlowski PM, Buchanan RM, Grapperhaus CA. Beyond Metal-Hydrides: Non-Transition-Metal and Metal-Free Ligand-Centered Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution and Hydrogen Oxidation. J Am Chem Soc. 2016 Jun 29;138(25):7844-7. PubMed PMID: 27326672.
  • Zhang W, Saraei N, Nie H, Vaughn JR, Jones AS, et al. Reversible methanol addition to copper Schiff base complexes: a kinetic, structural and spectroscopic study of reactions at azomethine C[double bond, length as m-dash]N bonds. Dalton Trans. 2016 Jun 27;PubMed PMID: 27345194.
  • Asem S, Buchanan RM, Mashuta MS. Tetra-μ-acetato-κO:O'-bis-{[2,2-dimeth-yl-N-(pyridin-2-yl)propanamide-κN]copper(II)}(Cu-Cu). Acta Crystallogr Sect E Struct Rep Online. 2011 Dec 1;67(Pt 12):m1892-3. PubMed PMID: 22199651; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3238774.
  • Hsiao T, Buchanan RM, Mashuta MS. Racemic (1,4-dioxan-2-yl)diphenylmethanol. Acta Crystallogr C. 2011 Apr;67(Pt 4):o129-30. PubMed PMID: 21467618.
  • Mullins CS, Grapperhaus CA, Frye BC, Wood LH, Hay AJ, et al. Synthesis and sulfur oxygenation of a (N3S)Ni complex related to nickel-containing superoxide dismutase. Inorg Chem. 2009 Nov 2;48(21):9974-6. PubMed PMID: 19795870.
  • Sara E. Edison, Sean D. Conklin, Necati Kaval, Lionel E. Cheruzel, Jeanette A. Krause, Carl J. Seliskar, William R. Heineman, Robert M. Buchanan and Michael J. Baldwin,  “Spectroscopic characterization of a Ni-organic radical intermediate in the aerobic oxidation of methanol catalyzed by a Ni(II)(polyoximate) complex,” Inorganica Chimica Acta, 2008, 361, 947-955.
  • L. E. Cheruzel, M. R. Cecil, S. E. Edison, M. S. Mashuta,  M. J. Baldwin, R. M. Buchanan, “Copper(II) Complexes of a New Bis-Amide Functionalized Imidazole Tripod and Evidence for the Formation of a Mononuclear End-on Cu-OOH Species” Inorganic Chemistry, 2006; 45(8); 3191-3202.
  • B.C. Frye, M.S. Mashuta, C.S. Mullins, C.A Grapperhaus, R.M. Buchanan “Ethyl-1-methylimidazole-2-caroxylate” Acta Crystall. 2006, E62, o1548-o1549.
  • L.E. Cheruzel, M. S. Mashuta, R. M. Buchanan “5,10-dihydroxy-5H,10H-diimidazo[1,2-a:1’,2’-d]pyrazine” Acta Crystall. 2005, C61. o361-o362.
  • L.E. Cheruzel, M. S. Mashuta, R. M. Buchanan “ A novel assembly of side-by-side polyimidazole tripod coils stabilized by  stacking and unique boric acid templated hydrogen bonding interactions”  Chem. Comm. 2005,  2223-2225.
  • P. D. Bauer, M. S. Mashuta, R. J. O’Brien, J.F. Richardson, R. M. Buchanan “ Synthesis, Characterization and Crystal Structure of Ni(II) Complexes Containing Sterically Hindered Benzimidazole Ligands” J. Coord. Chem. 2004, 57, 361-372.
  • L.E. Cheruzel, M. Potenum, M.S. Mashuta, M. Cecil, R.J. Wittebort, R.M. Buchanan “Structures and solid-state dynamics of one-dimensional water chains stabilized by imidazole channels” Angew. Chem. IntL. Ed. Engl. 2003, 44, 5451 (featured communication).


Recent Awards & Honors:  

  • 2007 Faculty Favorite
  • 2006 Faculty Favorite
  • University Distinguished Teaching Award 2005
  • College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award 2005
  • Metroversity Adult Learner Award (Honorable Mention) 2004
  • Research Louisville 2003! (Poster received 2nd Prize in Basic Research Category)
  • 2003 Materials Nanotechnology Workshop (Poster received 2nd Prize in Basic Research Competition)