Homoleptic Organometallics

Homoleptic complexes are those in which only one type of ligand is bonded to the central metal atom.  The high symmetry of these complexes typically allows for simplified spectroscopic characterization.  We are using this property of homoleptics to analyze and understand the nature of the metal-ligand bond, especially for the actinides.  Past targets include, U(CH2SiMe3)6, [ThPh6]2-, and [UMe6]2-.  As a result of these studies, we have learned that 5f orbital involvement is relatively minor for Th(IV), but quite significant for U(VI).  Ultimately, these finding will allow us to make better predictions about actinide behavior during spent nuclear fuel processing.

Publications

Researchers

Trevor W. Hayton

Our research involves the synthesis and characterization of new inorganic and organometallic complexes and materials. One goal of this work is to improve our understanding of the structure and bonding in transition metal, lanthanide, and actinide systems, as well as nanoclusters. We are also trying to discover new organic transformations mediated by metal centers.

Selena Staun

Selena's research involves the synthesis of thorium polyhydride complexes to investigate actinide-ligand bonding and 5f orbital interactions.

Sheila Kulkarni

Sheila is working on the synthesis of homoleptic uranium(V) pnictogenides and chalcogenides for spectroscopic analysis.

Richard Neal

Richard is exploring the ability of new ketimide ligands to stabilize high oxidation states in the lanthanides.  

Ellie Pedrick

Ellie is currently studying the functionalization and reduction of the trans-uranyl moiety, (UO2)2+, which is the major form of the uranium found in spent nuclear fuel. She is also attempting to synthesize a cis-uranyl complex, in an effort to better understand the nature of the U-O bonds in this moiety.