Uranium-Ligand Multiple Bonds

Small molecule activation is the cornerstone or modern organometallic chemistry.  It is a key to many important transformations, including olefin polymerization, C-H bond activation, ammonia synthesis, and water oxidation.  Unlike the transition metals, where small molecule activation has been studied for 50+ years, uranium small molecule activation is a nascent field with many fundamental discoveries yet to be made. This represents a lost opportunity since uranium exhibits properties not found in any other element and may display reactivity beyond that of the transition metals.  In particular, its large ionic radius and the presence of both d and f orbitals suggest the possibility of designing unprecedented catalytic transformations.  Our research program intends to fully realize the promise of uranium by closing the gaps in our understanding of this element.  Recently we developed a new route to the formation of terminal chalcogenides via cleavage of a trityl protecting group.  We are now investigating the coordination chemistry and reactivity of these complexes to better understand the nature of U=E bonds (E = O, S, Se, Te).


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.

Thien Nguyen

Thien is working on the synthesis and characterization of complexes containing uranium-carbon multiple bonds.

Juan Arriaga

Juan is working toward the synthesis of new sulfur-atom transfer reagents.

Mikiyas’ research is focused on synthesis and characterization of new lanthanide coordination complexes.

Mikiyas Assefa

Mikiyas’ research is focused on synthesis and characterization of new lanthanide and actinide coordination complexes.

Christophe Pauly

Christophe´s research is focused on the synthesis and study of complexes containing actinide-carbon multiple bonds.

Joel Shirey

Joel is currently working on the synthesis of actinide-carbon multiple bonds with his graduate student mentor, Gregg Kent.

Danil Smiles

Danil’s research involves the development of new strategies to synthesize metal-ligand multiple bonds, with a focus upon the actinides.