Photoswitchable Complexes

The goal of this research is to design transition metal complexes with photo-chromic appendages that are capable of reversible photo-isomerization. The ability to photo-induce control over the electric field, steric environment and hydrogen bonding networks of transition metal species will imbue a new level of control over select chemical transformations. This work will have impact in the fields of chemicals fuel technologies and pharmaceuticals with the efficient and selective control over value-added chemicals from abundant chemical feedstocks in addition to fundamental insights into the ability to control function at the molecular level through external stimuli for smart devices and materials.

Ligand-driven light-induced spin crossover

This research aims to induce spin crossover (SCO) by ligand-driven light-induced spin change (LD-LISC). The proposed framework takes design elements from a potent oxidative enzymes like cytochrome P450 including first-row transition metals, redox active ligands and hydrogen bonding units in addition to a photoactive axial ligand which will tune the metal ligand field allowing for observable SCO and on/off switch for reactivity.

Responsive Metal Complexes

Here, we aim to design transition metal complexes with flexible ligand scaffolds that can adopt different geometries through external stimulation. The ability to change geometry will imbue both a change in coordination and electronic environments and impart controlled access to the active or dormant catalytic species for atom transfer radical polymerizations (ATRP). Altering the coordination geometry environment of the catalyst will allow for spatial and temporal control over initiation and termination steps as well as polymer molecular weight size and distribution. The tunability of such transition metal complexes allows for the development of structure function relationships which can influence future design for increased diversification. The results from this work will lead to advancements in cutting-edge materials with applications in microelectronics, biotechnology and energy, defense.