Inorganic, Organometallic and Organic Synthesis

Research in my group is focused on the synthesis of new organometallic compounds for a variety of applications. We are seeking to develop ligands capable of self-assembling into chiral, racemic complexes when coordinated to a metal center. By judicious choice of ligands, the formation of the undesired meso-complexes may be avoided. Such racemic complexes are potentially useful in olefin polymerizations.

Additionally, the pure racemic complexes may be separated into their individual enantiomers. These chiral resolved species are potential catalysts for a number of organic reactions, such as the Diels-Alder cyclization, Mukaiyama aldol, hydrogenation and hydrosilylation.

Another project of interest involves the synthesis and characterization of fluorenyl compounds of chromium and manganese. These metals have been shown to undergo a spin-state isomerization that is highly dependent upon the nature of the cyclopentadienyl or cyclopentadienyl-analogue coordinated to the metal. We are interested in designing fluorenyl ligands that will kinetically and thermodynamically stabilize complexes of chromium and manganese so that their electronic properties may be probed.

A third project is a result of a collaborative effort with Dr. Charles Beam of this department. His group routinely synthesizes a myriad pyrazoles and related heterocycles. We intend to utilize such organic compounds as components of ligands such as tris(pyrazolyl)borates, tris(pyrazolyl)methanes and tris(pyrazolyl)silanes. By careful design of the pyrazole, new and interesting types of ligands with varying steric and electronic properties are produced.

My group also employs computational chemistry to design new ligands and investigate the electronic nature of metal complexes. Currently, we are using a variety of computational packages. Click here to see our computational facilities.

Students in my laboratory (click here for a picture of the laboratory) learn synthetic techniques for the preparation of both organic and organometallic compounds. During the course of working in my laboratory, students will routinely handle air sensitive materials, becoming proficient in glovebox and Schlenck techniques as well as become proficient with common instrumentation such as NMR, IR, GC-MS, and UV-Vis. They will also develop their problem solving and communication skills.

If you are interested in synthetic organic, inorganic or organometallic chemistry, please stop by my office for more information about opportunities in my research laboratory.

Funding Support

College of Charleston Faculty Development and Research Grant $1,140 (Jan 00- May 00)

South Carolina Commission on Higher Education Research Initiative Grant $36,900 (Jan 00 - Dec 00)

Oak Ridge Associated Universities Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award $10,000 (June 00 - June 01)

South Carolina Commission on Higher Education Research Initiative Grant $36,900 (Jan 01 - Dec 01)

National Science Foundation Research at Undergraduate Institutions Grant $184, 000 (July 02 - June 05)

College of Charleston Faculty Development and Research Grant $2,100 (Jan 05 - May 05)

Research Group

See the current and former members of the Overby research group.