Organometallic Synthesis & Electrochemistry

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We are seeking to bridge the gap between the areas of traditional organometallic synthesis and applied electrochemistry to develop new materials and to study hitherto inaccessible systems to further our understanding of the properties of these exciting and highly interesting complexes.


The over-arching aim is to synthesise new organometallic complexes attached to the surface of CNTs and other electrode substrates. By varying the ligands and metal centres in the complex we seek to “tune” the electrochemical response of these systems, and develop “designer organometallic interfaces” for enhanced sensing and catalytic applications.


Another area of active investigation is the immobilisation of “organometallic radical” species and so-called “mix-valence” compounds onto CNT surfaces. The former are highly reactive potential catalysts that are difficult to study in solution as they tend to dimerise. Surface immobilisation prevents this and allows us access to exploit their potential catalytic properties towards a variety of systems including atom- or electron-chain polymerisation reactions and/or small molecule activation. The latter category of compounds, those which exhibit “mixed-valence” are of fundamental interest in their own right. Upon oxidation or reduction, the metal centres in these complexes take on formal oxidation states which are half-integer! In other words, rather than having formal oxidation numbers of “+2” or “+3”, the metal centres are best described as being in a “+2.5” oxidation state, which at first glance appears to involve the transfer of only half an electron!!


This work is currently supported by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship & an ERC Starting Grant held by Dr Wildgoose, and involves collaborations with several groups within UEA and also with Dr Andrew E. Ashley who currently works as a Royal Society University Research Fellow at Imperial College.


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Selected Publications:
  1. The Formazanate Ligand as an Electron Reservoir: BIs(Formazanate) Zinc Complexes Isolated in Three Redox States
    Mu–Chieh Chang, Thomas Dann, David P. Day, Martin Lutz, Gregory G. Wildgoose and Edwin Otten, 
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2014, 53, 4118-4122.

  2. Cymantrene–Triazole “Click” Products: Structural Characterization and Electrochemical Properties
    David P. Day, Thomas Dann, David L. Hughes, Vasily S. Oganesyan, Dietmar Steverding, and Gregory G. Wildgoose , 
    Organometallics, 2014, 33,4687-4696.

  3. Electrochemistry of AuII and AuIII pincer complexes: determination of the AuII–AuII bond energy.
    Thomas Dann, Dragos–Adrian Rosca, Joseph A. Wright, Gregory G. Wildgoose and Manfred Bochmann
    Chem. Commun., 2013, 49,10169–10171.

  4. Homoleptic Permethylpentalene Complexes: “Double Metallocenes” of the First-Row Transition Metals,
    Andrew E. Ashley, Robert T. Cooper, Gregory G. Wildgoose, Jennifer C. Green and Dermot O’Hare,
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130, 15662–15677

  5. 3-Aryl-3(trifluoromethyl)diazirines as versatile photoactivated “linker” molecules for the improved covalent modification of graphitic and carbon nanotube surfaces,
    Elliot J. Lawrence, Gregory G. Wildgoose, Leigh Aldous, Yimin A. Wu, Jamie H. Warner, Richard G. Compton and Paul D. McNaughter,
    Chem. Mater, 2011, 23, 3740-3751

  6. Bis(permethylpentalene)uranium
    F. Mark Chadwick, Andrew Ashley, Gregory Wildgoose, Jose M. Goicoechea, Simon Randall and Dermot O’Hare,
    Dalton Trans., 2010, 39, 6789-6793