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Research in Inorganic Chemistry at Stetson spans the range of inorganic, biological, and organometallic chemistry. We are particularly interested in investigating the interaction of small molecules with transition metals like copper, iron, and zinc. We utilize a wide range of techniques available for understanding metal-ligand interactions, including spectroscopy (NMR, IR, UV-VIS), X-ray crystallography, and electrochemistry. We are also particularly involved in using density functional theory calculations to understand important
metal-ligand interactions in different systems. We are also actively involved in chemical education research in developing new curricular tools for teaching chemistry to undergraduate students. Our research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society. 

Currently, our main research interests include (click on the titles for links to specific research projects):

1. Understanding and utilizing the binding of ethylene and alkenes to metal centers. Many metal ions are adept at binding small organic molecules, including alkenes, alkynes, and aromatics. We are utilizing a wide variety of techniques to investigate how these types of molecules interact with metal centers, and how changes in properties such as ligand donating ability can affect the nature of metal-carbon bonds.

2. Understanding the binding of thiophene to metal centers. Thiophene is a sulfur-containing aromatic molecule. Thiophene and its derivatives are contaminants in fossile fuels, and their removal from fuel sources is an important part of the refining process. We are studying how metal ions can be utilized for binding to thiophenic compounds and removing them from hydrocarbon fuel mixtures.

3. Understanding bioinorganic zinc proteins. Several important enzymes contain zinc as their active metal ion. Working with our experimental collaborator Dr. Eric Brown at Boise State University, we are utilizing a wide variety of DFT techniques to investigate how zinc ions interact with small molecules and how different ligands affect these binding interactions.

4. Developing new laboratory experiments for teaching inorganic chemistry. Helping students to better understand the fundamental principles of chemistry is one of our main goals. We are constantly developing new laboratory experiments and classroom exercises to make this process more fun and productive.  Examples of a successful laboratories we have developed include:



To see some of our available research facilities and instrumentation, click here.