Research in Chemistry--Inorganic

The Inorganic division here at USM works in diverse areas of inorganic chemistry that spans from the wonders of bioinorganic chemistry, after all metals play a pivotal role in biology systems, to supramolecular chemistry and nano-materials for the synthesis of novel materials and photochemical devices.

As with “traditional” organic chemistry, the synthesis and characterization of molecules is imperative to the inorganic chemist, by synthesizing specific molecules such as dipicolinic acid and Schiff bases to coordinate to various metals centers.  Another approach is the design of polypyridyl ruthenium(II)/rhodium(III) complexes that are used for bioinorganic studies of DNA recognition as anti-cancer agents in photodynamic therapy.  Another interesting class of coordination complexes are the vanadium containing species that mimic insulin like drugs, which have been designed for STZ-induced diabetic rats.  Also, the inorganic division is pursuing research in the design of molecular sensors, particularly; their use in biological applications.  There has been a continuing endeavor to detect trace elements, for example, free iron and zinc in the cell.  It is believed that these labile elements can be the source for free radical formation.

Other areas of interest in the division also include the study of inorganic reaction mechanisms, the use of EPR (electron paramagnetic resonance) and NMR in the structural elucidation of various transition metal complexes, supramolecular chemistry, including host-guest chemistry and self-assembly and nanochemistry.

Faculty involved in this research:

photograph of Dr. Karl Wallace  
Dr. Karl Wallace