Metals, ligands, and beyond: Frontiers in chemical science, driven by problems and advanced by solutions
Distinct properties and functions emerge from novel structures. Using chemical architectures built with elements across the entire periodic table, we work towards new discoveries in chemical synthesis, energy-efficient and structure-selective chemical transformations, light–matter interactions, energy conversion, and methodologies to interrogate geometric and electronic structures that underpin the full array of chemistry displayed from molecules to materials.
The Baik group is broadly interested in transition metal chemistry with a heavy emphasis on catalysis
Based on large-scale computer simulations, mechanisms of how transition metal systems can activate small molecules are investigated in detail. Of particular interest are water oxidation, carbon dioxide reduction, and C–C/C–H bond activation in small organic molecules. The Baik group is mainly computational, but has recently begun experimental studies to confirm and calibrate theoretical models and predictions to improve the performance of catalytic systems in an iterative loop between theory and experiment.
An increasing number of charge transporters and light emitters are built with molecular assemblies
A fundamental appeal of such plastic electronics derives from the ability to manipulate physical properties of synthetic systems by covalent or non-covalent structural modifications. Our research group is exploring structurally pre-organized molecular and supramolecular architectures as efficient “conduits" for (a) charge hopping between well-designed redox-active sites, (b) energy transfer between multiple light-absorbing groups, and (c) mechanical coupling between structural units that tightly couple molecular recognition events to optical/electronic signaling events. Together, we are advancing the frontiers of functional molecules and their assemblies for applications in chemical sensing, energy conversion, and catalysis.
We are interested in homogeneous catalysis redox transformations of “grand challenge” molecules...
...(those related to energy storage, or molecules generally found to be kinetically refractory: H2, O2, alkanes, fluorocarbons). We envision this happening not only by redox changes at the metal, but with an assist from a ligand which can exist in several different charge states, due to its delocalized pi system. Illustrated here is one example, two fused indoles with pendant redox active imines; together this can complex two metals (better redox versatility!), and be reduced (note the potassium cations which indicate a reduced state of the ligand) prior to transferring those electrons to substrate (e.g., CO2 or N2).
One of the main research themes in the Mindiola group is the design and synthesis of low-coordinate complexes having metal-ligand multiple bonds
Over the years, the group has discovered that well-controlled redox chemistry can trigger a cascade of events that lead to the formation of transition metal complexes of alkylidene, alkylidyne, and imide ligands. As expected, these functionalities are highly reactive, and can engage in group transfer reactions of both fundamental and practical importance. The group is also exploring low-coordinate transition metal complexes to activate and cleave strong C–N bonds in heterocyclic substrates. These reactions are important to many industrial processes, including catalytic activation and removal of nitrogen (as NH3) from coal-based liquids.
Research in the Zaleski group is focused on the areas of physical inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry
The group uses various steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic methods to investigate the structure and kinetics of biologically relevant intermediates involved in enzyme and drug-related reaction mechanisms. This information is important for determining the pathways by which multistep biochemical reactions occur. In the synthetic chemistry front, the group is developing new design strategies to promote novel biochemical reactivity using excited-state photochemistry. Such efforts are also aided by nano-scale architectures for use as hybrid materials in optics, photo-magnetic switching, and nano-medicine applications beyond molecular domains.
4th year Graduate Student
My decision to attend graduate school to further my academic pursuits was motivated by my interest in the scientific challenge of research and curiosity in understanding the behavior of materials. Specifically, I chose to attend IU because of the quality of education offered in its Ph.D. program, well-equipped research facilities, and interactions with professors and graduate students during recruiting weekend.
At IU, I have had the opportunity to conduct research in an academic environment which encourages the freedom to pursue my ideas for projects under the guidance of my advisor, while having access to other professors and graduate students' experiences. The professors are great individuals who have shown consideration and interest in educating their students, and this has provided a solid foundation for me to grow as an independent scientist. My experiences as a graduate student have been phenomenal and I am very pleased to have chosen IU as my academic home.
“At IU, I have had the opportunity to conduct research in an academic environment which encourages the freedom to pursue my ideas.”
2nd year Graduate Student
I was initially drawn to Indiana by the quality of research and level of science being undertaken in the chemistry department. While I was already impressed by the research before visiting Bloomington, the faculty and technology of the department exceeded my expectations after seeing it firsthand. During my visitation weekend I was welcomed by the chemistry family and met several graduate students who described their wonderful and challenging graduate experience at Indiana.
Although I was excited to begin working on cutting edge science at Indiana, I was also very excited to move to Bloomington. I've found it is a great college town with lots of things to offer a new resident, such as myself. The community is hilly and beautiful, and has several great restaurants and bars to experience when I'm not working hard in science. Overall, my decision to come to Indiana has paid off greatly, and I'm excited for the years to come in Bloomington
“While I was already impressed by the research before visiting Bloomington, the faculty and technology of the department exceeded my expectations.”
2nd year Graduate Student
I came to IU's chemistry department after completing my B.S. in chemistry at Allegheny College. I made the decision to attend IU because everything about the university and Bloomington seemed to be all that I was looking for and something extra: the faculty, the facilities, the staff, the arts, the diversity and the restaurants.
After completing my first year of coursework and research, I transitioned to the MAT program to pursue my masters in teaching and become a licensed educator. I have the unique opportunity to also teach undergraduates in the process, which is invaluable experience. I have also appreciated the support from faculty and staff that I have received throughout the transition process. The Chemistry Department at IU has helped me along the path to achieve my goals in becoming a more knowledgeable scientist and valuable teacher.
“The Chemistry Department at IU has helped me along the path to achieve my goals in becoming a more knowledgeable scientist and valuable teacher.”
3rd year Graduate Student
As a third year student at Indiana University, I can't imagine receiving a degree from another institution. When choosing a graduate school, my decision was based on who I would work for, what facilities would be available to me (NMR, MS, etc), and my overall feeling about the department. Here at IU, all of my requirements were met and exceeded. The expert faculty and state of the art facilities have allowed for a collaborative environment with limitless possibilities for my project. I have also been fortunate to travel for conferences and to our collaborating lab in Michigan for experience and interaction with the top researchers in my field. Outside of lab I also enjoy Bloomington and try to enjoy as much of it as I can in my free time. The town is very active with lots of amazing restaurants, trails for hiking/biking, live music on the weekends and fun things to enjoy like the farmers market or our local winery/breweries. Choosing IU was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I am excited to be here for another three years.
“Choosing IU was one of the best decisions I've ever made.”
3rd year Graduate Student
Indiana University has been a wonderful place to pursue my graduate studies in analytical chemistry. The university provided me the amazing opportunity to work with world-renowned researchers who have shown a great willingness to help and mentor me in my academic pursuits with learning opportunities through both structured and casual conversations with faculty and peers alike. The facilities and cutting-edge research of the University is matched only by the proficiency and friendliness of the staff that enthusiastically assists graduate researchers in their endeavors. From labmates across the room to collaborators across the ocean, I have never found a shortage of knowledgeable people with varied skills, experience, and perspective with whom to discuss your research and successfully tackle the challenges of instrumentation development. Located in a quintessential college town and surrounded by the beautiful, rolling hills of southern Indiana, IU has not only surpassed my expectations in terms of academic and professional development, but also has provided a vibrant environment in which to live.
“The university provided me the amazing opportunity to work with world-renowned researchers who have shown a great willingness to mentor me.”
3rd year Graduate Student
Selecting a graduate school is one of the most important choices we make. I consider myself very fortunate to study chemistry at Indiana University. The faculty is inspiring and outstanding in all areas of chemical and biochemical research. They give the full breadth of the subjects and encourage researchers in multidisciplinary thought. The instrumentation facilities are well-equipped, and the chemistry library is well established with extensive scientific literature.
“The instrumentation facilities are well-equipped, and the chemistry library is well established with extensive scientific literature.”
2nd Year Graduate Student
IU chemistry was my program of choice when I decided to return to school after 2 years in the pharmaceutical industry. I was impressed by the diverse faculty and world class research facilities. I have found the faculty, students and support staff here to be friendly and approachable which encourages exchange of ideas and facilitates learning.
The department offers opportunities for multidisciplinary research in a congenial work environment. In my short time here I have fallen in love with the beauty and cultural diversity of Bloomington.
“I have found the faculty, students and support staff here to be friendly and approachable which encourages exchange of ideas and facilitates learning.”