Macdonald Research Group

Undergraduate, Ph.D. and Post-Doctoral RESEARCH
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Research in the Macdonald group consists of the experimental and theoretical investigation of main group compounds in unusual bonding environments and oxidation states.  We use such investigations to explore and explain the chemistry of the "rest" of the periodic table that does not conform to the rules of organic chemistry (i.e. most of the elements in the periodic table).  The knowledge gained from the fundamental investigations is used to design new reagents and materials.


Our current investigations include:


The synthesis and development of compounds containing main group elements in unusually low oxidation states.  The compounds we are making are useful for the synthesis of many other types of main group and transition metal compounds and as precursors for new materials.

Examples of such compounds from group 15 include the stabilized P(I) salt [(dppe)P][I] shown on the left and the As(I) salt [(dppe)As]2[SnCl6].  The iodide salts have proven to be useful reagents for the syntheses of various other interesting molecules and materials including phosphamethinecyanine dyes, clusters and oligomers, as illustrated below.

The synthesis and chemistry of main group metallocenes and their analogues.  These compounds are of interest for their unusual structural features, their peculiar reactivity and their utility as precursors for the formation of new or valuable materials.

We have shown that the half-sandwhich compound Cp*In can be used to generate new stable, low-oxidation state compounds such as [In][OTf].  This In(I) salt has proven to be superior in terms of solubility and stability with respect to In(I) halides and it has been exploited as a reagent by our group and several other research groups around the world.


I have collaborated with many other researchers in Canada and around the world; graduate students in my group can expect to participate in at least one collaboration while they are here.


Some of my past and present collaborators include:

Alan Cowley          Jason Clyburne          Richard Jones

David Rankin          Michael Lappert          Philip Power

Richard Lagow          Jonathan Sessler          Paul Ragogna

Robert Schurko          Roderick Wasylishen 


Funding for research and equipment has been provided by: