The Emslie Group

Inorganic and Organometallic Synthesis - Actinide, Lanthanide and Transition Metal Complexes, Borane-Functionalized Complexes, and Metal ALD Precursors

New Ligand Design and Synthesis - Ultra-Rigid Ligands and Ambiphilic Ligands

Reactivity - Stoichiometric and Catalytic Organometallic Reactivity, Olefin Polymerization, Cooperative Substrate Activation, Metal Film Deposition, and Redox Reactions

Applications - Catalysis, Small Molecule Activation, and ALD

Characterization - includes X-Ray Crystallography, Multinuclear and Variable Temperature NMR, Cyclic Voltammetry, IR, UV-Vis and NIR Spectroscopy, PXRD, and DFT Calculations


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December 2014 - Christmas dinner at Slainte's Pub. 7 out of 9 group members were there, as well as 3 Emslie group escapees (previous undergrads now at U of T or Brock U). See the 'people' page for photos.

December 2014 - Brad and Judy's alane-appended ambiphilic ligand paper is accepted for Angewandte.

December 2014 - Brad's FcPPB paper is highghted by Bourissou et al. in Angewandte Chemie: DOI or MacLibaccessDOI.

November 2014 - Brad wins the prize for best talk at the IDW in Montreal. Go brad!!

November 2014 - Many Emslie group members and ex-students at the IDW in Montreal!: Talks from Brad Cowie (current PhD), Edwin Wong (current PDF), as well as Terry Chu, Meera Mehta and Judy Tsao (previous undergrads in the group). Posters from Jeffrey Price and Nick Andreychik (current PhDs). Katarina Paskaruk and Todd Whitehorne from the group are also attending.

November 2014 - The group is featured in the author profile associated with our Chem. Eur. J. paper: DOI or MacLibaccessDOI

October 2014 - Brad's Chem. Eur. J. paper is now on asap.

September 2014 - Brad's new PPB ligand paper (ligand synthesis and Pt complexes) is accepted to Chem. Eur. J. The paper was selected as a VIP, and we were awarded the front cover.

September 2014 - Katarina starts in the Emslie group as a 4th year undergraduate thesis project student. Welcome!

Aug 2014 - Edwin presented a poster at the ACS Meeting in San Francisco, USA.

July 2014 - Todd and Dave attended the AVS Conference on ALD in Kyoto, Japan.

June 2014 - Nick presented a poster on his work at the Rare Earth Research Conference in Squaw Valley, California.

June 2014 - Katarina starts in the Emslie group as an undergraduate summer student. Welcome!

May 2014 - Brad, Jeffrey and Edwin presented at the CSC conference in Vancouver. Jeffrey was awarded a poster prize.

February 2014 - Preeti's Manganese(II) Mixed Alkyl/Allyl paper accepted to Organometallics.

Click here for previous group news...


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Welcome to the Emslie Group Webpage

Research in the Emslie group is focused on:

(1) Highly rigid ligand actinide complexes: organometallic reactivity and catalysis, small molecule activation, redox chemistry, structural and bonding studies. Future work may also include applications in lanthanide/actinide separation.

(2) Late transition metal ambiphilic ligand complexes; synthesis, structures, stoichiometric reactivity, and catalysis.

(3) The development of new organometallic reactivity for metal Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD): new volatile precursor synthesis, solution deposition reactions, mechanistic studies, and ALD.

As a consequence, the Emslie research program (as a whole) involves early and late transition metal, actinide and main group chemistry, coordination, organometallic and materials chemistry, organic ligand synthesis, catalysis, small molecule activation and ALD. The breadth of research carried out in the group provides students/PDFs with a uniquely broad background and skillset. Students interested in joining the group typically have a choice between several different research areas, which can differ significantly (e.g. more exploratory vs more applied research, substantial vs minimal new ligand synthesis, mainly organometallic vs coordination chemistry, transition metal vs f-element chemistry etc.). However, the Emslie group is a synthetic inorganic chemistry group, so the major focus (typically >80%) of all projects is molecular synthesis (mostly air-sensitive; in some cases extremely air-sensitive).

All aspects of the Emslie research program involve extremely air sensitive materials, and students/PDFs gain extensive expertise in the vacuum line and glove box techniques. These skills have wide academic and industrial application, for example in laboratories involved in homogeneous catalysis (e.g. olefin polymerisation or pharmaceutical synthesis), in semiconductor and microelectronics research, and in the nuclear industry. For more information on specialized glove box applications, see: http://www.mbraunusa.com/mbraun-glovebox-applications.htm.

Chemistry in the Emslie lab also relies heavily on the synthesis of new ligands (often containing B, P, S, Se etc.) which requires a significant level of skill in organic synthesis and provides students with experience in techniques of importance in most chemistry laboratories.

Members of the Emslie group run and interpret data from a wide variety of techniques including: 1D, 2D, multinuclear and VT NMR spectroscopy, IR, NIR and UV-Vis spectroscopy, GC-MS, HRMS, TGA, electrochemistry, and combustion elemental analysis. Students in the group also have the option to solve their own X­ray crystal structures and perform DFT calculations. Overall, this experience provides students/PDFs with the skills required to identify and study almost any molecular compound.