The Emslie Group
Inorganic Synthesis - Organometallic and Coordination Chemistry - Metal ALD Precursors, Actinide and Transition Metal Complexes, and Borane-Functionalized Complexes
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 - ALD, Catalysis, and Small Molecule Activation
Characterization - X-Ray Crystallography, Multinuclear and Variable Temperature NMR, Cyclic Voltammetry, IR, UV-Vis and NIR Spectroscopy, PXRD, XPS, SEM, and DFT Calculations
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GRAD STUDENTS FOR 2013
Three Positions Available!
(see below for available projects)
PDF Applications Welcome
(1) Organometallic Lanthanide Chemistry: Rigid Ligand Complexes for Ethylene Polymerization
- New ligand design and synthesis
- Alkyl and hydride complexes
- Neutral and cationic complexes
- Reactivity studies and polymerization
- Extremely air sensitive chemistry
- Industrial collaboration
(2) Late Transition Metal Ambiphilic Ligand Chemistry
- Ambiphilic ligand chemistry to follow on from the work of current PhD student Brad Cowie
- Ligand design and synthesis
-Study of unique metal-Lewis acid interactions
- Use of complexes in the development of unique stoichiometric and catalytic reactivity
- Fairly air sensitive chemistry
(3) Development of New Reaction Chemistries for Metal ALD
- Synthesis of targetted new metal complexes that are volatile, thermally robust and reactive
- Reactivity studies focused on reduction to pure metal and understanding reaction pathways
- ALD Studies (via industrial collaboration)
- Both diamagnetic and paramagnetic chemistry
- Highly air sensitive chemistry
April 2013 - Adam is awarded an NSERC CGS-M award. Judy is awarded an NSERC PGS-M award. Not easy to come by these days... Good work!
March 2013 -Nick's Organometallics paper is published (a special issue on "Recent Advances in Organo f-Element Chemisty").
Jan 2013 -Nick's Angewandte paper is published.
Nov 2012 - Brad and Nick presented posters at the IDW at U Ottawa.
Aug 2012 -Kelly and Nick presented posters at the ICOMC in Lisbon, Portugal.
Aug 2012 - Kelly and Nick presented posters at the ICFE in Udine, Italy. Nick wins the Dalton Transactions poster prize. Great work!
July-Sept 2012 -Jeffrey receives an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS). Nick receives a Richard Fuller Memorial Scholarship.
July 2012 - Our recent uranium paper was selected as a Dalton Transactions Hot Article and is currently featured on the Dalton Transactions Blog.
June 2012 - Nick, Kris, Bala, Sougandi, Terry and Matt's Uranium paper is published in the current issue of Dalton Trans. (a special issue entitled "New Talent in the Americas").
May 2012 - Meera is 1 of only 2 undergrads to present a talk in the inorganic division at the CSC Conference in Calgary this year (out of a total of 269 talks). Nice work!
May 2012 - Brad Cowie's work is highlighted in the Inorganic Division of the CIC's 2012-2013 calendar.
May 2012 - New graduate student Aathith Vasanthakumar joins the group.
May 2012 - NSERC USRA students Judy Tsao and Adam Pantaleo join the group.
March 2012 - Kelly is awared a Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology. Nice work KM!
March 2012 - Brad and Kris complete their Comprehensive Exams. Now back to the lab!
March 2012 - Meera wins runner-up for the best CHEM 4G09 thesis presentation.
Oct. 2011 - Nick wins "best McMaster chemistry graduate research colloquium" for 2010/2011.
Oct. 2011 - Brad and Kris' Dalton Perspective published on ASAP (also awarded the front cover of the issue that the perspective will be published in).
Welcome to the Emslie Group Webpage
Research in the Emslie group is focused on:
(1) The development of new organometallic reactivity for metal Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD): new volatile precursor synthesis, solution deposition reactions, mechanistic studies, and ALD.
(2) Ultra-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.
(3) Late transition metal ambiphilic ligand complexes; synthesis, structures, stoichiometric reactivity, and catalysis.
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.
Our research in the area of metal ALD provides students and PDFs working in this area with valuable and unique experience in multidisciplinary research; from precursor design/synthesis, reactivity studies and solution mechanistic studies, to ALD and thin film characterization (e.g. 4-point probe measurements, SEM, XPS and PXRD). These skills have broad academic and industrial application, and even members of the Emslie group who are not directly involved in the project gain exposure to the field through research presentations at weekly group meetings.