The Inorganic Chemistry Division is highly interdisciplinary and spans topics including metal-catalyzed organic reaction methodology, rechargeable battery research, bio-inspired small-molecule activation, nano crystal synthesis, surface chemistry, and solid-state structure determination. The division has strong intellectual overlaps with several other divisions within the department and draws on multiple techniques and types of instrumentation in order to achieve its goals.
The Anderson group develops transition metal-catalyzed transformations of organic molecules. Many of their discoveries have led to new methods for the preparation of challenging structural motifs in complex organic molecules. These technologies have applications in both pharmaceutical synthesis as well as materials science.
The Cabana group is generally interested in the chemistry of inorganic materials, with emphasis on redox and transport properties. They develop methodologies for the discovery of new phases and the synthesis of nanocrystals of complex materials, with the ultimate goal of achieving control of functionality across length scales. Currently, the focus is placed on proposing new solutions for challenges in energy storage.
The Hemley group explores the chemistry and physics of materials in extreme conditions up to multimegabar (>100 GPa) pressures using both experiments and computational theory. Current research is focused on transformations of hydrogen and hydrogen-rich materials at these pressures, work that has led to the discovery of room-temperature superconductivity; discovery of novel high-pressure compounds and pressure-induced chemical reactions; synthesis and characterization of new topological, magnetic, and superhard materials; earth and planetary materials, and implications for planetary interiors; and the molecular limits of life in extreme environments. The tools include diamond anvil cell micro-optical spectroscopies, synchrotron infrared spectroscopy, synchrotron x-ray diffraction and spectroscopies, neutron scattering, laser heating, magnetic susceptibility, electrical conductivity, and cryogenic methods, as well as high-pressure materials by design from first-principle computations.
The Mankad group synthesizes new inorganic and organometallic coordination compounds and studies their use for bio-inspired small molecule activation as well as homogeneous catalysis. Potential applications of their research include sustainable chemical synthesis, alternative energy conversion, and environmental protection.
The Snee group specializes in the synthesis of new nanoscale materials and in understanding the size-dependent properties and functions of such materials. Their research has led to applications in a variety of exciting areas including cancer imaging, ion sensing, renewable energy conversion, and environmental protection.
The Trenary group conducts studies of the chemical and structural properties of solid surfaces. With the aim of achieving a fundamental understanding of surface chemical reactions using a variety of surface sensitive techniques, their research provides insights into a variety of areas including heterogeneous catalysis, thin film growth, hydrogen storage, and semiconductor device fabrication.
The Wink group, in addition to their main focus on chemical education, are the resident experts on structure determination and, especially, the determination of inorganic structures using single-crystal X-ray diffraction.