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Wilson Bailey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Do you like colors, metals, and/or finding out how to manipulate chemical bonds for the benefit of the environment and humanity? Then inorganic chemistry research in the Bailey Lab may be for you! The research performed in the Bailey Lab will focus on metal-ligand cooperation (MLC), the rational design of bi-functional organic frameworks to assist transition metal centers in small molecule transformations and catalysis. In other words, we work as molecular architects to create brand new transition metal compounds using both our organic and inorganic knowledge, and use them to create new molecules. The field of MLC is an extension on classical inorganic chemistry, where both the bond making/breaking abilities of the metal, as well as the intrinsic reactive nature of organic functional groups on the ligand, are utilized in a cooperative manner to unlock novel chemistry compared to the (in)organic fragments alone. Projects are inspired by Nature, where exceptionally tuned ligand environments assist metalloenzymes to efficiently carry out specific chemical transformations. Initial projects will focus on the synthesis and characterization of zirconium and nickel complexes, and their reactivity with oxygen in catalysis and water oxidation, respectively. Projects are centered around synthesis, spectroscopy, chemical reactivity, and the many beautiful colors of transition metal species.