It is imperative that we discover new atom-efficient and cleaner ways for doing the chemical transformations necessary for producing food, medicine and fuel.
Instead of cleaning up pollution afterwards, we must prevent it at the source and mitigate CO2 emissions.
Chemists have a key role to play in these endeavors in the design of new environmentally responsible ways for using small molecules like H2O, O2, CO2, CH4, N2 and plant biomass (e.g. cellulose) as direct chemical feedstocks. These new processes will rely on catalysts - just like the biology relies on metalloenzymes.
We design and synthesize new metal-organic molecules containing the abundant redox active first-row d-block elements like iron, copper, and manganese. These molecules show properties like those of their biological counterparts-the metalloenzymes.
They can be used as catalysts, energy storage materials and biocompatible metal-based pharmaceuticals and more.
Characterization of these new materials requires a battery of techniques. We use X-rays to look inside the crystals of these new supermolecules to see the way the atoms are arranged. We investigate their structure-activity relationships using spectroscopic, magnetic and electrochemical methods.
The applications of this research are wide-ranging, from artificial photosynthesis, the catalysis of oxidation reactions, water remediation, gas separation to medical diagnostics and therapy.
Co-Host at the ICCC 2026 conference: https://iccc2026.com/