My group focusses on making new or modified organic ligands to support transition metal catalysts. These catalysts could be used to make pharmaceuticals or plastics, convert waste materials into commodity chemicals, or transform crude oil into consumer products. Understanding the structure and bonding of these metal complexes allows us to make informed decisions about how to improve their performance. Ultimately, our work finds meaning by making chemical reactions more sustainable or efficient.
We prepare ligands using simple methods (i.e. one or two steps from commercially-available materials) under benign conditions. We attempt to conduct reactions using sustainable solvents, often employing temperature controlled reactors rather than reflux apparatus. These ligands are combined with transition metals under inert atmosphere conditions (Schlenk/glovebox) to generate metal complexes capable of catalyzing a variety of organic transformations. We probe the ground state electronic structure (X-ray diffraction, UV-Vis, etc.) and other features (1D and 2D/multinuclear NMR, IR, etc.) and tie these features to catalytic competency using model transformations such as cross-coupling or carbonyl reduction.
Hydrogenation/hydrosilylation of olefins and carbonyl-containing species.
We are always looking for collaborations that fit with our research interests. Possible examples include biological evaluation of complexes (e.g. topoisomerase II inhibition/anticancer), computational analysis of ligand and metal complex FMO energies, electrochemical studies of complexes featuring redox-active ligands.
metals, catalysis, catalyst development, organometallic, inorganic, electronic structure, ligand synthesis
Gary A. Morris
1. Physics Education Research (item response curves, evaluating the effectiveness of assessment instruments, using assessment to improve instruction)
2. Air Quality Research (measurements of ozone, sulfur dioxide, and ozone precursors by balloon sounding and surface instruments; analysis of air quality data from in situ and remote sensing instruments; atmospheric modeling: dynamics and chemistry)
3. publication list at: http://works.bepress.com/gary_morris/
1. Stratospheric dynamics and chemistry: the ozone hole and stratospheric ozone - models and measurements
2. Atmospheric electricity: the global electrical circuit - using ground-based instruments to measure the electrical activity of the planet; long-term studies relating the electrical activity of the planet to climate change.
3. IDL programs
5. statistical analyses
6. item response curves
7. transition matrices
1. trajectory mapping
2. Kalman filtering
3. Fortran programming
ability to program (in IDL, especially helpful, but any language will do)
Undergraduates, Master's students, Ph.D. students
1. Computational quantum many-body physics. 2. Computational modeling of superconductors.
1. GPU-based molecular dynamics simulations. 2. Simulations of quantum mechanical spin systems.