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Research News

Delayed fluorescence from a zirconium(iv) photosensitizer

Nature Chemistry
The Milman Group reports an air- and moisture-stable, visible light-absorbing Zr(iv) photosensitizer. The molecule has an exceptionally long-lived triplet LMCT excited state ( τ = 350 μs), featuring highly efficient photoluminescence emission ( Ф = 0.45) due to thermally activated delayed fluorescence emanating from the higher-lying singlet configuration with significant LMCT contributions.   

Read in Nature Chemistry

Sustainable and Affordable Chemistry to Meet Future Challenges in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Popp pub
The boracarboxylation of vinyl arenes is a useful alkene difunctionalization reaction that provides synthetically useful β‐boryl‐α‐aryl propanoic acid derivatives. The  group of Dr. Popp showed that catalytic additives, specifically triphenylphosphine or electron‐rich styrene, leads to improved catalyst efficiency and broadening of substrate scope. Preliminary experiments are described that begin to clarify the role of ligand additive in the catalytic reaction.

Read the special issue 

Harry Finklea investigates water waste from fracking 

The study was highlighted in C&E News from November 18th 2019.

Water Finklea

Symposium in Honor of Kenneth Showalter

The Interdisciplinary Impact of Nonlinear Chemical Dynamics

May 17, 2019

West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

Organizers: Dezso Horvath, Oliver Steinbock, Renate Wackerbauer

Ken symposium

Symposium program

Effect of surface partitioning on aerosol chemistry

Aerosol flow tube experiments coupled to molecular dynamic simulations reveal that molecular partitioning between the surface and bulk of an aqueous nano droplet significantly affect its chemical reactivity. The results published in Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. by the group of Dr. Goulay may have significant impact on the understanding of atmospheric aerosol chemical aging.

Goulay PCCP

Read in PCCP

A Photosensitizer with a Long-Lived Excited State

Time-resolved emission spectroscopy for the luminescent zirconium complex Zr(MePDP)2 revealed a long-lived excited state with a lifetime τ = 325 ± 10 μs. This value is among the longest lifetimes reported for transition metal complexes and exceeds the values found in traditional MLCT photosensitizers. The results published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society by the by the group of Dr. Milsmann establish a detailed mechanistic picture of a photoredox catalytic reaction promoted by an earth-abundant early transition metal photosensitizer.

JACS Milmann

Synthesis of Fused Nanohoops

In an article highlighted in Synfacts ( 2018 , 14 , 0371) the group of Dr. Wang reports the efficient synthesis of molecular nanohoops with two fused cycloparaphenylenes by Diels–Alder reactions and homocoupling reactions. This strategy may be applied to the synthesis of carbon nanotubes.

Read in JOC

Using field effect to predict decarboxylation rates

The field effect parameter has a substantial influence on the rate of decarboxylation of well-defined silver benzoate complexes. The data published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society by the group of Dr. Hoover provides the opportunity to surpass current substrate limitations associated with decarboxylation and to enable widespread utilization of decarboxylative coupling reactions.

Hoover JACS Read in JACS

A new kind of spiral waves embraces disorder

A type of spiraling wave has been busted for disorderly conduct. Spiral waves are waves that ripple outward in a swirl. Now scientists from Germany and the United States, including WVU chemists Ken Showalter and Mark Tinsley, have created a new type of spiral wave in the lab. The unusual whorl has a jumbled, disordered center rather than an orderly swirl, making it the first "serial wave chimera," the researchers reported in the prestigious journal Nature Physics.

Spiral waves

Spiral waves

Using sound waves for biomedical breakthroughs

Sound waves could be the future of biomedical research, diagnosing and treatment. Peng Li, an assistant professor in the chemistry department assisted a team of researchers to develop an acoustic device that uses sound waves to split cells. This could eventually assist medical professionals during diagnoses and examinations.

Sound waves
The sound of silence

Cicada Wing

A new analysis suggests that cicadas are lousy fliers because of the chemical composition of their wings. I n a study appearing the ACS’ The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, Professor Gullion reports that certain chemical components in the insect’s wings could explain why.


How cicadas manage to ‘wing it’

Chemical Echo

Professors Ken Showalter and Mark Tinsley have observed an echo phenomenon in a system of coupled chemical oscillators. Their research is published Physical Review X.

Chemical Echo
Chemical Echo

Generate div table elements with this table generator, a free online tool! It is also capable of generating and convert grid elements.

Analytical Chemistry

Analytical chemistry uses knowledge of chemistry, instrumentation, and statistics to solve problems in almost all areas of chemistry and for a variety of industries.

Analytical Chemistry Faculty

Chemical Education

Chemical education refers to the study of the teaching and learning of chemistry at all levels of education. Topics include understanding how students learn chemistry, the best teaching methods and the training of chemistry teachers. 

Chemical Education Faculty

Forensic chemistry

Forensic chemistry is about the analysis of non-biological trace evidence found at crime scenes in order to identify unknown materials and match samples to known substances. Forensic Chemistry Faculty

Inorganic chemistry

Inorganic chemistry studies the synthesis, reactions, structures, and properties of inorganic and organometallic compounds.

Inorganic Chemistry Faculty


Research in chemical catalysis aims at designing new classes of catalysts and understanding  how catalysts accelerate chemical reactions and select reaction products. 

Catalysis Faculty

Organic, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry

Organic Chemistry investigates the structure, properties, and reactions of molecules containing carbon atoms.

Organic Chemistry Faculty

Physical and Biophysical Chemistry

Physical chemistry is the study of the behavior of matter at the molecular and atomic level, as well as how chemical reactions occur. Biophysical chemistry uses the concepts of physics and physical chemistry for the study of biological systems.

Physical Chemistry Faculty


Nanoscience is the study of matter on the scale of nanometers.

Nanoscience Faculty