Patrick J. Desrochers
Chair and Professor
Research: Work in my lab involves the coordination chemistry of metal ions. These include early and late transition metals from chromium and molybdenum, through iron and rhodium, to nickel, copper, and zinc. When properly controlled, these ions elicit desirable behavior like amino acid selectivity (nickel), heterogeneous polymerization catalysis (rhodium), interesting magnetic characteristics (iron), and reversible binding of small molecules and substrates (CO, NH3, BH4, HCCH; nickel, copper, chromium) of interest in industrial reactions and hydrogen-rich storage materials. This control results from using facial scorpionate chelates that are specifically designed for electronic, steric, and reusable ultility. Most recently work in my lab has focused on anchoring these chemical systems to plastic substrates to improve their recyclability and use in applications ranging from protein purification to small-molecule sensors, reusable heterogeneous catalysts, and tailored magnetic materials.
Teaching: I am interested in chemical education and science literacy across a wide spectrum of courses and target audiences. Courses I teach include: Fundamentals of Chemistry (1301), Chemistry in Society (1400), General Chemistry I & II (1450,1451), Intermediate Inorganic (3360), Advanced Inorganic (4380 lecture, 3150 lab), Bioinorganic (as special topics, 4385).