Chemistry Research

Inorganic Chemistry

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Inorganic chemistry deals with the synthesis and behavior of inorganic and organometallic compounds. This field covers all chemical compounds except the myriad organic compounds (carbon- based comounds, usually containing C-H bonds), which are the subjects of organic chemistry.  The distinction between the two disciplines is far from absolute, as there is much overlap in the subdiscipline or organometallic chemistry.  It has applications in every aspect of the chemical industry, including catalysis, materials science, pigments, sufactants, coatings, medications, fuels, and agriculture.



Dr. Jamie Ritch - Inorganic Compound Discovery for Materials Science and Catalysis

Issues such as renewable energy and pollution management continue to provide challenges for scientists. Synthetic chemistry provides access to novel compounds with properties that can be tailored to specific applications, such as these areas of current interest. We are interested in designing main group element-based ligands, to take advantage of the wide variety of chemical behaviour found in the s- and p-blocks of the periodic table. The coordination chemistry of ligands containing the heavy chalcogens selenium and tellurium is being investigated. Such complexes are of fundamental interest in terms of bonding and structure, but also as precursors to solid state materials for use in advanced electronics. Another ligand system being explored involves compounds with both Lewis basic and acidic centres. Molecules with such arrangements can act as a scaffold to engender unusual reactivity in otherwise inert molecules, such as hydrocarbons or CO2. This type of chemical activation is highly desirable for catalytic organic transformations.

Dr. Christopher Wiebe - Characterization of New Magnetic Oxides

Dr. Wiebe is interested in the synthesis and characterization of new magnetic oxides. As a former faculty member of Florida State University, he is currently supervising several graduate students in his synthesis and crystal growth lab there. He is also in the process of establishing a solid state chemistry lab here at the University of Winnipeg.

His primary interest is in what is called strongly correlated electron systems, or materials which have unusual magnetic or electrical behavior. These include functional materials, such as new solid state batteries, multiferroics, or superconductors, but they also include systems of theoretical interest, such as geometrically frustrated magnets, low dimensional compounds, and heavy fermion compounds. As an experimentalist, his main methods of characterization include diffraction techniques such as x-ray scattering and neutron scattering, but the bulk of his time is spent on the synthesis and crystal growth of these new materials here at the University of Winnipeg.