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Dr Christopher Morley  -  MA DPhil CChem FRSC


  • Synthesis and coordination chemistry of selenium- and tellurium-containing ligands
  • Cyclopentadienyl derivatives of main group elements: syntheses, structures and reactivity.
  • Diselenolenes and related transition metal complexes: development of materials with potentially novel optical and/or electrical properties.
  • Chalcogen-containing ferrocene derivatives: redox-active ligands for heavy metals.
  • Multinuclear NMR spectroscopy of organometallic and coordination compounds.


The molecular structure of a platinum diselenolene

Figure 1

The chemistry of the heavier chalcogens (selenium and tellurium) remains relatively unexplored, but has a number of features which make it attractive to coordination chemists. Firstly, organochalcogen ligands (and their complexes) often have unique properties, not shared by their more familiar phosphine analogues. For example they have particular affinity for heavy metals, such as the late transition elements and the B metals. Secondly, there is a growing need for precursors to metal chalcogenides such as CdSe, which are increasingly important as materials in the electronics industry. Thirdly, both selenium and tellurium have a receptive spin-active isotope and are readily studied by NMR spectroscopy.

Some of the chemistry being studied in our laboratory is illustrated.  Fig. 1 shows the molecular structure of a platinum diselenolene (pink = selenium; grey = platinum; orange = phosphorus; black = carbon), which exhibits intense phosphorescence in the solid state (Fig. 2).

Intense phosphorescence in the solid state

Figure 2