Research Faculty

The (GWC)2 has research faculty whose interests cover all areas of chemistry and biochemistry. Below, you can browse through a list of the Centre faculty identified by name and their main areas of interest. Click on the faculty member's name for a brief description of their research area. Clicking on either their portrait or personal web page link will show you detailed information about the faculty member and their research.

If you have specific specialized research topics in mind consult the research topics page to identify faculty working in those areas.

If you are specifically interested in joint research projects you can consult the joint research page.


M. Aucoin

Waterloo Analytical, Biological, Nanoscience
Biologic Production in Insect Cells using Baculovirus Expression Vectors. One of our biggest veins of this research is to try and gain a better understanding of competition between vectors when multiple vectors are used or multiple proteins need to be expressed to produce a single product. How best to look at this problem? We are devising means based on synthetic biology to help us address some of these issues. We are also interested in the level of post-translational modification that insect cells are able to perform. Not only are we interested in glycosylation but also the less investigated process of myristoylation. Cell Culture Monitoring, Modeling and Simulation – from metabolomics to on-line spectroscopy. We are at a point where we can collect huge amounts of data for our processes but do we use it to it's full advantage? The answer to this is that even though we can amass a lot of information for our cultures we still do not know what to do with it. We are very interested in this aspect. One area of interest is the wider use of 1D-1H NMR metabolomics in cell culture. Does the increase in information gathered lead to more robust processes? Monoclonal Antibody Production and Modification. A billion dollar industry that is based on a therapeutic molecule that is inherently a population of molecules with different glycosylation patterns. Can we create processes that will enhance the monodispersity of the product? This is what we are trying to do. Not only are we interested in insect cells, but we are also interested in more traditional cell lines like the Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells. These cells continue to be the most widely used and still require a significant amount of study to fully understand how they do what they do best for us – make therapeutic proteins.

F.-I. Auzanneau

Guelph Biological, Organic
Carbohydrates constitute the most abundant class of natural products. In addition to being a source of energy, numerous oligo- and poly- saccharides have functional roles in various biological events such as cell-cell interactions, immune reactions, and molecular signaling. Specific Carbohydrate Antigens are expressed in at the surface of tumor cells, non-host cells (i.e. red blood cells in transfusions) or bacteria and can be involved in antigen specific immune responses. Such immune reactions are mostly resulting in the production of antibodies that bind specifically to a three-dimensional Carbohydrate Epitope displayed within the antigen by a di- or tri- saccharide fragment of the antigen. In that context, I am interested in the identification of such Epitopes displayed at the surface of tumor cells (TACEs) or bacteria and their use as immunotherapeutics in the fight against cancer or bacterial infection.

M.D. Baker

Guelph Analytical, Inorganic, Nanoscience, Physical
Dr. Baker's research group focuses on Zeolite-Modified Electrodes

M. Barra

Waterloo Organic
My area of interest/expertise is physical-organic chemistry. Thus, our research projects focus on mechanistic, kinetic and thermodynamic studies. Investigations are based primarily on the application of UV-visible absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, and time-resolved laser-flash photolysis techniques. While the emphasis of our projects is on thermodynamic and kinetic properties, all our projects also involve organic syntheses. Hence, chromatographic techniques, mass spectrometry as well as NMR and IR spectroscopy are frequently used.

J.D. Baugh

Waterloo Nanoscience, Physical
The goal of our experimental program is to help shape the science and technology of quantum devices, by developing prototypes and the quantum control techniques necessary for scalable Quantum Information Processing. Particular focus is on using the particle property of spin to encode quantum information in a robust way. Our research involves nuclear and electron magnetic resonance, nanoscale device fabrication, and low temperature measurement techniques. We are exploring applications of novel nanomaterials such as nanowires and carbon nanotubes for making quantum coherent 'spintronic' devices.

N.J. Bunce

Guelph Organic, Analytical, Electrochemistry
We have consolidated our research efforts into environmental electrochemistry, with emphasis on the electrochemical treatment of aqueous wastes. Electrolysis offers a 'niche technology' for compounds that are 'recalcitrant' towards conventional biological treatment – because they are metallic, or unreactive biologically, or toxic to the microorganisms of a bioreactor.

J.M. Chong

Waterloo Organic
The focus of our work is on creating new reagents to carry out transformations which are not currently possible using existing methodology or to improve upon known reagents. Much of what we do is related to the preparation of compounds with defined stereochemistry. Organometallic reagents play a major role in our research. Organometallic reagents are particularly useful in organic synthesis since they can be used to make new carbon-carbon bonds, often with stereochemical consequences. We have used organic derivatives of aluminum, boron, copper, lithium, magnesium, tin, and zinc to effect asymmetric transformations.

D. Cory

Waterloo Nanoscience, Physical
Dr. Cory is developing tools for navigating and harnessing the quantum universe. Called quantum sensors and actuators, these devices will allow unprecedented control over nature's smallest building blocks, leading toward computing and communication technologies that operate at the atomic scale. The technologies Cory is developing in his lab will have immediate applications within quantum science, and will eventually lead to the world's first generation of practical quantum devices. Such technologies, by harnessing the power of quantum mechanics, promise to far exceed the capabilities of the classical technologies we have today.

M.K. Denk

Guelph Organometallic, Organic, Theoretical
The stabilization of highly reactive compounds and the synthesis of technologically important materials (such as semiconductors) from molecular precursors are the two main areas of our research. We are particularly interested in finding low temperature routes for the deposition of thin films. Current work concentrates on thin films of copper, silver, gold and semiconductors (mostly silicon and germanium). These films are an integral part of all microelectronic circuits and have a large potential for photo voltaic application ('solar cells').

T. Dieckmann

Waterloo Biochemistry
NMR-spectroscopy, RNA and protein structure, RNA-protein interactions, RNA catalysis, viral infections and cellular defense mechanisms

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy has developed into a powerful method for the structure determination of small and medium sized proteins (up to ca. 250 aa) and nucleic acids (up to ca. 50 nt) in solution. NMR spectroscopy is in many ways complementary to x-ray crystallography: The structures are obtained in solution, its strength lies in the area of smaller biomolecules, and NMR allows a detailed study of weak intermolecular interactions and dynamic processes.

RNA plays a central role in numerous central processes in all living cells. It fulfills functions ranging from structural roles (in vaults and ribosomes) over that of an information carrier (mRNA, viral genomes) to catalysis (self-splicing introns, plant virus ribozymes). The 'RNA-world' hypothesis assumes an even greater importance of RNA with it being the sole information carrier and catalyst for all reactions in pre-biotic times and maybe in primitive life forms. The laboratory will focus on two areas of RNA related research: Small RNAs with interesting ligand binding or catalytic properties and the structure and function of RNA-protein complexes.

Aptamers are RNA or DNA molecules that have been selected in vitro to bind to a ligand of choice. In vitro selection experiments have been used to evolve the ATP-binding aptamer into a 5'-RNA kinase. The determination of the structure of this kinase ribozyme and the study of its reaction mechanism will provide important insights into RNA evolution and its role as a catalyst. Other small RNAs of interest include a phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase binding aptamer and self-aminoacylating RNA.

The structure determination of RNA and RNA-protein complexes by NMR requires the development and application of heteronuclear, multi-dimensional NMR techniques in combination with complete or specific 13C, 15N, and 2H labeling of the molecules under investigation. In addition in vitro selection can be applied to find RNAs with high affinities for target proteins or modules of these proteins. The study of ion-binding to RNA and the investigation of the molecular dynamics of free RNAs and their complexes will add to a more complete picture of the structure and function of RNA and RNA-protein interactions on a molecular level.

G.I. Dmitrienko

Waterloo Organic
Enzyme structure and function.

J. Duhamel

Waterloo Nanoscience, Polymer
Associative polymers are made of a solvent soluble polymer backbone onto which insoluble pendants have been attached. In the appropriate solvent, the insoluble moieties associate, and induce the formation of large polymer aggregates, which thickens the solution. Upon shear, these associations are broken and the solution thins. These peculiar rheological behaviors have found many practical applications. Quantitative characterization of the associative strength of associative polymers is difficult to achieve due to their highly polydisperse nature. Associative polymers are usually polydisperse in length, with insoluble moieties randomly attached onto the backbone, and they form polymer aggregates which are polydisperse in size.

E. Fillion

Waterloo Organic
Our research program centers on the design, development and discovery of novel transition-metal and Lewis acid-promoted carbon-carbon bond forming processes for the enantio- and stereocontrolled synthesis of complex carbocycles and heterocycles. Polycyclic ring systems are present in many natural products and represent important synthetic targets with wide-ranging biological activities. The innovative aspect of our research program lies in exploring the reactivity, and mechanism of unusual intermediates in a synthetic context.

W. Gabryelski

Guelph Analytical
Our research in the area of analytical mass spectrometry focuses on the development and application of new, effective, and convenient techniques for characterization of chemical components of complex mixtures typically found in environmental and biological samples. Our strategy for improving the existing analytical methods is coupling mass spectrometry with High Field Asymmetric Waveform Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS). FAIMS is a gas-phase separation method, which is capable of separating and focusing ions on the basis of how the ions move in the presence of an alternating electrical field. By placing a FAIMS device at the front end of a mass spectrometer, the sensitivity and available spectral information can be increased dramatically. In some instances, the improvement is so significant that the FAIMS system has been called the 'Hubble Telescope' of mass spectrometry. In our research, the combination of electrospray ionization, FAIMS, and mass spectrometry will be used for rapid, sensitive, and comprehensive characterization of a wide range of pollutants in drinking water.

M. Gauthier

Waterloo Nanoscience, Polymer
Our research efforts are currently focused on the synthesis and physical characterization of a new class of branched macromolecules, called arborescent polymers. The term arborescent (from the latin arbor = tree) refers to the tree-like or dendritic structure of the molecules. These compounds are obtained in successive reaction cycles of anionic polymerization and grafting. For example, grafting linear polystyrene side chains onto a linear polystyrene substrate yields a comb-branched (generation G=0) structure. Repetition of the grafting reaction leads to higher generation arborescent polymers of generations G=1, 2, etc. (M. Gauthier and M. Möller 1991, Macromolecules 24, 4548):

J.D. Goddard

Guelph Physical, Theoretical
The computationally efficient inclusion of electron correlation is a major part of quantum chemistry. On moving away from equilibrium geometries, a single configuration based molecular orbital method becomes less adequate necessitating the inclusion of electron correlation. Aspects of spin polarized density functional theory (DFT) are under investigation. Symmetry breaking problems in density functional theory and the description of singlet biradicals are of particular interest.

S. Goldman

Guelph Physical, Theoretical
My research is focused on the fundamental properties and applications of soft elastic materials. Unlike simple liquids (such as water) these materials have some degree of rigidity, and consequently a degree of intrinsic shape. Examples include molten magma, soft rubber, ‘Jell-O', and soft tissues in the body. The theoretical work involves elucidating the chemical physics of these materials, particularly when they contain gaseous inclusions (i.e. gas bubbles). This includes a fundamental elucidation of the thermodynamic, kinetic and structural properties of such composite materials.

The applied work involves an application of the fundamental results to the problem of decompression sickness, which can occur in scuba diving, aviation and space exploration following a rapid decompression. Collaborative projects with DRDC (Defense R&D Canada) and DAN (Divers Alert Network) are currently underway.

T. Gorecki

Waterloo Analytical
Research in my group focuses mainly on modern separation techniques, including comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC-GC) and high temperature high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). We are also actively pursuing research in the area of sample preparation, focusing primarily on passive sampling of organic pollutants in air (especially for vapor intrusion studies), as well as extraction of volatile compounds from low-permeability natural media like rock and clay.

B. Greenberg

Waterloo Biochemistry (Biology)
My research addresses the impacts of sunlight on environmental biology and chemistry. The focus is on two projects: Photoinduced toxicity of environmental contaminants and effects of UV-B radiation on plants. These projects involve molecular, biochemical, photochemical, photobiological and whole organism techniques.

J.G. Guillemette

Waterloo Biochemistry, Nanoscience
Nitric oxide (NO), formed by nitric oxide synthase (NOS), regulates a number of physiological and pathophysiological functions. NO is involved in homoeostatic processes such as blood pressure regulation, neurotransmission, and is cytotoxic at high concentrations. The NOS isozymes are fully active when bound to calmodulin (CaM), the ubiquitous calcium-binding regulatory protein. While inducible NOS (iNOS) activation by CaM only requires basal levels of calcium, the constitutive isoforms of NOS require elevated levels of calcium for CaM binding and activation. We are investigating the role of calmodulin in the differential regulation of the various NOS isoforms. Recombinant enzymes are selectively modified and investigated for enzymatic activity and characterized using a variety of biophysical techniques.

J.F. Honek

Waterloo Biochemistry, Nanoscience
Our interest is to understand the fundamental interactions of small molecules (such as substrates and drugs) with enzymes as well as the mechanisms by which enzymes catalyze reactions. Research in this area includes mechanistic enzymology, recombinant DNA and biophysical methods as well as organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry and molecular modeling. An additional focus is in the area of bionanotechnology and the application of biological chemistry to the synthesis of new nanomaterials and nanostructures.

W.S. Hopkins

Waterloo Physical
Our research group is interested in the structure and reactivities of gas-phase transition metal nanoclusters. Traditionally viewed as test cases for heterogeneous catalytic systems, oftentimes nanoclusters exhibit chemical and physical properties quite dissimilar from both the bulk phase and their atomic constituents. We hold the view that structure determines functionality. To elucidate the electronic and geometric structures of nanoclusters, we use a combination of spectroscopic and chemical dynamic measurements, in conjunction with computational predictions. We then go on to decorate our nanoclusters with small ligands, and induce surface reaction amongst adsorbed species with laser light. This research allows us to determine not only nanocluster structures, but also important physical properties such as bond strengths, mechanisms of surface reaction and solvation, and reaction product state distributions. Through this research we hope to garner a more complete view of the chemistry and physics underpinning this poorly understood, yet intriguing form of matter.

A. Houmam

Guelph Analytical, Electrochemistry, Organic, Physical
Electrochemical methods are particularly 'green' (electrons as reagents) and the lack of byproducts makes them attractive for synthesizing pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. Organic electrosynthesis is already established as a major technology for the production, inter alia, of hydrogen peroxide for the pulp and paper industry, of chlorine and sodium hydroxide, and of adiponitrile, a precursor to nylon. Electrochemistry offers access to the synthesis of valuable compounds including fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, complex natural products and a wide variety of interesting intermediates and precursors such as chiral drug intermediates. The optimization of an electrochemical (or any other) synthesis demands a thorough understanding of the underlying physical and mechanistic chemistry; The 'electrochemical workstation' allows to carry out the fundamental mechanistic studies under almost exactly the same conditions as those that will be used for the actual syntheses. Specific synthetic targets of our electrochemical research are substituted C-glycosides, pharmaceutically and agrochemically interesting fluorinated compounds, sulfonium, bisulfonium and tetrasulfonium salts. Sulfonioum salts have a wide range of applications in the polymer and photographic industries.

V. Karanassios

Waterloo Analytical, Nanoscience
Direct elemental analysis of micro-samples, analytical atomic spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma optical emission and mass spectrometry, chemometrics, artificial intelligence via neural networks, intelligent spectrochemical instrumentation.

H. Kleinke

Waterloo Inorganic, Physical, Nanoscience
Thermoelectrics are materials which are capable of converting heat into electrical energy and vice versa. This fascinating phenomenon is nowadays commercially used in power generators (e.g., in the telecommunication industry, or in spacecrafts), food refrigerators, air conditioning, cryotherapy, pacemakers, and sensors (e.g. thermocouples). The automobile industry is eager to use this technique, e.g. for environmentally harmless air conditioning or as a power source for the radio or headlights, driven by the exhaust heat. The applications are to date limited due to the somewhat low efficiency h (ca. 5 - 10 %)

S. Lee

Waterloo Inorganic
Topics of fundamental chemical and/or biological interest form the basis for our investigations. One primary research area is directed toward understanding molecular aspects of biological nitrogen fixation. These studies have led to the development of synthetic chemistry associated with clusters of weak-field iron and anionic nitrogen ligation; the discovery within these clusters of iron centers with rare or unprecedented features, e.g., high-valent +4 oxidation states, 3-coordinate metal environments and terminal imide ligation; and the demonstration of physicochemical analogies that relate iron-nitrogen systems to biological iron-sulfur chemistry.

R.J. LeRoy

Waterloo Theoretical, Physical
Theoretical and computational chemical physics - the study of the 'sex life' of simple molecules. I am interested in understanding and using theory (i.e., quantum mechanics) to determine the basic forces between atoms and molecules, in order to understand and predict physical and chemical phenomena. For example, the characteristic patterns of spectroscopically observed transition frequencies associated with a particular molecule contains information telling us about the shape and structure of the molecule, the forces in the bonds, the dissociation energy, and the nature of the fragments formed on dissociation. In one series of projects I work on developing and applying methods for optimally extracting such information from experimental data. Computer programs I have developed for doing this are distributed free to anyone who asks, and are in use in hundreds of research and teaching labs around the world.

K.T. Leung

Waterloo Analytical, Nanoscience, Physical
The primary mission of the Laboratory is to conduct exploratory studies of radiation-matter interactions in molecular and condensed matter using new electron-impact (and photon-impact) coincidence techniques. A wide range of surface science and chemical physics experiments probing the fundamental aspects of polyatomic molecules, low-temperature plasmas, semiconductor surfaces, and technological thin films and their interactions with charged-particle beams are being conducted.

J. Lipkowski

Guelph Analytical, Nanoscience, Physical
Our efforts are directed towards understanding of phenomena which determine the structure and composition of the metal solution interface. We are studying processes, such as adsorption, electron and ion transfer, which are involved in electrolytic production of metals, corrosion and energy conversion in fuel cells or batteries. The metals are Pt, Au, Ag and Cu and their alloys.

J. Liu

Waterloo Analytical, Biochemistry, Inorganic, Nanoscience
Our laboratory runs highly interdisciplinary research programs based on the chemistry, biology, and nanotechnology of DNA and lipids. Bioinorganic chemistry: we employ DNA as a metal ligand to produce novel catalysts for important reactions. We are also interested in using DNA and lipids as templates to synthesize inorganic nanoparticles and template their assembly. Analytical chemistry: we pursue novel methods of selecting DNA ligands (aptamers) that can bind biologically important targets and designing biosensors. Nanomedicine: we use DNA, lipids, and various nanoparticles to make targeted drug delivery systems, imaging agent, and anti-bacterial agents.

V. Maheshwari

Waterloo Analytical, Physical, Nanoscience
Our research aims to develop materials and devices using characteristic phenomena's of nanoscience. The focus of the research is in the area of using nanomaterials for synthesis and self assembly of functional structures such as touch sensors and ionic conductors, development of bio-nano-electronic systems that couple cells with nanomaterial and biosensors.

R. Manderville

Guelph Biological, Organic
Our research program focuses broadly on DNA interactions of xenobiotics that possess diverse biological activities. One area of study stems from our discovery that phenolic xenobiotics attach covalently to DNA and form carbon-(C) and oxygen-(O)-bonded C8-deoxyguanosine (dG) adducts through the intermediacy of the phenoxyl radical. Phenoxyl radicals are one-electron oxidation products of phenols that have been identified in numerous biological systems and are implicated in cancer and aging. A second, and more specific, project in our laboratory centers on gaining an understanding of the cancer-causing properties of ochratoxin A (OTA). OTA is a natural fungal toxin that is implicated in human kidney cancer.

T.B. McMahon

Waterloo Physical
My research program is directed toward the investigation of structure, energetics and reaction dynamics of gaseous ions. Most recently, the majority of our work has focussed on cluster ions. To carry out this research we use high pressure mass spectrometry (HPMS) and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) spectrometers. HPMS is uniquely suited to the investigation of energetics of gaseous ion-molecule equilibria, particularly equilibria associated with ion-molecule clustering and exchange reactions. Using this technique we have amassed a considerable database for the energetics as well as kinetics of a wide variety of cluster species. Our FTICR spectrometer is equipped with a high pressure ion source also. Using this instrument we can generate cluster species, transfer them to the FTICR cell under UHV conditions and then study their subsequent bimolecular or unimolecular chemistry.

E.M. Meiering

Waterloo Biochemistry, Nanoscience
We are investigating the relationships between protein structure, function, folding and dynamics, at atomic resolution. We use a multidisciplinary approach involving multi-nuclear heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy, optical spectroscopies, differential scanning calorimetry, stopped-flow rapid mixing techniques and molecular biological techniques to overexpress and rationally modify proteins of biological and medical importance.

S. Mikkelsen

Waterloo Analytical
Modern analytical instrumentation allows the analysis of solutions so dilute that single molecules can be detected, provided that no interfering species are present. Our research involves the selectivity aspect of analytical assays and sensors to overcome interferences that exist in such matrices as biological or environmental samples. Our research program investigates both natural and artificial recognition methods in an effort to distinguish the analyte species from closely-related potential interferants.

M.A. Monteiro

Guelph Analytical, Biological
* Chemistry and Biochemistry of Complex Carbohydrates
* Development of New Carbohydrate Vaccines
* The Chemical Structures of Bacterial Capsule- and Lipo-polysaccharides, and Viral Glycoproteins
* Chemistry of Polysaccharides and Metabolites from Medicinal Plants
* Development of New Techniques for the Characterization of Polysaccharide Structures
* Glycoconjugate Vaccines
* Mass Spectrometry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

G.K. Murphy

Waterloo Organic
Our research program is based on the development of novel, strategic entries into metallocarbene and metallonitrene intermediates. These intermediates have been widely employed in complex molecule synthesis, due to their many associated reactive pathways such as C-H insertion, cyclopropanation / aziridination and ylide formation. Our methodology will be applied to small-molecule functionalization, carbocycle / heterocycle synthesis and ultimately natural product synthesis.

L.F. Nazar

Waterloo Inorganic, Nanoscience
One of the most interesting aspects of materials chemistry is the design of structures with specific physical properties. Using these principles, we construct new materials, determine their structures and investigate the resultant properties of the material. We are, in particular, interested in ionic and electronic transport in materials since these properties can be applied to the development of specific devices.

M. Nooijen

Waterloo Theoretical
Our long term goal is to develop accurate wave function based electronic structure methods that are applicable to general open-shell systems, in particular transition metal compounds. The electronic structure technique should be coupled to an efficient scheme to describe non-adiabatic nuclear dynamics such that one can make direct comparisons with experimental results.

R.T. Oakley

Waterloo Inorganic
Single component molecular conductors based on neutral pi-radical building blocks represent an appealing alternative to conventional synthetic conductors, which require charge transfer between two components as a means of generating charge carriers. Radicals, however, tend to dimerize, and even when association is suppressed, the high on-site Coulomb repulsion U leads to a Mott insulating state. We therefore build heterocyclic radicals in which the value of U is minimized. We also seek materials that will not dimerize in the solid state, and yet will exhibit a strong network of intermolecular interactions, so that sufficient electronic bandwidth is generated to offset U. Incorporating all of these features into a single molecule is a major challenge in materials design and synthesis.

M. Palmer

Waterloo Biochemistry
The research in my group focuses on protein-lipid interaction in biological membranes. Main topics are

* Structure and function of bacterial pore-forming toxins
* Development of fluorescence methods to study protein-protein and protein-membrane interaction
* Lipid-mediated regulation of G-protein coupled receptors. This is a new and exciting area for which I am looking for co-workers.

Our experiments involve a range of methods - fluorescence, protein chemistry, molecular biology, and cell culture. The results of this work are of both theoretical and medical interest.

J. Pawliszyn

Waterloo Analytical
Our focus is on the development and application of state-of-the-art, integrated and automated analytical methods and instrumentation, for on-site analysis and monitoring.

W.P. Power

Waterloo Physical
My primary research goals are to develop and apply methods to characterize and compare the structure of compounds using NMR spectroscopy. NMR is applicable to a wide range of materials, including gases, solutions, crystalline solids, amorphous materials and surfaces, and a large number of nuclear isotopes are available as spectroscopic probes, including 1H, 13C and 31P, and over 80 other NMR-accessible nuclei. The NMR experiment is very sensitive to subtle changes in the electronic or geometric environment around each nucleus, making NMR an ideal structural probe.

K. Preuss

Guelph Inorganic
The broad field of 'molecular materials' is a rapidly developing research area in which a deepening insight into the nature of atomic and molecular behaviour is married with exciting potential 'real world' applications. Molecular magnets, molecular conductors, single molecule magnets, organic light emitting diodes and molecular switches are only a few examples of such molecular materials.

The rational design and preparation of molecular materials with predictable and/or controllable magnetic properties is the fundamental goal of our research. Our approach involves the development of new spin-bearing ligands, based on sulfur-nitrogen heterocyclic radicals, and the coordination of these ligands to paramagnetic metals.

E. Prouzet

Waterloo Inorganic, Nanoscience
Research interests include the synthesis of porous materials and nanoobjects with the help of soft matter (micelles, liquid crystals, biogels) with applications in various domains (membrane processes, catalysis, organic or inorganic nanoparticles).

P. Radovanovic

Waterloo Physical, Inorganic, Nanoscience
Our research program is generally concerned with the concept of multi-functionality in reduced dimensions, and the applications of multifunctional nanosystems for addressing important chemical, physical, bio-medical, and technological problems. Specifically, we are interested in synthesis, fundamental physical and chemical properties, and applications of rationally designed nanostructured materials that combine tunable optical, electrical and magnetic properties. We apply a variety of synthetic, crystallographic, microscopic, spectroscopic, magnetic, and transport techniques, and perform the measurements of novel nanomaterials at both ensemble and a single nanostructure levels.

P. Rowntree

Guelph Analytical, Nanoscience, Physical
Our fundamental interest is the study, comprehension and control of surface and interfacial processes. The systems that we are currently interested in include organic self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) bound to metal surfaces (e.g., Au, Ni, Pd, Rh, Hg, Ga), organometallic film precursors (e.g., Fe(CO)5, Ni(CO)4, Al(CH3)3 ), and composite materials for selective catalysis and electrocatalysis. By exploring the molecular dynamics of these species in well-controlled environments, we hope to be able to increase the selectivity of surface reactions and enhance the mechanical properties of atomically-thin films.

P.-N. Roy

Waterloo Theoretical, Nanoscience, Physical
Our research is aimed at the understanding of the dynamics of complex molecular systems. To this end, we are developing theoretical approaches and numerical algorithms for computer simulations. We are interested in various levels of theory from classical molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo approaches for the simulation of large biomolecular systems, to extreme quantum mechanical situations where both dispersion and quantum statistical effects have to be accounted for, such as in the case of quantum clusters and fluids. We are also developing semi-classical approaches for intermediate cases where a classical description fails but where an approximate quantum mechanical treatment is sufficient to capture the relevant phenomenology.

D. Schipper

Waterloo Inorganic, Nanoscience, Organic, Polymer
Our research program is based on the development of novel synthetic methods that allow efficient access to important conjugated materials. Ultimately, we will seek to utilize these materials in applications such as organic photovoltaics, light emitting diodes and field-effect transistors.

M. Schlaf

Guelph Inorganic, Organic, Nanoscience
We are interested in applying homogeneous transition metal catalysis to sugar substrates with the ultimate objective of transforming naturally abundant sugar molecules to high value-added synthons for biomedical (e.g. antibiotics) and polymer (e.g. polyesters of alpha,omega-diols) applications using either known or novel catalysts specifically designed and developed in our lab. Projects on the catalytic vinylation, silylation, and dehydrogenation of sugars are presently under way in our lab.

A.L. Schwan

Guelph Organic
The ability to develop new chemical transformations is a key element of organic chemistry. To this end our group has been pursuing both new reactions and the chemistry of newly discovered functional groups. This approach allows us to study cycloaddition chemistry, strained heterocycles, reactive intermediates and asymmetric synthesis.

Our current investigations involve the chemistry of sulfur and silicon containing compounds. We have learned about the mechanism of a regioselective deprotonation/stereoselective ring opening rearrangement of thiirane S-oxides (1) which forms 1-alkenesulfenate anions (2). We have determined the behavior of those 1-alkenesulfenate anions with several reagents. We have uncovered the first synthesis of a new functionality, the 1-alkenesulfinyl chloride (3), and the group is currently pursuing its chemistry.

G. Sciaini

Waterloo Pysical
Ultrafast lasers provided the first light in sufficiently short pulses to monitor atomic motion on the relevant timescales; below a millionth of a millionth of a second, to literally catch atoms on the fly as in stop-motion photography. However, the spatial resolution in optical microscopy is limited to about the size of a big virus. This is about ten thousand times too coarse to observe the molecular structure at its finest detail, down to its fundamental building blocks; atoms. The progress in the development of ultrafast structure-sensitive cameras over the last 20 years has been tremendous, with large scale, kilometers long facilities such as LCLS (Stanford) built to provide us with the temporal and spatial resolutions required to observe atoms in motion. Sciaini's group at University of Waterloo develops such atomic-level cameras in a compact design that fits on a table with the size of a standard office desk. The main two directions in the group are based on the use of ultrafast electron sources for the study of structure and dynamics with atomic spatial resolution. Only 50 years ago, transition states, bond breaking and bond formation events were thought to be immeasurably fast. Nowadays, we have reached the spatial and temporal resolutions required to observe atoms in motion and, with that, been able to provide the most fundamental understanding of dynamical phenomena relevant to physics, chemistry, and biology.

W.R. Smith

Guelph Physical, Theoretical
Our research program concerns the development and applications of molecular-level simulation algorithms (Molecular Synamics and Monte Carlo) for the prediction of the thermodynamic and transport properties of matter, particularly fluids and their solutions. In the latter case, the focus is on chemical potentials and on reaction and phase equilibria. We have current projects on the discovery of improved solvents for carbon capture, the prediction of the properties of aqueous electrolyte solutions, and the simulation of adiabatic and other energy-conserving processes, particularly for the design of new environmentally benign refrigerants.

R. Smith

Waterloo Inorganic, Nanoscience
Research projects are focused on the electrochemical synthesis of chemical fuels for sustainable energy storage schemes – often referred to as 'artificial photosynthesis.' Efforts within the group are focused on improving the efficiency and selectivity of electrochemical reactions such as the conversion of CO2 to hydrocarbons. This is achieved through development of fabrication techniques for solid-state materials, synthesis of novel materials, study of the chemistry of electrode surfaces, measurement of electron transfer kinetics and study of electrochemical reaction dynamics. The interdisciplinary nature of the research provides students with broad exposure to modern research instrumentation and techniques. Individual projects involve the design and development of techniques for synthesis of targeted solid-state materials and their characterization by a diverse selection of characterization techniques (for example, electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, vibrational spectroscopy and electrochemical techniques). The electrocatalytic performance of the materials is then tested for electrochemical reactions such as CO2 reduction and water oxidation.

D. Soldatov

Guelph Inorganic, Nanoscience, Physical
Our multidisciplinary research generally fits in the area of supramolecular chemistry, crystal engineering and nanomaterials science. The objects of interest are molecular crystals and materials made of two or more components. Currently used 'building elements' are either metal complexes or simple peptides.

The ultimate goals of our research are materials that could be utilized in future technologies (to store gases, to separate chemicals, to encapsulate waste, to sense volatile pollutants) and in biomedical applications (to make new forms of pharmaceuticals, to stabilize sensitive ingredients, to preserve and deliver flavors, to model biostructures).

We synthesize new compounds, explore their structure, stability, physicochemical behavior, chemical properties and potential use. Specific interests: porous materials (organic zeolites/clays); inclusion compounds (host-guest systems, clathrates); co-crystals; coordination polymers, metal-organic frameworks, oligopeptides, weak interactions, crystallography, thermodynamics.

W. Tam

Guelph Organic, Theoretical
The objective of our research program is to develop novel synthetic methodologies in organic synthesis for the construction of different ring systems, including: nitrogen-containing heterocyclic compounds, spirocyclic compounds, attached-ring compounds and polycyclic compounds. These ring systems are present in many biologically important natural products, which have found use in anti-HIV, anticancer, antiviral and antiretroviral researches. Synthetic methods which allow for the rapid construction of these ring systems with high regio-, stereo- and enantioselectives would be very useful.

X.W. Tang

Waterloo Analytical, Nanoscience, Physical
Research Interests include:

Nanomaterials and Nanodevices for Biology and Medicine;

Bio-Molecule Assisted Nanomaterial Self-Assembly;and

Health and Environmental Effects of Engineered Nanomaterials.

S. Taylor

Waterloo Organic
My research program is multidisciplinary ranging from medicinal and synthetic chemistry to mechanistic enzymology. Our synthetic work includes synthesis of sulfated carbohydrates and peptides, synthesis of organofluorines such as fluorinated steroids, amino acids and carbohydrates, design of chiral fluorinating agents for performing enantioselective electrophilic fluorination and the synthesis of organophosphorus compounds such as nucleotide analogues. Many of the compounds we prepare are designed to act as inhibitors and probes of enzymes involved in steroid biosynthesis, signal transduction pathways and purine biosynthesis. A variety of techniques are utilized such as fluorimetry, NMR, mass spec, HPLC, protein purification/overexpression and molecular modeling.

D.F. Thomas

Guelph Analytical, Nanoscience, Physical
We work in the interdisciplinary fields of Surface Science and Materials Science. The optical, electronic, and mechanical properties of materials are investigated to determine how the CHEMISTRY of the formation processes affects the PHYSICS of the final product.

Chemical Etching of Porous Silicon * Interfacial States in Semiconducting BaTiO3 * Organometallic Chemical Vapour Deposition (OMCVD) * Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscopy * Scanning Tunneling Microscopy * Scanning Force Microscopy * Nanostructure Formation * Colossal Magnetoresistance (CMR)

P. Tremaine

Guelph Analytical, Physical
Many geological and industrial processes take place at conditions far beyond the range of conventional room temperature measurements. The objective of my research is to develop the knowledge base and theoretical understanding needed to describe the behaviour of aqueous systems at extremes of temperature and pressure encountered in electrical power stations, nuclear reactors, geothermal ore bodies, deep-ocean hydrothermal vents, and the thermal recovery of heavy oil.

A.W. Tsen

Waterloo Nanoscience, Physical
Our research focuses on the study of solid-state materials exhibiting rich quantum phenomena (superconductors, charge density waves, topological materials, etc.), applications of which may lead to significant breakthroughs in technology. Of particular interest are nanoscale systems where reduced phase space and increased correlations generally lead to enhanced quantum effects. Their low dimensionality also allows compatibility with current nanofabrication techniques, making them more suitable for future device integration. We use a combination of methods to probe the structural, optical, and transport properties of nanoscale quantum materials and further incorporate them in novel electronic and opto-electronic devices.

X. Wang

Waterloo Inorganic, Nanoscience, Polymer
As a polymer supramolecular group, we strive to develop new synthetic strategies for supramolecular functional nanomaterials by using polymers as building blocks. Particularly, we are interested in the synthesis and self-assembling behavior of metal-containing polymers for a new generation of processible and tunable nanomaterials with properties associated with metal elements. The created materials will be examined for their applications in healthcare, nanoelectronics, energy and social security.
Two Great Universities - One Great Graduate Program
Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry and Biochemistry
Guelph/Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
519-824-4120 x53848
Fax: 519-766-1499