ChemistryWestern Science

Phil A. W. Dean

Phil A. W. Dean

Contact Information

Title: Professor Emeritus
Office: Rm 126 ChB,
Phone (Office): ext 86331

Research Areas

Inorganic, Bioinorganic and Organometallic Chemistry, particularly when involving Applications of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Traditional Research Division:


B.Sc., Ph.D., London


Chalcogenate and related complexes of the zinc-group and p-block elements - We have a long-standing interest in the synthesis, multinuclear magnetic resonance spectra and structures of species containing an adamantane-like cage of the type
(m -ER)6M4 (E = S,Se,Te; M = Zn,Cd,Hg; R = aryl or alkyl), in which there may be a variety of terminal ligands attached to M. These complexes are interesting for many reasons: the RS--bridged complexes are structural and spectroscopic models for biological binding sites; all the complexes exhibit an interesting form of configurational isomerism; the tetranuclear aggregates may be converted into larger aggregates or (with appropriate linkers) form the basis for open, zeolite-like lattices, etc. The coordination chemistry of potential linkers is an area of active interest. Our work on these adamantanoid species has been part of a more general study of the chemistry of ligands in which at least one of the donor atoms is a chalcogen. An additional area of current interest is in the chemistry of such ligands with the p-block elements. Relatively little is yet known about complexes of these elements with Se-donor ligands, and even less about complexes with Te-donor ligands, although solid selenides and tellurides are very important technologically. Therefore we are carrying out exploratory synthetic chemistry in this area. Along the way, we have, with collaborators, been spending a lot of effort on complexes of thiocarboxylates, which are possible precursors to element sulfides in technologically-desirable forms. In addition, some of our compounds show interesting packing motifs in the solid state and we have been collaborating with other colleagues in this general area.