ChemistryWestern Science

Richard J. Puddephatt

Johanna M. Blacquiere

Contact Information

Title: Distinguished University Professor
Office: Rm 100 ChB,
Lab: Rm 102-104 ChB,
Phone (Office): ext 86336

Research Areas

Organometallic Chemistry Related to Catalysis and Materials Science

Traditional Research Division:


B.Sc. (London); Ph.D. (University College London)



Organometallic chemistry is of central importance in both catalysis and materials synthesis.

Current research in these areas is described below.

  1. We design, synthesize and study the properties of unusual organometallic polymers including those with tree-like or dendrimeric structures and conjugated, rod-like structures. The self-assembly of polymers, rings, catenanes and other potentially useful molecular materials is also of interest. In addition we design new volatile organometallics for application in low temperature Chemical Vapour Deposition for the synthesis of thin films of metals, metal oxides and other metal-containing materials. These find applications in fields as diverse as microelectronics, wear protection and biomaterials.

  2. We design, synthesize and study the chemistry of binuclear to tetranuclear complexes of platinum and platinum group metals containing metal-metal bonds. The aim is to design reactive compounds which are able to mimic chemisorption and steps in catalysis on heterogeneous platinum metal catalysts. Our recent research has been focused on complexes with Pt-M bonds (M = Re, Ru, Ir) as models for platinum and bimetallic catalysts and on complexes with Ru-Ru bonds as catalysts for transfer hydrogenation and polymerization. In this way, the complex reactions of catalysis may be simplified and understood. A related area is organometallic host-guest chemistry, building bowl-like organometallic hosts which can selectively bind anions or organic molecules and then take part in catalysis. The organometallic chemistry of platinum, especially as it relates to the activation of alkanes, is another central area of research.

Students in both areas learn the techniques of synthesis and characterization of organometallics and also have opportunities to work on reactivity and mechanism, structure determination or materials properties.