Research Opportunities

For Interested Students

Our group is always eager to add talented students (both graduate and undergraduate) who want to be challenged and desire to maximize their synthetic skills. Our interdisciplinary efforts spans the fields of inorganic chemistry, organometallic and organic chemistry, catalysis, materials and polymer synthesis. In particular, we are interested in using atom and group transfer chemistry to develop new catalytic reactions and means for synthesizing polymers having interesting optical and electronic properties. We are also in finding ways to better understand mechanisms of transition metal catalyzed reactions and to invent new catalysts.

We often work with air- and water-sensitive materials, and thus students will have ample opportunities to learn how to handle such materials using a variety of methods, such as dry-box, Schlenk line, and vacuum techniques. As we are not limited to any particular part of the periodic table AND are working on the full spectrum of single molecule (molecular) to oligomer (nanosized) to material (extended) domains, we use a very large array of spectroscopic and analytical methods to characterize new complexes and materials.

Our lab houses the Departmental X-ray Facility and we often perform single crystal X-ray diffraction studies on crystalline samples. This extremely powerful method yields the ultimate proof of solid state structure, and is, in essence, the inorganic chemists super microscope to visualize molecular shape and size. In solution, our group utilizes are wide range of multi- nuclear NMR methods to analyze samples. UV-visible spectroscopy is an important tool for assessing the degree of conjugation of extended pi- bonded systems. Fluoresence studies of extended systems also provide further information on the photophysical nature of oligomers and polymers. Our novel materials and polymers are often redox active, and we use electrochemical techniques such as cyclic voltammtery (CV) to probe redox potentials and chemical reversibility of electron transfer. Upon reduction or oxidation of materials, the nature of unpaired electrons in the resulting compounds is investigated by EPR spectroscopy. We can also assess the fundamental properties of novel materials by computational chemistry to explore the impact of sterically demanding groups on the structures of materials. Many other techniques are employed in our studies as needed.

Advanced photophysical studies (such as vibrational energy transfer) of these materials are being carried out in collaboration with Professor Simpson and the CCD at CWRU.

Students who have worked in our labs have gone on to a variety of successful positions in graduate school, academia, and industry.

Students who are interested are encouraged read recent papers from our group and also to contact me by e-mail if they have any further questions. Students who are interested in applying to the chemistry graduate at CWRU can contact the graduate admissions coordinator, at the Chemistry Department at CWRU or download application materials from our web site.

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For Interested Postdocs

Post-doctoral positions occasionally open in the Protasiewicz group and interested scholars are encourage to send applications by regular post* to:

Professor John Protasiewicz
Department of Chemistry
Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106-7078

*Due to high volume of requests by e-mail for postdoctoral positions such inquiries are not guaranteed responses.

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