On a busy Saturday afternoon a group of graduate students from the Chemistry Department stand behind several activity tables, oozing enthusiasm and a passion for chemistry as they captivate...
Our research group seeks to probe and understand the reactivity of biological, inorganic, and organometallic catalytic systems by studying the electronic and geometric structure of reactive species using a combination of spectroscopic and computational methods. Correlation of geometry and electronic structure with reactivity forms the basis of our approach to understanding chemistry. Our program is a highly interdisciplinary research effort aimed at understanding chemical reactivity from a fundamental perspective.
An array of spectroscopic methods are used to characterize reactive species. Magnetic and paramagnetic resonance techniques (e.g. NMR, EPR, and ENDOR) are complemented by higher energy methods such as resonance Raman (rR) and UV/Vis/nIR absorption spectroscopies and newer approaches such as X-ray Absorption (XAS) and X-ray Emission (XES) spectroscopies. Each of these methods provides a unique perspective on the electronic and geometric structure of reactive species. Complementary computational studies (generally density functional methods) are used to develop a comprehensive understanding of the reactive species under investigation. Ultimately, a correlation between the electronic/geometric structure of the species and its observed reactivity is developed, providing new mechanistic and functional insights.
Current members of the Kennepohl Group: Pierre Kennepohl (principal investigator), Tulin Okbinoglu (PhD student), Thamayanthy Sriskandakumar (PhD student), Phillip Taylor (PhD student), and Wei Xue (PhD student).