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Vincent J. Catalano

Professor

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Contact Information

  • Email: vjc@unr.edu
  • Phone: (775) 784-1329
  • Fax: (775) 784-6804

Research Interests

Our research interests include the synthesis, structure, bonding and optical properties of transition metal complexes. Currently, we are exploring the application of N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligands as supports for maintaining short metal-metal interactions between closed-shell ions, particularly Au(I) and Ag(I). With these ligands we are able to prepare highly luminescent, one-dimensional coordination polymers and discrete multimetallic complexes that contain very short metal-metal separations.  Perturbing this metal-metal interaction greatly alters the emission properties making these molecules ideally suited for applications such as luminescent sensors. Shown below is one such system where a simple change in ligation at the Cu(I) center induces a significant rearrangement of the Cu(I)-Au(I)-Cu(I) core.  As a result, the emission dramatically changes from blue to green.  Exposing a solid sample of the acetonitrile containing complex (shown left) with a gaseous stream of methanol vapor produces a brilliant green emission which is reversed upon exposure to air.

 acetonitrile containing complex

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