Welcome to the Zhai Research Group!
We are located on the second floor of Emerson Hall in the Emory University Department of Chemistry. Our group focuses on new frontiers of transition-metal and main-group coordination chemistry to solve problems in sustainable catalysis.
In particular, we use advanced synthetic techniques to prepare highly reactive molecular species of earth-abundant d-block and p-block elements in search of under-explored structural motifs that hold promise for converting small gaseous molecules (H2, CO2, N2, etc.) into more structurally sophisticated products. Structural characterization and kinetic measurement using spectroscopic techniques will join with computation to provide in-depth mechanistic information and guide the further development of catalytic systems. We are also interested in exploring the fundamental reactivity of organometallic species in “solvent-less” media through mechanochemistry and unraveling reactivity that has been obscured in solvent media due to solvation.
Mentees in the Zhai Research Group will learn a broad set of advanced synthetic techniques for the synthesis and manipulation of air-sensitive molecular compounds and conduct structural characterization and reactivity studies of these compounds on your own. Driven by curiosity, we are always thrilled to expand our knowledge by exploiting new synthetic tools and spectroscopic methods. “