Richard F. Jordan Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor

Born, Quincy, Massachusetts, 1953.
Rutgers University, B.S., 1975
Princeton University, Ph.D., 1981
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Postdoctoral Research Associate, 1981-1983.
Washington State University, Assistant Professor and Associate Professor, 1983-1988.
University of Iowa, Associate Professor and Professor, 1989-1999.
The University of Chicago, 1999-.


2000 Frontiers Lecturer, Case Western University.
1999 Organizer, Symp. on Advances in Polymer Synthesis, Fall Nat. ACS Mtg.
1998 Akron Polymer Group Lecture.r
1998 British Petroleum Lecturer, UK.
1997-1998 Chair-Elect and Chair, Organometallic Subdivision, Inorganic Division, ACS.
1997 Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Molecular Catalysis.
1996-1998 University of Iowa Faculty Scholar Award.
1995-19999 Board of Directors, The University of Iowa Research Foundation.
1993-1995 Editorial Advisory Board, Organometallics.
1993 Frontiers Lecturer, Case Western University.
1992 Organizer, Symposium on Chemistry of Electrophilic Metal Centers, Nat. ACS Mtg.
1992 Program Planning Committee, Gordon Conference on Organometallic Chemistry.
1992 Professeur Invitè, University of Rennes, Rennes, France.
1989-1991 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow.
1989-1990 Union Carbide Research Innovation Award.
1975 Athenaeum Honor Society, Rutgers University.
1975 American Institute of Chemists Student Award, Rutgers University.

OFFICE: 929 E. 57th St., GCIS E 405, Chicago, IL 60637

PHONE: (773)702-6429

FAX: (773)702-0805




Research in the Jordan group is focused on synthetic and mechanistic organometallic chemistry. The central theme of this work is the interplay between the structures and reactivity of organometallic compounds, especially in systems that are relevant to catalysis. We design reactive organometallic complexes for use as practical catalysts and synthetic reagents, and as probes of fundamental mechanistic issues in catalysis. We use a wide range of synthetic and spectroscopic methods for the manipulation and characterization of reactive materials, most notably anaerobic synthesis techniques, NMR spectroscopy, molecular modeling and X-ray crystallography. Our current efforts are focused on four major topics: catalytic olefin polymerization, stereoselective catalysis, the design of super-electrophilic main group complexes, and the catalytic chemistry of metal carborane complexes.

Catalysts derived from Cp2ZrX2 and other "metallocene" complexes exhibit high activity for polymerization of simple non-functionalized olefins. Metallocene systems are "single-site" catalysts and produce polyolefins with narrow molecular weight and composition distributions. We have shown that the active species in Cp2ZrX2-based catalysts are Cp2ZrR+ cations which are generated from Cp2ZrX2 precursors by alkylation and R-/X- abstraction reactions. We have studied the chemistry of cationic metal alkyls to develop a detailed understanding of the structural and electronic features that are necessary for olefin polymerization activity by metallocenes. We are now exploiting these principles to design new catalysts based on both early and late transition metals and a variety of non-Cp ligands. We are particularly interested in the design of catalysts that will polymerize functionalized olefins such as vinyl chloride or vinyl acetate by insertion mechanisms, in order to prepare new polymers whose properties are superior to those of polymers produced by radical polymerization.

We are also investigating fundamental issues in olefin polymerization. For example, we have designed model d0 metal olefin complexes in which the metal-olefin bonding is enhanced by chelation. Structural and spectroscopic studies of these systems are providing new insights to how d0 metals activate olefins for insertion and polymerization.

We have used insights gained from our studies of cationic metallocene complexes to develop many new classes of reactive metal alkyls. For example, by utilizing carborane ligands in place of Cp- ligands, we have constructed neutral (C2B9H11)( C5R5) M(R) complexes which have the same structures, electron count, and frontier orbital properties as Cp2Zr(R)+ cations. The carborane systems exhibit unique behavior in catalysis, e.g. "self correcting" behavior in which a catalyst "error" that would normally lead to side products triggers a cascade of reactions that modify the catalyst structure and enhance selectivity. More recently we have prepared novel low-coordinate cationic main group alkyls, e.g. {RC(NR')2}Al(R)+ which are of interest as super electrophilic Lewis acids.

Selected References

"Synthesis of Borophosphonate Cage Compounds: Influence of Substituent and Concentration Effects on Product Distribution in Condensation Reactions of Aryl Phosphonic Acids and Boronic Acids." Liu, Q.; Contrella, N. D.; Filatov, A.; Jordan, R. F. Organometallics 2015, 34, 254–262.

"Synthesis and Reactivity of NHC-Supported Ni2(μ2-η2,η2-S2) Bridging Disulfide and Ni2(μ-S)2 Bridging Sulfide Complexes." Olechnowicz, F.; Hillhouse, G. L.; Jordan, R. F. Inorg. Chem 2015, 54, 2705–2712.

"Cis/Trans Isomerization of Ortho-Phosphino-Arenesulfonate Palladium Methyl Complexes." Zhou, X.; Lau, K.; Petro, B. J., Jordan, R. F. Organometallics 2014, 33, 7209-7214.

"Lewis Acid Modification and Ethylene Oligomerization Behavior of Palladium Catalysts that Contain a Phosphine-Sulfonate-Diethyl Phosphonate Ancillary Ligand." Contrella, N. D.; Jordan, R. F. Organometallics 2014, 33, 7199-7208.

"Hydrogen Bonding Behavior of Amide-Functionalized α-Diimine Palladium Complexes." Zhai, F.; Jordan, R. F. Organometallics 2014, 33, 7176-7192.

"Halogenolysis of a Nickelalactone Complex Produces β-Halo-anhydrides." Zarkesh, R. A.; Hopkins, M. D.; Jordan, R. F. Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2014, 5491-5494.

"Differentiation between Chelate Ring Inversion and Aryl Rotation in a CF3-substituted Phosphine-sulfonate Palladium Methyl Complex." Feng, G.; Conley, M. P.; Jordan, R. F. Organometallics, 2014, 33, 4486-4496.

"Copolymerization of Ethylene and Methyl Acrylate by Cationic Palladium Catalysts That Contain Phosphine-Diethyl Phosphonate Ancillary Ligands." Contrella, N. D.; Sampson, J. R.; Jordan, R. F. Organometallics, 2014, 3, 3546-3555.

"Comparative Reactivity of Zr– and Pd–Alkyl Complexes with Carbon Dioxide." Lau, K.C.; Petro, B. J.; Bontemps, S.; Jordan, R. F. Organometallics, 2013, 32 6895-6898.

"Ortho-Phosphinobenzenesulfonate: A Superb Ligand for Palladium-Catalyzed Coordination–Insertion Copolymerization of Polar Vinyl Monomers." Nakamura, A.; Anselment, T.; Claverie, J.; Goodall, B.; Jordan, R. F.; Mecking, S.; Rieger, B.; Sen, A.; van Leeuwen, P.; Nozaki. K. Acc. Chem. Res. 2013, 46, 1438-1449.