Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry: Synthesis, Small Molecule Activation and New Transformations.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Delaware
Awards and Academic Honors
Department of Energy Early Career Research Award
Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow
Royal Society of Chemistry Emerging Investigator
Research Corporation, Cottrell Scholar Award
Kavli Frontiers Fellow
National Science Foundation CAREER Award
Hellman Faculty Fellow, University of California
Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award
National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow
Davison Thesis Award, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Figueroa Group News via Twitter
Research in the Figueroa Group centers on the design and synthesis of highly tailored and reactive transition metal complexes for small molecule activation chemistry. A major focus is the development of new and useful transformations of stable small molecules such as N2, O2 and CO2. We hope to discover efficient means to utilize these abundant chemical feedstocks in transformations relevant to organic synthesis, industry and alternative energy. A second theme is the modulation and control of redox equivalents in chemical reactions through the explicit use of redox-active ligands and/or spectator agents.
Students in the Figueroa group will become well-versed in organic and inorganic synthetic methodologies. In addition, we routinely use a host of spectroscopic techniques including UV-vis, FTIR, EPR and multi-nuclear NMR. X-ray crystallography and quantum-chemical calculations (DFT) are also major components of our research effort and allow us to both predict and interpret molecules of interest.
Primary Research Area
As a member of an ethnically under-represented group myself, I feel very strongly about promoting and providing research opportunities to such students. I have therefore eagerly sought to participate in programs enabling me to mentor under-represented undergraduate students in my laboratory. I have actively participated research mentoring programs for ethnically under-represented students and have recruited academically strong, URM students into my group. In addition, I have sought to increase the participation of female researchers in the field of organometallic chemistry. This field of chemistry is has traditional under-representation of female students, researchers and faculty at the nation level.
Mentor for the UCSD Summer Training Academy for Research in the Sciences (STARS) Program. STARS is a summer program designed to provide ethnically under-represented undergraduate students bound for advanced physical science degrees with research experience and entrance examination preparation.
Serve on the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Admissions and Recruitment Committee. As a member of the A&R committee, I have worked to ensure the admission of diverse pool of in-coming inorganic chemistry graduate students. These efforts have been followed up consistently with intense recruiting efforts. While I have been a member of the A&R committee, the inorganic chemistry graduate student body (enrolled) has had the following demographics: Female 18%; URM 14%. The demographics of my research group since Aug. 2007 has been (29 total members, self included): Female 25%; URM 21%.
- Carpenter, A. E.; Margulieux, G. W., Millard, M. D.; Moore, C. E.; Weidemann, N., Rheingold, A. L.; Figueroa, J. S. "Zwitterionic Stabilization of a Reactive Cobalt Tris-Isocyanide Monoanion by Cation Coordination" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 9412-9416. (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201205058)
- Ditri, T. B.; Moore, C. E.; Rheingold, A. L.; Figueroa, J. S."Oxidative Decarbonylation of m-Terphenyl Isocyanide Complexes of Molybdenum and Tungsten: Precursors to Low-Coordinate Isocyanide Complexes" Inorg. Chem. 2011, 50, 1044810459.DOI: 10.1021/ic2015868
- Fox, B. J.; Millard, M. D.; DiPasquale, A. G.; Rheingold, A. L.; Figueroa, J. S. "Thallium(I) as a Coordination Site Protection Agent: Preparation of an Isolable Zero-Valent Nickel Trisisocyanide" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 3473-3477. (DOI : 10.1002/anie.200806007)
- Labios, L. A.; Millard, M. D.; Rheingold, A. L.; Figueroa, J. S. Bond Activation, Substrate Addition and Catalysis by an Isolable Two-Coordinate Pd(0) Bis-Isocyanide Monomer. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 11318-11319. (DOI: 10.1021/ja905338x)
- Margulieux, G. M.; Weidemann, N.; Lacy, D. C.; Moore, C. E.; Rheingold, A. L.; Figueroa, J. S. "Isocyano Analogues of [Co(CO)4]n: A Tetra-Isocyanide of Cobalt Isolated in Three States of Charge." J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 5033-5035. (DOI: 10.1021/ja1012382)
- Millard, M. D.; Moore, C. E.; Rheingold, A. L.; Figueroa, J. S. "Four-Coordinate Iridium(I) Monohydrides: Reversible Dinitrogen Binding, Bond Activations and Deprotonations" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 8921-8923. (DOI: 10.1021/ja1037808)
- Smith, P. W.; Moore, C. E.; Rheingold, A. L., Figueroa, J. S. "Coordination and structural properties of encumbering 6-mesityl-2-picolinate complexes" Dalton Trans. 2012, 41, 8031-8038. 'New Talent North America Issue'.(DOI:10.1039/C2DT30585B)
- Stauber, J. M.; Wadler, A. L.; Moore, C. E.; Rheingold, A. L.; Figueroa, J. S. "Coordination Properties of 2,5-Dimesitylpyridine: An Encumbering and Versatile Ligand for Transition Metal Chemistry" Inorg. Chem. 2011, 50, 7309-7316. (DOI: 10.1021/ic201205p)
- Stewart, M. A.; Moore, C. E.; Ditri, T. B.; Labios, L. A.; Rheingold, A. L.; Figueroa, J. S. Electrophilic Functionalization of Well-Behaved Manganese Monoanions Supported by m-Terphenyl Isocyanides Chem. Commun. 2011, 406-408. 'Emerging Investigators Special Issue' (DOI: 10.1039/c0cc02742a)
- Tomson, N. C.; Labios, L. A.; Weyhermüller, T.; Figueroa, J. S.; Wieghardt, K. "Redox Non-innocence of Nitrosoarene Ligands in Transition Metal Complexes" Inorg. Chem. 2011, 50, 5763-5776. (DOI: 10.1021/ic2005979)