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Dias Group
Office: Chemistry
Research Building Room 305
Phone: 817-272-3813
E-mail: dias@uta.edu
Fax: 817-272-3808
Labs: Chemistry
Research Building
Rooms 316, 318, 320
Research Interests

Inorganic Chemistry
Organometallic Chemistry

Summary: Our research efforts cover several important areas of chemistry such as (i) homogeneous catalysis, (ii) luminescent materials, (iii) reactive intermediates, (iv) metals in medicine and biological processes, (v) functionalized nano-materials, (vi) disinfectants and preservatives, and (vii) conducting polymers.  We employ a variety of modern synthetic and analytical techniques including Schlenk and glove box methods, IR-Raman spectroscopy, multinuclear NMR spectroscopy, and X-ray crystallography.  Computational methods are also used routinely in our work.  Most of our research projects are interdisciplinary in nature and are inter-related. We also collaborate closely with several research groups at UTA and around the world. Following account highlights some of the ongoing work in three areas.
Catalysis:  We are interested in developing metal mediated and environmentally friendly processes for (a) the selective activation of inert C-H and C-halogen bonds, and (b) useful polymers and commodity chemicals.  We prepare catalysts suitable for these applications using novel ligands (in particular, highly fluorinated systems) with diverse steric and electronic properties and late-transition metal ions.  We also employ magnetic nanomaterial functionalized with customized metalloenzymes as catalysts for various transformations.  Recently, we discovered a very efficient silver catalyzed route to activate C-H bonds in simple hydrocarbons and C-Cl and C-Br bonds in halogenated reagents.  We have also reported the synthesis of conducting polymers like polyaniline, polypyrrole, and polythiophene via a metal mediated, greener oxidation pathway.  

Reaction intermediates:  We have a particularly strong interest in structures and properties of reaction intermediates of metal mediated processes.  Highly fluorinated ligands and anions are used widely in our work to stabilize or prepare “bottle-able” models of such species.  Reactive organometallic species involving small carbon based ligands like CO, alkens, and alkynes are of particular interest because they are utilized in a large number of industrially relevant chemical processes.  We have reported the first structural details of several Cu, Ag, and Au adducts featuring these small ligands.

Light emitting materials:  Some of the metal-organic molecules we have developed emit bright light of various colors (spanning blue to red) upon excitation. These materials have ideal properties for LED and sensor applications.  We are also interested in developing nanomaterials decorated with light-emitting materials and biomolecules as selective imaging agents for abnormal tissues like cancer cells.