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Kevin McWilliams Research

Dr. McWilliams received his doctorate in ‘Inorganic chemistry’ from Iowa State University.  Within this broad field his research group is primarily interested in a subdivision known as organometallic chemistry; wherein chemical bonds exist between carbon and metal atoms. 

One of the group’s projects include the use of a transition metal to direct the orientation of two organic ligands in order to form a catenane; an interlocked ring system similar to the Olympics symbol.  Catenanes are of interest due to their topology, which allows for these coupled rings to be used as molecular switches.  This project is in collaboration with Dr. John O’Brien at Truman State University. 

Another project involves the synthesis of several small organometallic compounds involving d8 transition metals (the Iron group) and olefins; organic compounds containing carbon-carbon double bonds.  Prior work has shown that several of these compounds undergo an interesting olefin release mechanism that involves the isomerization of the trans- double bond into a cis- double bond.  The current work is centered on tuning the ratio of trans/cis-olefin released by studying how various factors affect the release mechanism. 

If you are interested in knowing more, or in working with Dr. McWilliams on a research project, please contact him at kmcwillia@coastal.edu or visit his office; Smith Science Building 216D.

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