Jim Boncella

  1. Professor
Email Addressjames.boncella@wsu.edu
LocationFulmer 639A



I will be initiating two projects in different areas starting in the Fall of 2019. One will be focused on the synthesis of uranium complexes in unusual oxidation states. We have had a long-standing interest in generating stable U(V) complexes, but the chemistry of these compounds has not yet been fully explored. Our recent synthesis of only the third example of a U(II) complex has provided the opportunity to develop the reaction chemistry of this new oxidation state. The electronic structures of these U(II) compounds are fascinating because of the three examples reported so far, one has a 5f36d1 ground state and the other two a 5f4 ground state. Because our U(II) complex is a neutral compound, the possibility for further reduction to U(I) exists. Understanding the chemistry and electronic structures of these unusual oxidation state will be a priority of this work. The second project area will involve investigating the reactivity of a new class of transition metal pincer ligand hydroxide, hydride and alkyl complexes as catalysts for the hydration of nitriles and the hydrolysis of various ester and amide species. This program has its roots in our recent interest in developing catalysts for the decomposition of formic acid as a means to generate gas pressure from a condensed phase.