Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

The research efforts of Sonny Lee and co-workers focus on challenging problems in transition element inorganic chemistry. Our studies involve the synthesis of new compounds and compound classes, and the characterization of their physical and chemical properties by a broad array of methods.

Topics of fundamental chemical and/or biological interest form the basis for our investigations. One primary research area is directed toward understanding molecular aspects of biological nitrogen fixation. These studies have led to the development of synthetic chemistry associated with clusters of weak-field iron and anionic nitrogen ligation; the discovery within these clusters of iron centers with rare or unprecedented features, e.g., high-valent +4 oxidation states, 3-coordinate metal environments and terminal imide ligation; and the demonstration of physicochemical analogies that relate iron-nitrogen systems to biological iron-sulfur chemistry.