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Paul R. Sharp

Research Emphasis

Application of Organometallic Chemistry to the Growth and Derivitization of Polycyclic Aromatic Carbon Compounds; Fullerenes and Nanotubes; Metal oxygen and nitrogen chemistry; Modelling of Catalytic and Enzymatic Reactions; Activation of Small Molecules; Solid-State Structures and Properties


  • BS, University of California-Berkeley, 1975
  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1980

Professional Experience

  • Professor, Missouri, 1993-present
  • Associate Professor, Missouri, 1988-1993
  • Assistant Professor, Missouri, 1982-1988
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Texas, Austin, 1980-1982

Professional Activities

  • 1988-1990 Chair and Chair-Elect, UMC Section of the American Chemical Society
  • 1985-1987 Secretary-Treasurer, UMC Section of the American Chemical Society


Project Descriptions:

1. Oxygen and Nitrogen Complexes with Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium, and Iridium. Noble metals (platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, silver, and gold) are excellent catalysts for a number of important reactions involving oxygen and nitrogen containing molecules (Scheme 1). These reactions occur by bonding of the nitrogen and oxygen atoms to the metal atoms on the surfaces.

figure 1

Since the surfaces are difficult to study my group is preparing and studying complexes containing oxygen and nitrogen atoms bonded to rhodium, iridium, palladium, platinum, and gold. An example of a recently prepared platinum complex is shown to the left. Our soluble molecular complexes, in contrast to the metal surfaces, are easily studied by solution (NMR, IR, etc) and solid state (X-ray diffraction) techniques. Their chemical properties give valuable information about how the catalytic reactions occur and may lead to new stoichiometric and catalytic processes.

figure 2

2. Organometallic Chemistry on the Edge (of Polycyclic Aromatic Carbon Compounds)

figure 3

In another project, we are preparing and studying complexes with a metal or metals bonded to the edge of polycyclic aromatic compounds. An example of a zirconium complex is shown in the figure on the left. Polycyclic aromatic carbon compounds and their derivatives are useful in a wide variety of applications in electronics, optics, and other materials areas. Our complexes can be reacted with a number of compounds to yield new derivatives and to "grow" the carbon framework. The development of this reaction chemistry has the exciting possibility of yielding a step-growth synthesis of carbon nanotubes and other fullerene structures (Scheme 2).

figure 4

  Recent Representative Publications

Please see my lab website for publications.

Paul R. Sharp

Senior Research Investigator

243 Chemistry
Tel: 573-882-7715



Group Website