Welcome to the website of the Bart Laboratory at Purdue University. We are an inorganic/organometallic group studying the utility of the f-block element uranium for fundamental chemical transformations. Our research makes use of depleted uranium-238, which is uranium that has a lower content of the uranium-235 isotope as compared to naturally occurring uranium. This material is safe to handle in a laboratory setting with personal protective equipment. It is also abundant and available at a low cost, since it is undesirable for typical uranium applications.
In recent years, three Nobel prizes have been awarded in transition metal based organometallic chemistry (2001, 2005, and 2010), thus there is no question of the impact this field has on modern society. Understanding the fundamental organometallic processes transition metal species undergo is essential because these compounds are used for the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, materials, and fine chemicals. As an actinide element, uranium offers unique chemical characteristics as compared to transition metals. Uranium is a very large, and this size is unique to the actinides, giving uranium the potential to accommodate large substrates and multiple active sites per metal center. This element is also highly reducing, and can shuttle easily between multiple oxidation states. The presence of f-orbitals in this element also offers the opportunity to study the role of these orbitals in bonding through spectroscopic methods.
Our overall goal is to elevate the understanding of the fundamental organometallic chemistry of uranium to be equal to that of transition metals. We invite you to browse through our website to learn more about our research projects, group members, recent publications, and funding.