Inorganic Chemistry

 
Glênisson de Oliveira
From a chemical perspective, the phenomena in which we are interested are associated with non-covalent interactions, and our studies use existing and newly developed tools of computational chemistry.  Some of the specific chemical problems we address involve weak interactions and clustering phenomena for small molecules – such studies are typically put under the umbrella of “physical chemistry,” which is our area of expertise.  On the other hand, many non-covalent interactions involve metals in coordination complexes and in metalloproteins, as well as ionic solids.  Those are traditionally classified as “inorganic chemistry.”  Some of the questions we ask are the following:  Can we account for ligand field splitting energy in coordination complexes, without appealing to the “quantum mechanical concept” of orbitals? (i.e. using only classical physics)  How can ionic solids, with high covalent character be modeled accurately, not using ideas derived from molecular orbital theory?  What is intrinsically and physically different between ionic compounds of high ionic or high covalent characters?  What is the effect of metal replacement in certain metalloproteins that have been associated with cancer?  What is the metal’s role in protein activity and the catalystic mechanisms?  The last questions are biological or bioinorganic in nature. Our work has been supported by Rhode Island College Faculty Research Funds,  Faculty Development Funds, INBRE (NIH), EPSCoR (NSF), MRI (NSF), and Title II Partnership Grant (RIOHE).