Cathleen Crudden

Canada Research Chair in Metal Organic Chemistry

Tier 1 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2023-10-01
Queen's University
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council


Research involves

Investigating how organic compounds interact with metals in the synthesis of novel materials and development of highly active catalysts.

Research relevance

The research will help to develop new catalysts that will be useful in producing pharmaceuticals and state-of-the-art biosensing applications.

Research summary

N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) are a unique type of molecule that can form strong metal-carbon bonds—an interaction that is useful for designing stable, highly active catalysts. Dr. Cathleen Crudden, Canada Research Chair in Metal Organic Chemistry, has already discovered that NHCs can bind to a variety of metals, including gold, copper, platinum, silver and even graphene.

Now, she and her research team are evaluating the implications of these novel, strong linkages in the preparation of novel biosensors, microelectronics and catalysts. They are focusing on the films (resulting from chemical processes involving NHCs) that are 100,000 times thinner than human hair, and on nanoscopically ordered particles that feature bonds between metal clusters and organic ligands (molecules that can bind to a metal ion). Overall, their work aims to advance our understanding of these fascinating molecules and their potential applications in fields like medicine and materials science.