Left to right: Dr. Yu-Sheng Chen, Dr. Binhua Lin, Skye Fortier, and Jesse Murillo

ChemMatCARS hosted Professor Skye Fortier and his student Jesse Murillo from the University of Texas at El Paso for the 2017 Faculty and Student Team Research Award at ChemMatCARS Program. The Fortier group is interested in molecular metal complexes with novel structures and electronic properties, with special focus on multi-electron chemistry with early transition metals as well as the exploration of the chemistry of f-orbitals by studying uranium compounds. X-ray crystallography is a primary tool for elucidating the molecular and extended structures of these compounds and vital for advancing these projects. Dr. Fortier and his student used the high resolution crystallography setup at ChemMatCARS and collected datasets for over 30 different compounds and are currently refining the structures. They discussed their project and future collaboration with ChemMatCARS staff and will be back as users of the beamline.

Skye’s words about his experience:

“Research in my laboratory centers on the synthesis and study of highly reduced compounds.  Recently, we have taken to investigating the reactivity profile of a Ti(II) synthon which behaves as a potent two-electron reductant.  As many of our compounds are paramagnetic or exhibit complicated NMR spectral features, X-ray crystallography is an indispensable technique for the forward advancement of our research program. In many of our reactions, we produce microcrystals which are unsuitable for data collection on our aging home instrument.  In fact, at the time we visited the APS, our diffractometer had been inoperable for several months due to component failure, and we had accumulated a backlog of samples.   The majority of the metal complexes that we synthesize are highly air and water sensitive, yet we were able to successfully pack and ship them to APS.  With the rapid capture, large area detector, we were able to collect full data sets in minutes!  Thus, within one day of beam time, we collected data on more than 30 samples.  The structural data that has since been obtained has revealed many novel and wonderful molecules that we may otherwise never have been able to fully characterize, boosting the research projects of both graduates and undergraduates in my laboratory.  We are grateful for the opportunity to have had access to the ChemMatCARS beamline and realize that it is truly a much needed national resource”

Skye Fortier