JEOL Brian Halton Award

Matthew Evans
Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Matthew Evans finished his PhD studies at Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka earlier this year (October). His paper “Controlling Al–M Interactions in Group 1 Metal Aluminyls (M = Li, Na and K). Facile Conversion of Dimers to Monomeric and Separated Ion Pairs” was recently published in Inorganic Chemistry. Matthew’s PhD project involved examining the synthesis and reactivity of a new class of low-valent aluminium complex, known as the aluminyl anion. These compounds, which exist as a cation : anion pairs, were known to form three structural types that differ primarily in the way in which the cation and anion interact. Recent work has shown that these interactions have a profound influence on the reactivity of the aluminyl anions as the electron rich Al centre works synergistically with the group 1 metal cation in the activation of many substrates. Matthew is the major contributor to this paper which is the first systematic study examining the conditions necessary for the conversion of one type of structure to another.

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