Professor Nick C Norman

B.Sc., Ph.D.(Bristol), C.Chem., M.R.S.C.

  • BS8 1TS


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Research interests

Low Oxidation State Boron Chemistry

The primary area in which we are currently active is the field of low-oxidation state boron chemistry with a particular emphasis on diborane(4) compounds, B2R4, where R is typically an amido, alkoxy or thiolate group. Specific research project areas include:

(i) The characterisation of amido diborane(4) compounds. Notable recent highlights have been the synthesis of primary amido diborane(4) compounds such as B2(NHPh)4, and the closely related tetra-imido diborane(4)-based anions [B2(NPh)4]4–, both carried out in collaboration with Dr. Russell’s group. Other recent results have been the synthesis of the first example of a new class of cyclic borazine species, namely B8(NH)4(NMe2)8, together with examples of both 1,1- and 1,2- isomers of diaminobenzene derivatives and related 1,8-naphthyl compounds. The 1,2-isomers in particular provide new examples of polycyclic aromatics in which selected carbon atoms have been replaced by either boron or nitrogen.

(ii) Diboronic acid and boron monoxide. We have prepared, and structurally characterised for the first time, diboronic acid B2(OH)4. Further studies have shown that the condensed borinane species B4O2(OH)4 can be isolated and also that controlled thermolysis, both in the solid state and in solution, provides a route to pure boron (II) oxide (BO) for which we have obtained the first spectroscopic data. Calculations have also been carried out in collaboration with Professor Neil Allan’s group on likely structures for BO. Future studies are aimed at preparing new classes of B–B bonded borates, as well as the related thioborates.

(iii) Stable boron-based radicals. Most recent has been the synthesis and structural and spectroscopic characterisation of the stable boron radical species BCl2(bipy) (bipy = 2,2’-bipyridyl). Further studies have shown that novel species such as [B(bipy)2]+ and BCl(bipy) can also be prepared.


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