Anthony Chianese

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Anthony Chianese

Professor of Chemistry; University Professor, Liberal Arts Practices

Department/Office Information

305 Wynn Hall

I grew up in Bethlehem, Connecticut, and went on to obtain a BA in 2001 from Drew University, conducting research with Barbara Petrack. After my graduate studies at Yale University under the direction of Robert Crabtree, I  earned my PhD in chemistry in 2005. After one year as an NRC postdoctoral research associate with Mike Gagné, I accepted a position as Assistant Professor here at Colgate in 2006. I was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012.

My research focuses on homogeneous catalysis by transition-metal complexes. In the Chianese group, undergraduate students learn techniques for organic and inorganic synthesis, including the handling of air-sensitive compounds. We rely on multinuclear NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography to characterize new products, and students gain direct experience with these methods. Many students in the group have had the opportunity to co-author publications in peer-reviewed journals, and to present their work at American Chemical Society National Meetings.

My publications on Google Scholar

Publications at Colgate University, Undergraduate Co-Authors in Bold

1.    Head, M. C.; Joseph, B. T.; Keith, J. M.*; Chianese, A. R.* “The Mechanism of Markovnikov-Selective Epoxide Hydrogenolysis Catalyzed by Ruthenium PNN and PNP Pincer Complexes,” Organometallics, 2023, 42, 347-356. 

2.         Kirlin, F. L.; Borden, O. J.; Head, M. C.; Kelly, S. E.; Chianese, A. R.* "Epoxide Hydrogenolysis Catalyzed by Ruthenium PNN and PNP Pincer Complexes," Organometallics, 2022, 41, 1025-1033.

3.         Pham, J.; Jarczyk, C. E.; Reynolds, E. F.; Kelly, S. E.; Kim, T.; He, T.; Keith, J. M.;* Chianese, A. R.* "The Key Role of the Latent N-H Group in Milstein's Catalyst for Ester Hydrogenation," Chem. Sci., 2021, 12, 8477-8492.

4.         He, T.; Buttner, J. C.; Reynolds, E. F.; Pham, J.; Malek, J. C.; Keith, J. M.;* Chianese, A. R.* "Dehydroalkylative Activation of CNN- and PNN-Pincer Ruthenium Catalysts for Ester Hydrogenation," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2019, 141, 17404-17413.

5.         Le, L.; Liu, J.; He, T.; Malek, J. C.; Cervarich, T. N.; Buttner, J. C.; Pham, J.; Keith, J. M.;* Chianese, A. R.* "Unexpected CNN-to-CC Ligand Rearrangement in Pincer–Ruthenium Precatalysts Leads to a Base-Free Catalyst for Ester Hydrogenation," Organometallics, 2019, 38, 3311-3321. Front cover article.

6.         Le, L.; Liu, J.; He, T.; Kim, D.; Lindley, E. J.; Cervarich, T. N.; Malek, J. C.; Pham, J.; Buck, M. R.; Chianese, A. R.* "Structure-Function Relationship in Ester Hydrogenation Catalyzed by Ruthenium CNN-Pincer Complexes," Organometallics, 2018, 37, 3286-3297.  

7.         Kim, D.; Le, L.; Drance, M. J.; Jensen, K. H.; Bogdanovski, K.; Cervarich, T. N.; Barnard, M. G.; Pudalov, N. J.; Knapp, S. M. M.; Chianese, A. R.* "Ester Hydrogenation Catalyzed by CNN-Pincer Complexes of Ruthenium," Organometallics, 2016, 35, 982-989.

8.         Knapp, S. M. M.; Shaner, S. E.; Kim, D.; Shopov, D. Y.; Tendler, J. A.; Pudalov, D. M.; Chianese, A. R.* "Mechanistic Studies of Alkene Isomerization Catalyzed by CCC-Pincer Complexes of Iridium," Organometallics, 2014, 33, 473-484.

9.         Chianese, A. R.;* Drance, M. J.; Jensen, K. H.; McCollom, S. P.; Yusufova, N.; Shaner, S. E.; Shopov, D. Y.; Tendler, J. A. "Acceptorless Alkane Dehydrogenation Catalyzed by Iridium CCC-Pincer Complexes," Organometallics, 2014, 33, 457-464.

10.         Chianese, A. R.;* Shaner, S. E.; Tendler, J. A.; Pudalov, D. M.; Shopov, D. Y.; Kim, D.; Rogers, S. L.; Mo, A. "Iridium Complexes of Bulky CCC-Pincer N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands: Steric Control of Coordination Number and Catalytic Alkene Isomerization," Organometallics, 2012, 31, 7359-7367.

11.      Chianese, A. R.;* Mo, A.; Lampland, N. L.; Swartz, R. L.; and Bremer, P. T. "Iridium Complexes of CCC-Pincer N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands: Synthesis and Catalytic C-H Functionalization," Organometallics, 2010, 29, 3019-3026.

12.      Chianese, A. R.;* Rogers, S. L.; Al-Gattas, H. "Palladium-Catalyzed Synthesis of Carbazoles from N-(2-Halophenyl)-2,6-diisopropylphenylanilines via C–C Cleavage," Tetrahedron Lett., 2010, 51, 2241-2243.

13.      Yan, H.; Wong, C.; Chianese, A. R.; Luo, J.; Wang, L.; Yin, J.; Zhong, C. J.* "Dendritic Arenethiol-Based Capping Strategy for Engineering Size and Surface Reactivity of Gold Nanoparticles," Chem. Mater., 2010, 22, 5918-5928.

14.      Chianese, A. R.;* Bremer, P. T.; Wong, C.; Reynes, R. J. "Rigid, Sterically Diverse N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Pyridine Chelates: Synthesis, Mild Palladation, and Palladium-Catalyzed Allylic Substitution," Organometallics, 2009, 28, 5244-5252.

15.      Chianese, A. R.;* Mo, A.; Datta, D. "Flexible, Bowl-Shaped N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands: Substrate Specificity in Iridium-Catalyzed Ketone Hydrosilylation," Organometallics, 2009, 28, 465-472.

16.      Chianese, A. R.*; Lee, S. J.; Gagné, M. R. "Electrophilic Activation of Alkenes by Platinum(II): So Much More Than a Slow Version of Palladium(II)," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2007, 46, 4042-4059; Angew. Chem., 2007, 119, 4118-4136.

Supervised Publications

17.      Leung, C. H.; Chianese, A. R.; Crabtree, R. H.* "A Chelating Rhodium N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complex by Transmetallation from a Silver-NHC Intermediate," Inorg. Synth., 2010, 35, 84-87.

18.      Tarselli, M. A.; Chianese, A. R.; Gagné, M. R.* "Gold(I)-Catalyzed Asymmetric Cycloisomerization of Ene-allenes into Vinyl-cyclohexenes," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2007, 6670-6673.

19.      Voutchkova, A. M.; Appelhans, L. N.; Chianese, A. R.; Crabtree, R. H.* "Disubstituted Imidazolium-2-Carboxylates as Efficient Precursors to N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes of Ru, Rh, Ir and Pd," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2005, 127, 17624-17625.

20.      Li, X. W.; Chianese, A. R.; Vogel, T.; Crabtree, R. H.* "Intramolecular Alkyne Hydroalkoxylation and Hydroamination Catalyzed by Iridium Hydrides," Organic Letters 2005, 7, 5437-5440.

21.      Appelhans, L. N.; Zuccaccia, D.; Kovacevic, A.; Chianese, A. R.; Miecznikowski, J. R.; Macchioni, A.; Clot, E.; Eisenstein, O.*; Crabtree, R. H.* "An Anion-Dependent Switch in Selectivity Results from a Change of C-H Activation Mechanism in the Reaction of an Imidazolium Salt With IrH5(PPh3)2," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 16299-16311.

22.      Chianese, A. R.; Crabtree, R. H.* "Axially Chiral Bidentate N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands Derived from BINAM: Rhodium and Iridium Complexes in Asymmetric Ketone Hydrosilylation," Organometallics 2005, 24, 4432-4436.

23.      Chianese, A. R.; Zeglis, B. M.; Crabtree, R. H.* "Unexpected Oxidative C-C Cleavage in the Metallation of 2-Substituted Imidazolium Salts to Give N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes," Chem. Commun. 2004, 2176-2177.

24.      Chianese, A. R.; Kovacevic, A.; Zeglis, B. M.; Faller, J. W.*; Crabtree, R. H.* "Abnormal C5-Bound N-Heterocyclic Carbenes: Extremely Strong Electron Donor Ligands and their Iridium(I) and Iridium(III) Complexes," Organometallics 2004, 23, 2461-2468.

25.      Mata, J. A.; Chianese, A. R.; Miecznikowski, J. R.; Poyatos, M.; Peris, E.; Faller, J. W.*; Crabtree, R. H.* "Reactivity Differences in the Syntheses of Chelating N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes of Rhodium are Ascribed to Ligand Anisotropy," Organometallics 2004, 23, 1253-1263.

26.      Chianese, A. R.; Crabtree, R. H.* "Pincer and Chelate N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes of Rh, Ir, and Pd: Synthetic Routes, Dynamics, Catalysis, Abnormal Binding, and Counterion Effects," In Activation and Functionalization of C-H Bonds; Goldberg, K. I., Goldman, A. S., Eds.; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2004; Vol. 885, pp 169-183.

27.      Chianese, A. R.; Li, X. W.; Janzen, M. C.; Faller, J. W.; Crabtree, R. H.* "Rhodium and Iridium Complexes of N-Heterocyclic Carbenes via Transmetalation: Structure and Dynamics," Organometallics 2003, 22, 1663-1667.

External Funding, as PI

  • NSF #CHE-2247229, $360,000; 2023-2026, co-PI: Jason M. Keith.  “RUI: Improving Activity and Selectivity in Ruthenium-Catalyzed  Hydrogenation Reactions Through Mechanistic Understanding”
  • NSF #CHE-1954924, $335,631; 2020-2023. “RUI: Mechanistic Studies of Ruthenium-Catalyzed Ester Hydrogenation”
  • NSF #CHE-1665144, $294,593; 2017-2020. “RUI: Development of a Non-Cooperative Ruthenium Catalyst for Ester Hydrogenation”
  • NSF #CHE-1362501, $225,000; 2014-2018. “RUI: Bifunctional Catalysts for the Hydrogenation and Dehydrogenation of Polar Bonds”
  • NSF #CHE-1057792, $219,000; 2011-2014. “RUI: Alkane Dehydrogenation Catalyzed by CCC-Pincer Complexes of Iridium”
  • American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund #46754-GB3, $40,000; 2007-2010. “Bowl-Shaped Ligands for Secondary-Sphere Control of Selectivity in Homogeneous Catalysis"
  • Research Corporation Cottrell College Science Award #7106, $42,750; 2007-2010. "Visor N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands: An Approach to Secondary-Sphere Regulation of Selectivity in Homogeneous Catalysis"

External Funding, as co-PI

  • Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, Beckman Scholars Program - Colgate University, $104,000, 2019-2022, Faculty mentor
  • NSF Major Research Instrumentation #CHE-1726308, $345,783, 2017-2020. “MRI: Acquisition of an NMR console, multinuclear probe, and autosampler to advance research and undergraduate research training”
  • Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, Beckman Scholars Program - Colgate University, $104,000, 2016-2019, Faculty mentor
  • NSF Major Research Instrumentation #CHE-0819686, $410,700; 2008-2011, Co-PI. "MRI: Acquisition of a Gemini R Ultra X-ray Diffractometer for Structural Biology and Chemistry”
  • CHEM 101: General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 102: General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 212: Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHEM 263: Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 264: Organic Chemistry II
  • CHEM 381: Practical Quantitative Analysis
  • CHEM 387: Structure and Analysis: Small-Molecule X-Ray Crystallography
  • CHEM 415: Organometallic Chemistry
  • CORE 102/FSEM 122: Molecules, Energy, and the Environment