Home > Research > Donald J Darensbourg

Donald J Darensbourg
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
Ph. D., University of Illinois

Contact Information:
Department of Chemistry
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3255

Phone: (979) 845-5417
Fax: (979) 845-0158
djdarens@chem.tamu.edu

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Awards

Areas of Interest


Current Activities

The fundamentally interesting and challenging chemistry associated with carbon dioxide, coupled with its high potential as a source of chemical carbon, provides adequate justification for comprehensive investigations in this area. In our research program we have attempted to establish a clearer mechanistic view of carbon-hydrogen, carbon-carbon, and carbon-oxygen bond forming processes resulting from carbon dioxide insertion into M-H, M-C, and M-O bonds.

Relevant to the latter process our research has addressed the utilization of carbon dioxide in the development of improved synthetic routes for the production of polycarbonates. The hazardous and expensive production process currently in place industrially for these materials involves the interfacial polycondensation of phosgene and diols, accentuates the need for these studies. Although we and others have made significant advances in the synthesis of these useful thermoplastics from carbon dioxide and epoxides much of the fundamental knowledge concerning the reaction kinetics of these processes is lacking, due in part to the practical challenges associated with sampling and analyzing systems at elevated temperatures and pressures. This information is needed for making this process applicable to the synthesis of a variety of copolymers possessing a range of properties and uses. Our studies are examining in detail the mechanistic aspects of metal catalyzed carbon dioxide/epoxide coupling reactions employing in situ spectroscopy methods. For this purpose Fourier-transform infrared attenuated total refluctance (FTIR/ATR) spectroscopy is being utilized. Other related investigations involve the development of structural and reactivity models for the industrially prevalent double metal cyanide catalysts(DMC) used in polyethers and polycarbonate synthesis from epoxides or CO2/epoxides, respectively.


Selected Publications

Ring-Opening Polymerization of Lactides Catalyzed by Natural Amino-Acid Based Zinc Catalysts, Darensbourg, Donald J.; Karroonnirun, Osit, Inorg. Chem. 2010, 49, 2360-2371.

Copolymerization of Epoxides and Carbon Dioxide. Evidence Supporting the Lack of Dual Catalysis at a Single Metal Site, Donald J. Darensbourg, Shawn B. Fitch, Inorg. Chem. 2009, 48, 8668-8677.

X-ray Crystal Structures of Five-Coordinate (Salen)MnN3 Derivatives and Their Binding Abilities Towards Epoxides. Chemistry Relevant to the Epoxide/CO2 Copolymerization Process, Donald J. Darensbourg, Eric B. Frantz, Dalton Trans. 2008, 5031-5036.

Mechanistic Studies of the Copolymerization Reaction of Oxetane and Carbon Dioxide to Provide Aliphatic Polycarbonates Catalyzed by (Salen)CrX Complexes, Donald J. Darensbourg, Adriana I. Moncada, Wonsook Choi, and Joseph H. Reibenspies J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 6523-6533.

Ring-Opening Polymerization of Cyclic Monomers by Complexes Derived from Biocompatible Metals. Production of Poly(lactide), Poly(trimethylene carbonate) and Their Copolymers, Donald J. Darensbourg, Wonsook Choi, Osit Karroonnirun, and Nattamai Bhuvanesh, Macromolecules 2008, 41, 3493-3502.

Studies of the Carbon Dioxide and Epoxide Coupling Reaction in the Presence of Fluorinated Manganese(III) Acacen Complexes: Kinetics of Epoxide Ring-Opening, Donald J. Darensbourg, Eric B. Frantz, Inorg. Chem. 2008, 47, 4977-4987.

Ring-Opening Polymerization of Cyclic Monomers by Complexes Derived from Biocompatible Metals. Production of Poly(lactide), Poly(trimethylene carbonate) and Their Copolymers, Donald J. Darensbourg, Wonsook Choi, Osit Karroonnirun, and Nattamai Bhuvanesh, Macromolecules 2008, 41, 3493-3502.

Mechanistic Studies of the Copolymerization Reaction of Oxetane and Carbon Dioxide to Provide Aliphatic Polycarbonates Catalyzed by (Salen)CrX Complexes, Donald J. Darensbourg, Adriana I. Moncada, Wonsook Choi, and Joseph H. Reibenspies J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 6523-6533.

A Phase Separable Polycarbonate Polymerization Catalyst, Chayanant Hongfa, Jianhua Tian, Jeremy Andreatta, Donald J. Darensbourg, David E. Bergbreiter Chem. Commun. 2008, 975-977.

Switchable-Polarity Solvents Prepared with a Single Liquid Component, Lam Phan, Jeremy R. Andreatta, Loel K. Horvey, Colin F. Edie, Aimée-Lee Luco, Anish Michandani, Donald J. Darensbourg, Philip G. Jessop J. Org. Chem. 2008, 73, 127-132.

What is the Real Steric Impact of Triphenylphosphite? Solid-State and Solution Structural Studies of Cis- and Trans-Isomers of M(CO)4[P(OPh)3]2 (M = Mo and W), Donald J. Darensbourg, Jeremy R. Andreatta, Sarah M. Stranahan, and Joseph H. Reibenspies, Organometallics 2007, 26, 6832-6838.

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