Department of Chemistry
A headshot

David Powers
Associate Professor

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

Researcher ID

Current Activities

Catalysis lies at the heart of many unmet chemical challenges. Research efforts in our group focus on development of new catalytic chemistry to impact both chemical synthesis as well as chemical storage of solar energy. Projects span organic, organometallic, and inorganic chemistries and rely on the tools of modern synthetic chemistry and spectroscopy, as well as advanced characterization techniques supported at synchrotron X-ray sources. Representative research interests include: shape-selective catalysis, solar energy storage in organic solar-thermal flow batteries, and aerobic oxidation chemistry for C–H functionalization reactions. We are seeking students who wish to gain expertise in synthetic chemistry and reaction mechanism elucidation.

Educational Background

B. A., 2006, Franklin and Marshall College

Ph. D., 2011, Harvard University

NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, 2011-2015, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University

Awards & Recognition

  • DOE Early Career Award
  • NSF CAREER Award
  • 2019 ACS Organic Division Academic Young Investigator
  • Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence Scholar
  • 2020 Alfred P. Sloan Fellow
  • National Institutes of Health Outstanding Investigator Award (MIRA-Maximizing Investigators' Research Award)

Selected Publications

  • Das, A.; Chen, Y.-S.; Reibenspies, J. H.; Powers, D. C.* Characterization of a Reactive Rh2 Nitrenoid by Crystalline Matrix Isolation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 16232. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b09064
  • Hyun, S-M.; Yuan, M.; Maity, A.; Gutierrez, O.*; Powers, D. C.* The Role of Iodanyl Radicals as Critical Chain Carriers in Aerobic Hypervalent Iodine Chemistry. Chem 2019, 5, 2388–2404. DOI: 10.1016/j.chempr.2019.06.006.
  • Das, A.; Maher, A. G.; Telser, J.; Powers, D. C.* Observation of a Photogenerated Rh2 Nitrenoid Intermediate in C–H Amination. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 10412–10415. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b05599.
  • Wang, C.-H.; Das, A.; Gao, W.-Y.; Powers, D. C.* Probing Substrate Diffusion in Interstitial MOF Chemistry with Kinetic Isotope Effects. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 3676–3681. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201713244. (Pre-print: ChemRxiv, 2018, DOI: 10.26434/chemrxiv.5883142.v1).
  • Maity, A.; Hyun, S.-M.; Powers, D. C.* Oxidase Catalysis via Aerobically Generated Hypervalent Iodine Intermediates. Nat. Chem. 2018, 10, 200–204. DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.2873. (Pre-print: ChemRxiv, 2017, DOI: 10.26434/chemrxiv.5419270.v1).