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Dr. Kenneth J. Klabunde


University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry

B.A., Augustana College (1965)
Ph.D., University of Iowa (1969)

Email: kenjk@ksu.edu
Office Phone: 785-532-6849
Lab Phone: 785-532-6829
Fax: 785-532-6666

Klabunde Group


Research Overview

Material Science and Nanoscale Particles
In the past decade, we have witnessed an unprecedented and spectacular growth of a new field of science. This new field of atoms, clusters, and nanoscale particles touches on the disciplines of chemistry, physics, electronics, astronomy, mathematics, and engineering.

A nanoscale particle is 1-10 nm in diameter, is made up of 10-10,000 atoms, and possesses properties different from either atoms or the bulk material. Neither quantum chemistry nor classical physics theories apply to this new class of matter. We are involved in several projects dealing with nanoscale materials: (1) the growth of superlattices (crystals made up of nanoparticle arrays) ; (2) colloidal metals in catalysis and thin film growth; (3) new adsorbents for environmental cleanup; and (4) new magnetic materials for better information storage.

Magnetic Properties of Nanoscale Fe Particles
The vaporization of iron metal and condensation of the atoms with hydrocarbons at very low temperature, followed by warming to room temperature, allow the growth of small iron clusters about 5 nm in diameter. The magnetic properties of these ultrafine particles are extremely sensitive to surface coating material. For example, iron oxide surface contamination causes a large increase in coercivity (magnetic memory), and a lowering of magnetic field strength. In order to protect the surface of the iron particles, we are investigating various ways of synthesizing new core-shell structures, for example, Fe coated with Li, Mg, MgF2 or SiO2.

Adsorption Properties of Nanoscale Metal Oxide Particles
Ultrafine particles of metal oxides such as MgO, CaO, Al2O3, ZnO or MgO coated with Fe2O3 exhibit unique surface chemistry, and serve as efficient materials for adsorption of many toxic gases. We are developing synthesis schemes, usually utilizing aerogel and hypercritical drying techniques, to prepare 4 nm size metal oxide particles. By studying the adsorption and decomposition of chlorocarbons and organophosphorus compounds, we have been able to develop new "destructive adsorbents". Our primary interest is in the surface chemical transformation that takes place and the structure of the surface sites that are active.

Organometallic Chemistry
We also are involved in the synthesis of unusual organometallic reagents that have potential as homogeneous catalysts. In particular, mu6-arene complexes of Cr, Fe, Co and Ni are under investigation. The goal is to build in PI-arene lability. For example, we have prepared (mu6-arene)Cr(CO)2(SiCl3)2, (mu6-arene)Fe(SiCl3)2(H)2, (mu6-arene)Co(SiCl3)2, and others. X-ray crystal structures, ligand displacement reactions, arene/arene exchange rates, and homogeneous catalysis (dimerization, isomerization, and polymerization of alkenes) are under study.

Selected Publications

333. Richards, R.; Li, W.; Decker, S.; Davidson C.; Koper O.; Zaikovski V.; Volodin A.; Rieker T.; Klabunde K.J.; “Consolidation of Metal Oxide Nanocrystals.  Reactive Pellets with Controllable Pore Structure That Represent a New Family of Porous, Inorganic Materials,” J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 122, 4921-4925 (2000).

337. Wagner, G.W.; Koper, O.B.; Lucas, E.; Decker, S.; Klabunde, K.J.; “Reactions of VX, GD, and HD with Nanosize CaO: Autocatalytic Dehydrohalogenation of HD,” J. Phys. Chem. B, 104, 5118-5123 (2000).
343)Lin, X.M.; Jaeger, H.M.; Sorensen, C.M.; Klabunde, K.J.; “Formation of Long-Range-Ordered Nanocrystal Superlattices on Silicon Nitride Surfaces,” J. Phys. Chem. B., 105, 3353-3357 (2001).

344. Klabunde, K.J., editor; “Nanoscale Materials in Chemistry, Wiley Interscience, New York, NY (2001).  Also, two chapters written for this book: Klabunde, K.J.; “Introduction to Nanotechnology,” Chap. 1, pgs 1-13; Klabunde, K.J.; Mulukutla, R.; “Chemical and Catalytic Aspects of Nanocrystals,” Chap. 7, pgs 223-261.

351. Carnes, C.; Stipp, J., Klabunde, K.J.; “Synthesis, Characterization, and Adsorption Studies of Nanocrystalline Copper Oxide and Nickel Oxide,” Langmuir, 18, 1352-1359 (2002).

352. Carnes, C.; Klabunde, K.J.; “Unique Chemical Reactivities of Nanocrystalline Metal Oxides toward Hydrogen Sulfide,” Chem. of Materials, 14, 1806-1811 (2002).

353. Diao, Y.; Walawender, W.; Sorensen, C.; Klabunde, K.J.; Rieker, T.; “Hydrolysis of Magnesium Methoxide.  Effects of Toluene on Gel Structure and Gel Chemistry,” Chem. of Materials, 14, 362-368 (2002).

354. Stoeva, S.; Klabunde, K.J.; Sorensen, C.; Dragieva, I.; “Gram-Scale Synthesis of Monodisperse Gold Colloids by the Solvated Metal Atom Dispersion Method and Digestive Ripening and Their Organization into Two- and Three-Dimensional Structures,” J. of American Chem. Society, 124, 2305-2311 (2002).

356. Koper, O.; Klabunde, J.; Marchin, G.; Klabunde, K.J.; Stoimenov, P.; Bohra, L.; “Nanoscale Powders and Formulations with Biocidal Activity Toward Spores and Vegetative Cells of Bacillus Species, Viruses, and Toxins,” Current Microbiology, 44, 49-55 (2002).

357. Decker, S.; Klabunde, J.S.; Khaleel, A.; Klabunde, K.J.; “Catalyzed Destructive Adsorption of Environmental Toxins with Nanocrystalline Metal Oxides.  Fluoro-, Chloro-, Bromocarbons, Sulfur, and Organophosphorus Compounds,” Environ. Sci. Tech., 36, 762-768 (2002).