Center for S&P Block Chemistry
Reed Group
Bertrand Group
Mathey Group
Feng Group
Heteroatom Chem


S & P Block Chemistry is chiefly the chemistry of the main group elements around C on the right hand side of the Periodic Table, particularly B, Al, N, P, O, S and Si but the designation encompasses all elements with s and p orbital valence shell electrons.

s block d block
p block
f block

Despite the enormous importance of phosphorus(III) ligands in transition metal catalysis, phosphorus(V) chemistry in agriculture and biology, aluminosilicates in the petroleum catalyst industry, and silicon in the semi-conductor chip and polymer industries, s & p block chemistry research is significantly underrepresented in academic institutions across the United States . By contrast, Europe and Canada have traditionally strong programs. A number of individuals with outstanding research programs in main group chemistry can be identified in the US, but a lack of critical mass and organization has prevented s & p block chemistry from competing effectively with traditional areas of strength, namely, organic, d block organo-transition metal and analytical chemistry. The time is ripe to change this. Four of the nine "Research Highlights of Year" in inorganic chemistry identified by Chemical and Engineering News in 2002 (Dec 16 issue, p 42) were in the area of s & p block chemistry. Only two of these were from US labs and both of those involved researchers from UCR.

Objectives of the Center:

•  To make UCR the preeminent institution in the world for research in s & p block chemistry.

•  To create sister institution relationships with main group chemistry labs worldwide to promote collaborative research and the exchange of students, knowledge and researchers.

•  To forge collaborations with chemical industry worldwide in order to create job opportunities for our students, and facilitate collaborative rersearch, technology transfer and exchange of personnel.

•  To foster cross-disciplinary opportunities in s & p block chemistry in engineering, biological, and biomedical sciences.

•  To promote s and p block chemistry within the American Chemical Society (ACS) and find sponsorship for an International or ACS Award in S & P Block Chemistry.

•  To encourage endowment to support conferences, a scholar-in-residence program, fund graduate student and postdoctoral fellowships, leverage endowed chairs, make research grants to young faculty, and provide continuing support for the activities of the Center.

•  To achieve these goals in 5 years.


The 2001 creation of the UC Riverside/Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Joint Laboratory in Main Group Chemistry (read Chem & Eng News report) brought $1M of CNRS funding and Professor Guy Bertrand to Riverside who, together with Professor Chris Reed (hired 1998), gave UCR a distinguished presence in main group ( s & p block) chemistry. A third scholar of extraordinary international stature, Professor Francois Mathey from the École Polytechnique in Paris, joined UCR in 2003, making UCR one of the preeminent institutions in the world for research in s & p block chemistry. Adding to this senior hiring success is the career of Professor Pingyun Feng (hired 2000) who has rapidly established herself as a formidable new force in the field of s & p block solid state chemistry. She has two major federal grants, is the winner of an NSF CAREER, Beckman, Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar and Sloan awards, and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2004. These four faculty are the nucleus of principals that created the Center in 2005.



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