Welcome to the Cain Lab at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.  

Our research efforts are focused on: 1. The synthesis of multidentate, redox-active/non-innocent, and/or chiral phosphine- and phosphaalkene-based ligands for application in transition metal-mediated small molecule activation, asymmetric catalysis, and alternative energy processes, and 2. The synthesis of new Main Group Species (P-based) capable of mimicking transition metal reactivity, particularly dihydrogen activation.  


Interested in organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and/or organometallic chemistry?  

We incorporate all three in our lab every day!  The design of our new ligand frameworks first involves building a molecular scaffold using organic methodology.  We then transition into an inert atmosphere and install phosphorus groups (or other donor atoms) and complete the synthesis and isolation of our ligand targets.  With the ligand in hand, we turn to inorganic chemistry to generate precatalysts in which the metal-ligand system enforces a rationally designed coordination environment for substrate activation.  Does this type of chemistry interest you?  Drop us a line.