Scott Handy

Dr. Scott Handy received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Indiana University in 1996 under the direction of Professor Paul Grieco. Following an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University in the labs of Professor Paul Wender, he joined the Chemistry Department at Binghamton University in 1999. In 2006 he moved to Middle Tennessee State University as an Associate Professor and was promoted to Professor in 2011. His research interests are in the areas of cross-coupling reactions (particularly regioselectivity in the couplings of polyhaloheteroaromatics) and ionic liquids (as recyclable solvents for transition metal-catalyzed reactions and electrochemistry).

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Room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) are an interesting and valuable family of compounds. Although they are all salts, their components can vary considerably, including imidazolium, pyridinium, ammonium, phosphonium, thiazolium, and triazolium cations. In general, these cations have been combined with weakly coordinating anions. Common examples include tetrafluoroborate, hexafluorophosphate, triflate, triflimide, and dicyanimide. The list of possible anionic components continues to grow at a rapid rate. Besides exploring new anionic and cation components, another active and important area of research is the determinination and prediction of their physical properties, particularly since their unusual and tunable properties are so often mentioned as being one of the key advantages of RTILs over conventional solvents. Despite impressive progress, much work remains before the true power of RTILs as designer solvents (i.e. predictable selection of a particular RTIL for any given application) can be effectively harnessed.

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