The Reed group specializes in making molecules that haven't been made before. We particularly enjoy the challenge of isolating highly reactive cations across the periodic table. These include species such as R 3 Si + , Fe(TPP) + , R 3 C + , HC 60 + , C 60 + . , C 6 H 7 + , R 2 Al + , H 3 O + , H 5 O 2 + , R 2 Cl + etc. We apply what we learn to questions of structure, reactivity and mechanism in catalysis across inorganic, organic and bio-inorganic chemistry.
This chemistry is made possible by the use of carboranes as counterions (figure below). Carboranes are amongst the least coordinating, least basic, most inert, best crystallizing anions available to chemists. Their conjugate acids, H(carborane), are the strongest Lewis-free protic acids presently known.
We are currently studying one of the oldest problems in chemistry: what is the true nature of H+ in water?