Professor Jim Simpson BSc(Hons), PhD, FNZIC



    Department of Chemistry, University of Otago
P.O. Box 56, Dunedin New Zealand


Tel : (64)(03) 479-7914
Fax: (64)(03) 479-7906
Mobile 021-634-827

Research Interests

The ability of different parts of the same molecule to communicate with one another is of interest in the development of molecular devices, one-way semiconductors and probe technology.  Our research has concentrated on the use of redox active molecular systems, such as ferrocene and metal carbonyl clusters to build molecules in which the redox active centres can communicate through electron transfer processes.

The key to communication between such centres lies in the establishment of a conducting link between different parts of the molecule.  In our work, alkyne and polyalkyne chains have been used effectively to promote communication between common and diverse redox centres in the molecules. Electrochemical techniques such as cyclic voltammetry provide an effective tool for monitoring communication between redox centres in molecules.

Another major research interest is in X-ray crystallography, a technique that can provide an intimate picture of the structure of crystalline materials at a molecular level.  This technique is used to inform research in many areas of chemistry and I have particular interest in the crystallography of inorganic and organometallic complexes and natural products derived from plant materials both in New Zealand and from various countries in the Asian region.  In collaboration with Professor Keith Hunter, I have also developed molecular graphics software aimed at facilitating the process of solving and refining X-ray structures from diffraction data.

Current Research Projects

A fundamental investigation of electronic interactions in new photo- and electroactive arrays. (Marsden funded with Brian Robinson, Keith Gordon, Henrik Kjaergaard,Joy Kerr, John McAdam and Bogdan Dana). Structure 1

Innovative solid state white light emitters. (NERF funded with Keith Gordon, Brian Robinson and a number of staff from the Departments of Chemistry and Physics)

Ferrocenyl and metal cluster naphthalimide derivatives (with John McAdam and Brian Robinson). Structure 2

Organometallic surfactants (with Tony Melton and Brian Robinson)

Sugar derivatives of organometallic complexes towards metal-based bioprobes (with Joy Kerr, David Larsen and Brian Robinson). Structure 3
Chemistry of metal cluster-polyaromatic systems (with Rosamund Connelly and Brian Robinson)

Electrochemistry and X-ray crystallography of CS2 metal complexes, metal-alkyne-polyaromatic systems and charge transfer complexes.  (with Professor Tony Manning, University College Dublin, Brian Robinson and John McAdam). Structure 4.

Recent publications

Titan 2000: A molecular graphics program to aid structure solution and refinement with the SHELX suite of programs