The University of Texas at Arlington

Frederick MacDonnell

Frederick  MacDonnell

Associate Department Chair

Office: 302 CRB, Email:, Phone: 817-272-2972, FAX: 817-272-3808

Research ProfileCourses

The MacDonnell lab is interested in developing new molecular catalysts and materials with interesting optical, photochemical, electrochemical, stereochemical and bioactive properties. In particular, we have been heavily involved in the synthesis and characterization of new ruthenium-polypyridyl complexes containing unusual redox and photoactive ligands. The complexes exhibit a wide range of behaviors that makes them potential useful in areas as diverse as solar-energy harvesting, chiral separations and photocatalysis. In order to study these complexes we rely on a broad range of spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques including: electrochemistry, spectroelectrochemistry, photochemistry, crystallography, electron paramagnetic resonance, NMR and magnetic susceptibility.

Recent Publications

  1. Boston, D. J.; Yeimi, M. F. P.; Lezna, R. O.; de Tacconi, N. R.; MacDonnell, F. M. "Electrocatalytic and Photocatalytic Conversion of CO2 to Methanol using Ruthenium Complexes with Internal Pyridyl Cocatalysts" Inorg. Chem., 2014, 53 (13), 6544-6553 DOI: 10.1021/ic500051m
  2. Poteet, S. A.; MacDonnell, F. M. "Water detection by "turn on" fluorescence of the quinone-containing complexes [Ru(phen)2(1,10-phenanthroline-5,6-dione)] 2+ and [Ru(phenanthroline-5,6-dione)3]2+ Dalton Trans. 2013, 42(37), 13305-13307. DOI:10.1039/c3dt51664d
  3. Boston, D. J.; Xu, C.; Armstrong, Da. W.; MacDonnell, F. M. "Photochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Methanol and Formate in a Homogeneous System with Pyridinium Catalysts" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 16252-16255 10.1021/ja406074w
  4. Poteet, S. A.; Majewski, M. B.; Breitbach, Z. S.; Griffith, C. A.; Singh, S.; Armstrong, D. W.; Wolf, M. O.; MacDonnell, F. M., "Cleavage of DNA by Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer to a Photoexcited, Hydrated Ru(II) 1,10-Phenanthroline-5,6-dione Complex", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 2419-2422 10.1021/ja3106863.
  5. Majewski, M. B.; de, T. N. R.; MacDonnell, F. M.; Wolf, M. O., "Long-Lived, Directional Photoinduced Charge Separation in RuII Complexes Bearing Laminate Polypyridyl Ligands", Chem. - Eur. J. 2013, 19, 8331-8341 10.1002/chem.201203786.
  6. Yadav, A.; Janaratne, T.; Krishnan, A.; Singhal, S. S.; Yadav, S.; Dayoub, A. S.; Hawkins, D. L.; Awasthi, S.; MacDonnell, F. M., "Regression of Lung Cancer by Hypoxia-Sensitizing Ruthenium Polypyridyl Complexes", Mol. Cancer Ther. 2013, 12, 643-653 10.1158/1535-7163.mct-12-1130.
  7. de Tacconi, N. R.; Chanmanee, W.; Dennis, B. H.; MacDonnell, F. M.; Boston, D. J.; Rajeshwar, K. "Electrocatalytic Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Using Pt/C-TiO2 Nanocomposite Cathode" Electrochem. Solid-State Let. 2012, 15(1), B5-B8. DOI 10.1149/2.008201esl
  8. Singh, S.; de Tacconi, N. R.; Diaz, N. R. G.; Lezna, R. O.; Munoz Zuniga, J.; Abayan, K.; MacDonnell, F. M. "Photochemical Two-Electron Reduction of a Dinuclear Ruthenium Complex Containing a Bent Tetraazatetrapyridopentacene Bridging Ligand: Pushing Up the LUMO for Storing More Energy" Inorg. Chem. 2011, 50(19), 9318-9328. DOI 10.1021/ic2006698
  9. Yousufuddin, M.; Aslan, J. M.; MacDonnell, F. M. "Crystal structure of bis[hydrobis(3-phenylpyrazolyl)(5-phenylpyrazolyl)borato]-zinc(II)" J. Chem. Cryst. 2011, 41(11), 1763-1767. DOI 10.1007/s10870-011-0170-z
  10. Majewski, M. B.; de Tacconi, N. R.; MacDonnell, F. M.; Wolf, M. O. "Ligand-Triplet-Fueled Long-Lived Charge Separation in Ruthenium(II) Complexes with Bithienyl-Functionalized Ligands" Inorg. Chem. 2011, 50(20), 9939-9941 10.1021/ic201895y
  11. Singh, S.; de, T. N. R.; Boston, D.; MacDonnell, F. M. "Photoinduced ligand transformations in a ruthenium complex of dimethoxytetrapyridotetraazapentacene" Dalton Trans 2010, 39, 11180-7. DOI:10.1039/c0dt00982b

Book Chapters

  1. David J. Boston, Kai-Ling Huang, Norma R. de Tacconi, Noseung Myung, Frederick M. MacDonnell, and Krishnan Rajeshwar "Electro- and Photocatalytic Reduction of CO2: The Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Worlds Collide?" in Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting: Materials, Processes and Architectures, 2013, Chp 11 (pp. 289-332), Eds. H.-J. Lewerenz and L. Peter, RSC Press. DOI:10.1039/9781849737739-00289
  2. Frederick M. MacDonnell "Photochemical Splitting of Water" in Solar Hydrogen Generation: Toward a Renewable Energy Future, K. Rajeshwar and S. Licht, Eds., 2008, Springer, NY. Chapter 6, pp. 123-156.


F. M. MacDonnell, W. Cleaver, E. Hampe "CHEM 1441 Laboratory" 2010, Stipes Publishing

F. M. MacDonnell, W. Cleaver, E. Hampe "CHEM 1442 Laboratory" 2010, Stipes Publishing

F. M. MacDonnell, W. Cleaver, E. Hampe "CHEM 1465 Laboratory" 2012, Stipes Publishing

B.S. The University of Vermont (1986)

M.S. Northwestern University (1988)

Ph.D. Northwestern University (1993)

Damon Runyon - Walter Winchell Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University (1992-1994)

2014 Distinguished Record of research or Creativity Award, UTA

2012 Outstanding Teaching Award, UTA College of Science

2005 Recipient STARS Award (Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention), UT System

2003 Outstanding Research Achievement, UTA College of Science

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

The University of Texas at Arlington · Arlington, Texas 76019-0065 USA

Phone: 817-272-3171 | Fax: 817-272-3808

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