Skip to content

The University of Texas at ArlingtonThe University of Texas at Arlington

College of ScienceAbout UsAdvisingMapsMyMavBlackboardMail


Frederick M MacDonnell

Frederick MacDonnell

Professor and Chair,
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Office: 130 Chemistry and Physics Building (CPB)
Phone: 817-272-3812
Mentis Profile

The University of Vermont, 1986
M.S. Northwestern University, 1988 
Ph.D. Northwestern University, 1993
Post Doctorate: Harvard University, 1992-1994

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

Du, S.; Wang, Y.; Alatrash, N.; Weatherly, C. A.; Roy, D.; MacDonnell, F. M.; Armstrong, D. W. “Altered profiles and metabolism of L- and D-amino acids in cultured human breast cancer cells vs. non-tumorigenic human breast epithelial cells” J. Pharm. Biomed. Anal. 2019, 164, 421-429. DOI:10.1016/j.jpba.2018.10.047

Ramírez-Rivera, S.; Pizarro, S.; Gallardo, M.; Gajardo, F.; Delgadillo, A.; De La Fuente-Ortega, E.; MacDonnell, F. M.; Bernal, G., “Anticancer activity of two novel ruthenium compounds in gastric cancer cells” Life Sci. 2018, 213, 57-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.lfs.2018.10.024

Griffith, C.; Dayoub, A. S.; Jaranatne, T.; Alatrash, N.; Mohamedi, Ali.; Abayan, K.; Brietbach, Z.; Armstrong, D. W. and MacDonnell, F.M. "Cellular and cell-free studies of catalytic DNA cleavage by ruthenium polypyridyl complexes containing redox-active intercalating ligands “ Chem. Sci. 2017, 8, 3726-3740. DOI:10.1039/c6cs04094b

Hu, Q. H.;, Liu, H.; Yang, R.; Zhang, Y. X.; Kibria, G.; Sahi, S.; Alatrash, N.; MacDonnell, F. M. and Chen, W. “Applying Molecular and Nanoparticle Tracers to Study Wettability and Connectivity of Longmaxi Formation in Southern China” J. Nanosci. Nanotech. 2017, 17, 6284-6295. DOI 10:1166/jnn.2017.14428

Mikek, Clinton G.; Machha, Venkata R.; White, Jake C.; Martin, Logan R.; West, Savannah J.; Butrin, Arseniy; Shumaker, Carmen; Gwin, J. Cole; Alatrash, Nagham; MacDonnell, Frederick M; Lewis, Edwin A. “The Thermodynamic Effects of Ligand Structure on the Molecular Recognition of Mono- and Biruthenium Polypyridyl Complexes with G-Quadruplex DNA” Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2017, 33, 3953-3960. DOI:10.1002/ejic.201700789

Mikek, Clinton G.; DuPont, Jesse I.; Machha, Venkata R.; White, Jake C.; Martin, Logan R.; Alatrash, Nagham; MacDonnell, Frederick M.; Lewis, Edwin A. “The Thermodynamic Effects of Ligand Structure on the Molecular Recognition of Mononuclear Ruthenium Polypyridyl Complexes with B-DNA” Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2017, 30, 3604-3611. DOI:10.1002/ejic.201700778 (Cover Art on Issue page 3588)

Alatrash, Nagham; Narh, Eugenia S.; Yadav, Abhishek; Kim, Mahn-Jong; Janaratne, Thamara; Gabriel, James; MacDonnell, Frederick M. “Synthesis, DNA Cleavage Activity, Cytotoxicity, Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition, and Acute Murine Toxicity of Redox-Active Ruthenium(II) Polypyridyl Complexes” ChemMedChem 2017, 12(13), 1055-1069. DOI:10.1002/cmdc.201700240

Aslan, J. M.; Yousufuddin, M.; Boston, D. J.; MacDonnell, F. M. “Quadruple electron storage using visible light with nitrogen-heterocycles under metal-free conditions” Inorg. Chim. Acta 2017, 216-221. DOI: 10.1016/j.ica.2016.06.025

Chanmanee, W.; Mohammad Fakrul Islam, M. F.; Brian H. Dennis,B. H. and MacDonnell, F. M., “Solar Photothermochemical Alkane Reverse Combustion” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2016, 113,10, 2579-2584. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1516945113. PMID:26903631

Aslan, Joseph M.; Boston, David J.; MacDonnell, Frederick M. “Photodriven Multi-electron Storage in Disubstituted RuII Dppz Analogues” Chemistry - A European Journal 2015, 21(48), 17314-17323. PMID:26448144

Shu, Y.; Breitbach, Z. S.; Dissanayake, M. K.; Perera, S.; Aslan, J. M.; Alatrash, N.; MacDonnell, F. M.; Armstrong, D. W. “Enantiomeric Separations of Ruthenium (II) Polypyridyl Complexes Using HPLC With Cyclofructan Chiral Stationary Phases” Chirality 2015, 27, 64-70. DOI:10.1002/chir.22389 PMID 25288031

Vu H. Le, V.H.; McGuire, M.R.; Ahuja, P.; MacDonnell, F.M.; and Lewis, E.A. “Thermodynamic Investigations of [(phen)2Ru(tatpp)Ru(phen)2]4+ interactions with B-DNA” J. Phys. Chem. A. 2014, 119, 65-71. DOI:10.1021/jp509569s PMID:25437923

MacDonnell, F.M.; Alatrash, N.; Narh, E.S. “Ruthenium complexes of redox-active intercalating ligands as an emerging class of anti-cancer agents” J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 2014, 19, S752-S752

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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