Casey Wade

Assistant Professor


Casey Wade received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2006. He completed his Ph.D. at Texas A&M University in 2011 where he studied the chemistry of boron and antimony Lewis acids under the supervision of Prof. François Gabbaï. Casey then moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to carry out postdoctoral research on the synthesis and applications of metal-organic frameworks with Prof. Mircea Dincă. Casey started his independent career as an assistant professor at Brandeis University in 2013 and will be joining The Ohio State University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in January 2018.

Research Overview

Research in the Wade Lab encompasses molecular inorganic/organometallic chemistry and materials science with a focus on the design and study of new catalytically active molecules and materials. Current projects involve the synthesis of metal-organic frameworks constructed from catalytically active transition metal complexes, the design of new redox-active ligand platforms, and study of the reactivity and catalytic activity of dinuclear gold complexes. Synthesis plays a central role in our research program, and a variety of solution and solid-state characterization techniques are used to elucidate the structure and properties of newly synthesized materials. These include X-ray diffraction, gas porosimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, ICP-OES, cyclic voltammetry, and NMR, IR, and UV-Vis spectroscopies.

Site-isolation Effects in Metal-Organic Framework Catalysts

Advances in organometallic catalysis have had a profound impact on chemical synthesis in both academic and industrial settings. However, homogeneous organometallic catalysts continue to suffer drawbacks related to stability, product separation, and recyclability. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have emerged as versatile platforms for the design of heterogeneous catalysts that retain many of the beneficial features (e.g. ligand tunability) of homogeneous systems. In addition, MOFs can improve the lifetime and activity of immobilized catalyst species via site-isolation effects. In this project, we seek to incorporate well-defined transition metal catalyst species into MOF matrices in order to study the effects of reactive site confinement on small molecule activation processes and catalytic processes such as CO2 hydrogenation and C–H functionalization.

New Redox Active Ligand Platforms

Ligand design plays an important role in tuning the activity and selectivity of homogeneous transition metal catalysts. In addition to influencing the electronic properties and steric environment of a metal center, ancillary ligands can play more active roles by aiding in substrate activation via secondary coordination sphere interactions or acting as charge reservoirs. In this project we are designing new ligand platforms that contain redox active arylene diimide (ADI) groups. ADIs are a versatile family of electron deficient molecules that exhibit rich photophysical properties and can reversibly store up to two electrons at mild reducing potentials. We are currently exploring ADI-based ligands that enable photo- and/or electrocatalytic transformations in transition metals complexes by facilitating multi-electron transfer processes and/or acting as Lewis bases to assist in substrate activation.

Cooperative Effects in Dinuclear Gold Complexes

Homogeneous gold complexes have been shown to efficiently and selectively catalyze a wide range of organic reactions that involve Lewis acid activation of π-bonds toward nucleophilic addition. However, gold-catalyzed coupling reactions that require oxidative addition or metal redox cycling have remained less common owing to the high oxidation potential of gold(I). In this project, we seek to exploit the facile redox processes and Lewis acidic properties of dinuclear gold ylide complexes in order to develop new gold-mediated transformations that involve C–C coupling, group transfer, or tandem reaction sequences.

Recent Publications

Electrochemical and structural investigation of the interactions between naphthalene diimides and metal cations. Reiner, B. R.; Foxman, B. M.; Wade, C. R. Dalton Trans. 2017, 46, 9472-9480.

Lewis Acid Catalysis with Cationic Dinuclear Gold(II,II) and Gold(III,III) Phosphorus Ylide Complexes. Reiner, B. R.; Bezpalko, M. W.; Foxman, B. M.; Wade, C. R. Organometallics 201635, 2830-2835.

Improved Catalytic Activity and Stability of a Palladium Pincer Complex by Incorporation into a Metal-Organic Framework.  Burgess, S. A.; Kassie, A.; Baranowski, S. A.; Fritzsching, K. J.; Schmidt-Rohr, K.; Brown, C. M.; Wade, C. R.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016138, 1780-1783. 


Areas of Expertise
  • Inorganic
(614) 688-4722
4105 Newman & Wolfrom Laboratory