Robert Buchanan received his Ph.D. in 1980 from University of Colorado, Boulder under the direction of Cortlandt G. Pierpont. From 1981 to 1982, Professor Buchanan was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Mark S. Wrighton in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He joined the chemistry faculty at the University of Louisville in 1982, was promoted with tenure to associate professor in 1988, and promoted to full professor in 1993.
Prof. Buchanan was awarded the President’s Young Investigator Award (Louisville) in 1988, College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award 2005, University Distinguished Teaching Award 2005 and the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Service Award to the University 2016.
His general research interests include: organic and inorganic synthesis, crystallography, and magnetic properties of biomimetic inorganic and bioinorganic compounds; active site models of metalloproteins; C-H bond activation and conducting polymers; the design, preparation and evaluation molecular electrocatalysts containing non-innocent ligands and redox active and inactive metals for H2 generation, water oxidation and CO2 reduction.
Currently, we are evaluating the electrocatalytic behavior of a class of bis-thiosemicarbazone (btsc) complexes containing earth abundant metals (Ni(II), Cu(II) and Zn(II)) under homogeneous and heterogeneous conditions in collaboration with Dr. Grapperhauss and Dr. Gupta’s groups. These M(btsc) complexes are easily deposited on carbon surfaces generating stable electroactive coatings, which have been characterized using many conventional surface analysis methods.