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Paul Deck

Associate Professor
Prof. Paul Deck against Hokie Stone background
2101 Hahn Hall South
  • Lab Phone: 540-231-8246

Research Interests
Fluoropolymers represent a rapidly growing area within the broader field of synthetic polymer chemistry. Our group makes highly fluorinated aromatic polymers using novel synthetic methods that we develop in our laboratories. These polymers have truly unique structure and are expected to provide a range of materials with useful physical and chemical properties. Current projects include:

  • Synthetic methodology for monomers,
  • Polymer synthesis and characterization, and
  • Fluorous nanomaterials.

Organometallic chemistry is the study of metal-carbon bonds and is therefore an "interdisciplinary" blend of organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry. Organometallic compounds have important applications in catalysis and in materials chemistry. We are specifically interested in the chemistry of metallocenes and related complexes.

Current research programs include:

  • The design of electron-withdrawing cyclopentadienyl ligands,
  • Activation and manipulation of carbon-fluorine bonds, and
  • The use of 19F NMR spectroscopy to study organometallic reaction mechanisms.

As one can see, our polymer synthesis and organometallic chemistry projects are bound together by a common theme: The effects of the element fluorine on structure, properties, and chemical reactivity.

  1. "Synthesis and Structure of Piano Stool Complexes Derived from the Tetrakis(pentafluorophenyl)cyclopentadienyl Ligand." M. P. Thornberry, C. Slebodnick, P. A. Deck, and F. R. Fronczek.Organometallics 200120, 920-926.

  2. "Step-Growth Polymers Derived from Indene and Decafluorobiphenyl. A New Polymerization Mode for Indene." P. A. Deck and C. R. Maiorana." Macromolecules, 200134, 9-13.

  3. "Structural and Electronic Effects of Pentafluorophenyl Substituents on Cyclopentadienyl Complexes of Fe, Co, Mn, and Re." M. P. Thornberry, C. Slebodnick, P. A. Deck, and F. R. Fronczek. Organometallics, 200019, 5352-5369.

  4. "Perfluoroaryl-substituted Cyclopentadienyl Complexes of Transition Metals." P. A. Deck, Coordination Chemistry Reviews, 2006, 250, 1032-1055.

  5. "Preparation of Ferrocenes with High Fluorous-Phase Affinities." W. G. Hollis, Jr., M. G. Poferl, M. D. Wolter, and C. Slebodnick. Journal of Fluorine Chemistry, 2008129, 119-124.
  • Executive Committee of the American Chemical Society Fluorine Division, 2008
  • Alan F. Clifford Faculty Service Award, Virginia Tech, 2007
  • Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award, 1998
  • NSF CAREER Award, 1998
  • B.S. Summa Cum Laude, Hope College, 1987
  • Ph.D. University of Minnesota, 1993
  • NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Northwestern University, 1992–1995