McGill University Department of Chemistry Analytical/Environmental Chemical Biology Chemical Physics Materials Chemistry Synthesis/Catalysis  
Synthesis/Catalysis Profs.
Arndtsen, Bruce
Auclair, Karine
Bohle, Scott
Butler, Ian
Chan, Tak-Hang
Cosa, Gonzalo
Damha, Masad
Eisenberg, Adi
Farrell, Patrick
Friščić, Tomislav
Gleason, James
Gray, Derek
Guindon, Yvan
Harpp, David
Hay, Allan
Kakkar, Ashok
Lennox, Bruce
Li, C.J.
Lumb, Jean-Philip
Marchessault, Robert
Moitessier, Nicolas
Moores, Audrey
Perepichka, Dima
Shaver, Alan
Sleiman, Hanadi
Tsantrizos, Youla
van de Ven, Theo
Ashok Kakkar
Ashok Kakkar

Associate Professor

PhD (University of Waterloo, 1990)
NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow (Cambridge 1990-91
Northwestern 1991-93)

Office: 313
Phone: (514)398-6912
Email: Ashok.Kakkar@McGill.CA
Web Page:

Lab: Pulp and Paper 010 and Otto Maass 340
Lab Phone: (514)398-6924

Research Themes:

Research Description:
Developing new synthetic methodologies that lead to "Efficient Materials" for catalysis and photonics, constitutes a major thrust of my research group. We are exploring the versatility of the acid-base hydrolysis of amino-silanes and -stannanes with compounds containing acidic end groups to synthesize a variety of supramolecular structures ranging from simple monolayers to complex dendrimers. It can help us build links between homogeneous & heterogeneous phases for active, selective and efficient catalysis of important organic transformations, and solution & interfacial chemistry for photonic based devices for second-order nonlinear optics. In our pursuit to build smart materials, the emphasis is placed on synthesis and then a detailed study of the physical properties using modern characterization tools.

Some the research projects currently being pursued include:

Dendritic Materials: Organic and organometallic dendrimers constitute a unique and intriguing class of supramolecular structures. Their synthesis using simple chemistry and easily accessible reagents, and applications in catalysis and optics, are being investigated.

Novel Matrices via a Unique Sol-gel Process: Multi-dimensional networks containing nonlinear optical chromophores that are soluble in organic solvents are ideal for building new materials with sustainable second-order nonlinear optical coefficients. Such matrices containing donor ligands and/or organometallic complexes distributed throughout their bulk, are also ideal supports for heterogenizing homogeneous catalysis.

Poled Polymers for 2nd-Order Nonlinear Optics: An extension of our acid-base hydrolytic approach provides an easy route to co-polymers of dimethylsiloxane, NLO-chromophores, and R groups such as phenyl, biphenyl and imide. These polymers are soluble in common organic solvents, and their glass transition temperatures and thermal stabilities can be tailored by introducing simple variables. Upon electric field poling, their thin films show stable second harmonic generation characteristics.

Molecular Self-Assembly: a) The Role of Molecular Order in Catalysis: With an ultimate goal of synthesizing biologically active molecules, we have begun to examine the effect of molecular order in organometallic SAMs on the catalytic hydrogenation of C=O and C=N bonds. In a similar quest, we build bifunctional catalysts by attaching two different metal centers on either side of glass, and perform sequential multistep reactions on the same support. b) Rigid-Rod Alkynyl Self-Assembled Monolayers: Self-organization of long chain alkynes via noncovalent p-p interactions provides opportunities to build devices for nonlinear optics, conductivity, etc. In this project, we carry out a detailed study of the physical properties of alkynyl SAMs using contact angle goniometry, ellipsometry, FTIR-ATR.

Currently Teaching:
CHEM-110 General Chemistry 1
CHEM-392 Integrated Inorganic/Organic Laboratory
CHEM-400 Independent Study in Chemistry
CHEM-571 Polymer Synthesis
CHEM-662 Research Report 1
CHEM-763 Research Report 2
801 Sherbrooke St. W. Montréal, Québec H3A 2K6 tel: 514-398-6999 fax: 514-398-3797   
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