Kenneth W. Henderson

Kenneth W. Henderson

Organometallic and Supramolecular Synthesis


Adjunct Professor, University of Notre Dame
Dean and Professor, College of Science, Northeastern University
Professor, University of Notre Dame
Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame
Senior Lecturer, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Royal Society Fellowship, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Postdoctoral Researcher, Brown University, RI, USA
Ph.D in Chemistry, University of Strathclyde, Glsagow, UK
BSc Honors in Chemistry, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Positions and Awards

Department Chair, University of Notre Dame
Senior Assistant Provost for Internationalization, University of Notre Dame
Provost Fellow, University of Notre Dame
Associate Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame
Rev. Edmund P. Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Research Interests

The Henderson group is interested primarily in synthetic main group chemistry, with an emphasis on the utility and function of highly polar complexes containing the s- and early p-block elements. A central theme is elucidating the structure of compounds containing these elements and unraveling the factors governing their formation. A particular focus is creating materials that will be of use in energy-related chemical research such as separation science and energy storage. For more information on energy-related activity see the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy) website here.

1. Organometallic Chemistry

This program is concentrated on developing a range of group 1, 2 and 13 organometallic reagents to mediate a series of key organic transformations. The approach taken is to first understand the chemistry of the organometallic itself and then use this information to design novel reagents to maximize their reactivity and selectivity in specific reactions. A continuing focus is the synthesis of chemical reagents that are readily made, inexpensive, non-toxic, environmentally benign and useful in a number of important applications.

2. Materials Chemistry

Thsi project is involved in developing rational synthetic routes for the preparation of structurally well-defined solid-state materials. This is an area of widespread interest due to the potential of such materials in technologically important applications including catalysis, chemical separations, small molecule storage, optics and electronics. One approach of the Henderson group utilizes specific alkali metal aggregates as building blocks to direct network assembly. This strategy has resulted in the successful preparation of a series of extended network materials whose topologies may be controlled by altering the size and shape of the molecular building blocks. Current work involves preparing functional materials, including chiral frameworks, porous solids and solid-state reagents.

3. Molecular Electronics

The continued evolution of modern CMOS processing chips faces many challenges related to shrinking devices sizes. The quantum-dot cellular automata (QCA) paradigm encodes binary information through the charge configuration of closed “cells” of quantum dots through which no current flows. Our approach is to use molecules as dots with localized discrete charges. Switching then occurs by changing the oxidation states of the metails present in the molecules. Our group is also developing new supramolecular synthetic strategies to achieve covalent attachment and orientation of the molecules, as well as self-assembly into multi-cell structures.

For more information on Henderson research click on a picture in the image gallery below.

Recent Papers

  • Brown, R. D., Coman, J. M., Christie, J. A., Forrest, R. P., Lent, C. S., Corcelli, S. A., Henderson, K. W., Kandel, S. A. "Evolution of Metastable Clusters into Ordered Structures for 1,1 '-Ferrocenedicarboxylic Acid on the Au(111) Surface." 2017 Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 121, 6191-6198. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b00996
  • Lent, C.S., Henderson, K.W., Alex Kandel, S., Corcelli, S.A., Snider, G.L., Orlov, A.O., Kogge, P.M., Niemier, M.T., Brown, R.C., Christie, J.A., Wasio, N.A., Quardokus, R.C., Forrest, R.P., Peterson, J.P., Silski, A., Turner, D.A., Blair, E.P., Lu, Y. "Molecular cellular networks: A non von Neumann architecture for molecular electronics" 2016 2016 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing, ICRC 2016 - Conference Proceedings, 7738699. DOI: 10.1109/ICRC.2016.7738699
  • Christie, J.A., Forrest, R.P., Corcelli, S.A., Wasio, N.A., Quardokus, R.C., Brown, R., Kandel, S.A., Lu, Y., Lent, C.S., Henderson, K.W. "Synthesis of a Neutral Mixed-Valence Diferrocenyl Carborane for Molecular Quantum-Dot Cellular Automata Applications" 2015 Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 54 (51), pp. 15448-15451. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201507688
  • Wasio, N.A., Quardokus, R.C., Brown, R.D., Forrest, R.P., Lent, C.S., Corcelli, S.A., Christie, J.A., Henderson, K.W., Kandel, S.A. "Cyclic Hydrogen Bonding in Indole Carboxylic Acid Clusters" 2015 Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 119 (36), pp. 21011-21017. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b06634
  • Quardokus, R.C., Wasio, N.A., Brown, R.D., Christie, J.A., Henderson, K.W., Forrest, R.P., Lent, C.S., Corcelli, S.A., Alex Kandel, S. "Hydrogen-bonded clusters of 1, 1′-ferrocenedicarboxylic acid on Au(111) are initially formed in solution" 2015 Journal of Chemical Physics, 142 (10), 101927. DOI: 10.1063/1.4909517
  • Wasio, N.A., Quardokus, R.C., Forrest, R.P., Lent, C.S., Corcelli, S.A., Christie, J.A., Henderson, K.W., Kandel, S.A. "Self-assembly of hydrogen-bonded two-dimensional quasicrystals" 2014 Nature, 507 (7490), pp. 86-89. DOI: 10.1038/nature12993

Contact Information

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Research Specialties