Dr. Alan J. Jircitano

Associate Professor of Chemistry

B.S., 1977, Niagara University, Chemistry
Ph.D., 1982, University of Kansas, Inorganic Chemistry
Postdoctoral Research Associate, 1982-84, Ohio State University

Phone: (814) 898-6400
e-mail: jircitano@psu.edu
Spring 2018 Schedule


General Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry
X-ray Crystallography


Bioinorganic Chemistry
Structural Chemistry
Novel Biomimetic Transition Metal Complexes
Homogenous Catalysis

Chemistry 106 Introductory and General Chemistry
Chemistry 108
Problem Solving in Chemistry
Chemistry 110
General Chemistry I
Chemistry 111 General Chemistry Laboratory I
Chemistry 111H Honors General Chemistry Laboratory I
Chemistry 112
General Chemistry II
Chemistry 113
General Chemistry Laboratory II
Chemistry 213
Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Chemistry 400 Chemical Literature
Chemistry 413
Chemistry of the Elements
Chemistry 431W Organic and Inorganic Preparations
Chemistry 446
X-ray Crystallography

Research Interests:

I.  One of my research interests include the synthesis and structural characterization of transition metal complexes with macrocyclic ligands.  Macrocyclic ligands are organic molecules which contain several atoms with lone-pair electrons (donor atoms) as part of a large ring of atoms.  The donor atoms can bond to a variety of metal ions through the lone-pair. This usually places the metal at the center of the ring.  Macrocyclic compounds are found extensively in nature, playing a role in some very important biological processes.  The conversion of light energy from the sun into electrical and chemical energy in photosynthesis depends on a magnesium containing macrocyle,

. Oxygen is transported through the blood by .  A
B vitamin,  contains cobalt and 

in methanogenic bacteria converts carbon dioxide to methane.  The naturally occurring molecules are often very complex and difficult to study because there are usually associated with proteins.  One approach used to help chemists understand complex processes is to make model compounds which have characteristics similar to the natural molecule.  Model compounds can often provide insight into the important factors of the structure of the naturally occurring complexes as well as giving information into the design of systems which can mimic biological behavior.  Much of the research in this area has involved such topics as catalysis, organic synthesis, and analytical methods in both industrial and medicinal applications.

II.  Another research project in my group involves the investigation of the geometry and coordination preferences of metal ion complexes with multidentate ligands.  When a ligand has several possible coordination sites, the ones used in coordination depend on a combination of the preferred geometry of the metal ion, the hard/soft nature of the ligand and the metal ion, and the geometry of the ligand.  We have been investigating a class of ligands based on di-2-pyridyl ketone (DPK).  In particular, new ligands containing O, S, and N in 5- and 6- membered rings are being synthesized.  The coordination of these ligands with a variety of transition metal ions can be studied through the use of X-ray crystallographic techniques.

Student Research:

Students who decide to work in our group will be involved in the synthesis and characterization of new classes of macrocyclic ligands, making electronic and steric modifications to previously studied macrocycles, and making new DPK analogs.  They will have the opportunity to use a variety of analytical techniques to characterize the complexes, including IR, NMR, UV-vis and magnetic susceptibility.  We can also use the powerful method of X-ray crystallography to get a detailed, 3-dimensional view of our compounds when suitable crystals are isolated.

Some Publications:

"Structure of Bis(1,3-diphenyl-1,3-propanedionato-O,O')(1,2-ethanediamine-N,N')nickel(II)," A.J. Jircitano, R.F. Henry, and R.R. Hammond, Acta Cryst., Sec. C., 1990, C46, 1799-1801.

"Steric Ligand Effects of Six Bidentate Bipyridyl Ligands," C.A. Bessel, J.A. Margarucci, J.H. Acquaye, R.S. Rubino, J. Crandall, A.J. Jircitano, and K.J. Takeuchi, Inorg. Chem., 1993, 32, 5779-5784.

"The Self-Condensation of a Derivative of o-Aminobenzaldehyde: The Structure of the Polycyclic, Bisanhydro-Trimer, " A.J. Jircitano, S.O. Sommerer, J.J. Shelley, B.L. Westcott, and I.-H. Suh, Acta Cryst., Sec. C., 1994, C50, 445-447.

"The Synthesis and Structure of Two Metal-Di-2-Pyridyl Ketone Oxime Dimers," S.O. Sommerer, B.L. Westcott, A.J. Jircitano, and K.A. Abboud, Inorg. Chim. Acta, 1995, 238, 149-153.
"Crystal Structures of trans-[Ru(dppe)2(CO)(Cl)](BF4).toluene and trans-[Ru(dppm)2(CO)(Cl)](BF4).CH2Cl2: A Study of the Steric and Electronic Ligand Effects of trans-Positioned Diphosphine Ligands," L.F. Szczepura, J. Giambra, R.F. See, J. Lawson, R.S. Janik, A.J. Jircitano, M.R. Churchill, and K.J. Takeuchi, Inorg. Chim. Acta, 1995, 239, 77-85.

"Distortions from Trigonal Prismatic Geometry for Several Structurally Characterized Clathrochelate Complexes: Significance of p-Backbonding on Clathrochelate Coordination Geometry," S.A. Kubow, K.J. Takeuchi, J.J. Gryzbowski, A.J. Jircitano, and V.L. Goedken, Inorg. Chim. Acta, 1996, 241, 21-30.

"catena-Poly[m-O,m-N'(di-2-pyridyl ketone)-N',O)m-N(di-2-pyridyl ketone)-N',O]silver(I) Tetrafluoroborate," S.O. Sommerer, B.L. Westcott, A.J. Jircitano, and K.A. Abboud, Acta Cryst., Sec. C., 1996, C52, 1426-1428.

"trans-Bis[4-amino-3,5-bis(2-pyridyl)-1,2,4-triazole-N',N']copper(II) Bis(tetrafluoroborate)," A. J. Jircitano, S. O. Sommerer and K. A. Abboud, Acta Cryst., Sec. C., 1997, C53, 434 - 436.

"Bis(di-2-pyridylmethanediol-N,N')palladium(II) Dichloride Tetrahydrate and Dichloro(di-2-pyridylmethanediol-N,N')gold(III) Chloride," S. O. Sommerer, A. J. Jircitano, B. L. Westcott, K. A. Abboud and J. A. Krause Bauer, Acta Cryst., Sec. C., 1997, C53, 707 - 710.

"Chlorobis(N, N'-di-2-pyridyl ketone oximato)gold(III) Hydrate," S. O. Sommerer, C. E. MacBeth, A. J. Jircitano and K. A. Abboud, Acta Cryst., Sec. C., 1997, C53, 1551 - 1553.

"trans-Diaquabis(2-thienyl 2-pyridyl ketone-O,N)copper(II) Tetrafluoroborate," S. O. Sommerer, T. L. Friebe, A. J. Jircitano, C. E. MacBeth and K. A. Abboud, Acta Cryst., Sec. C., 1998, C54, 178 - 179.

"Remarkable Spectator Ligand Effect on the Rate Constant of Ligand Substitution of (Aqua)ruthenium(II) Complexes," M. H. V. Huynh, J. M. Lasker, M. Wetzler, B. Mort, L. F. Szczepura, L. M. Witham, J. M. Cintron, A. C. Marschilok, L. J. Ackerman, R. K. Castellano, D. L. Jameson, M. R. Churchill, A. J. Jircitano, and K. J. Takeuchi,  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 123, 2001, 8780 - 8784.
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Interested persons may contact me for information at:  jircitano@psu.edu or (814) 898-6400

Last modified:  December 13, 2017