Xile Hu

Xile Hu, PhD 2004

Department of Chemistry and Biochemisty
University of California, San Diego (Prof. Dr. Meyer)

Currently: Professor in the Laboratory of Inorganic Synthesis and Catalysis
EPFL, Switzerland


Sept. 2000 – Nov. 2004
Ph.D. in Chemistry (with Prof. Karsten Meyer), University of California, San Diego

Sept. 1996 – June 2000
Bachelor of Science
College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, China, with Prof. Jianhua Lin. Thesis Title: Intercalation Chemistry of Tungsten Bronzes


Jan. 2001 – Nov. 2004: physical organometallic chemistry

My research project involves the synthesis, spectroscopic and computational characterization of unusual coordination geometries at highly reactive transition metal carbene complexes.

The synthesis of tripodal N-heterocyclic carbene ligands and its corresponding TM complexes is currently studied. The silver complex of a novel imidazolium precursor, [1,1,1-tris-(3-methylimidazolium-1-yl)methyl]ethane tribromide [TIMEMe](Br)3, for instance, reacts with silver oxide to yield the highly symmetrical [(TIMEMe)2Ag3] trication. This species serves as an excellent ligand transfer reagent for the otherwise unstable free tris-carbene ligand. Accordingly, this silver complex reacts with a variety of metal halides to yield the corresponding D3-symmetrical copper(I) and gold(I) complexes, [(TIMEMe)2Cu3](PF6)3 and [(TIMEMe)2Au3](PF6)3. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction, spectroscopic and computational studies of this series of metal NHC complexes are investigated. These group 11 metal complexes exhibit iso-structural geometries, with three metal ions bridging two of the TIMEMe ligands. DFT calculations are performed to elucidate the electronic structure of these newly synthesized compounds. In contrast to the common assumption that these NHC ligands are pure donor ligands, calculations reveal the existence of both – and -type interactions between the metal ions and the carbene centers. A further study of the closely related D2d-symmetrical species Pd(CN2But2C2H2)2 allowed the quantitative comparison of these two different type of bonding interactions.


Research fellowships and experience

April 1999 – June 2000
Interacalation Chemistry of Tungsten Bronzes with Prof. Jianhuan Lin, Peking University, China


Summer 1997
Coordination chemistry of rare earth metals, with Dr.Yitao, Peking University, China



July 2004
Organometallic Chemistry Gordon Research Conference (Newport, Rhode Island). Title: “Dioxygen Activation and Imido Transfer Chemistry Supported by Cobalt Tris-Carbene Complexes.”

July 2003
Inorganic Chemistry Gordon Research Conference (Newport, Rhode Island). Title: “Tripodal N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands and Their Metal Complexes: Synthesis, Structure & Bonding.”

December 2002
2nd Organometallic Meeting @ UC San Diego.

July 2001
13th International Zeolite Conference, Montpellier, France.


Awards & Honors

July 1996
Xu A Ouan-Scholarship

July 2000
Li Wang Shi Shang Mei-Scholarship