Marshall R. Metzgar Professor and Head of Chemistry
236 Hugel Science Center


  • B.S., Messiah College
  • Ph.D., Iowa State University
  • Postdoctoral, University of Vermont

Courses: Chem 121: General Chemistry I; Chem 212/213: Inorganic Chemistry I; Chem 213L: Inorganic Chemistry Lab; Chem 431: Inorganic Chemistry II

Research: My research area is organometallic chemistry. In particular, my group focuses on bis(phosphine)metallocene ligands which are of interest in a variety of catalytic systems. These ligands will bond to a metal center through the two phosphorus atoms. The backbone (link between the phosphorus atoms) is a metallocene. Metallocenes are transition metal atoms (typically iron in my group) that are bound to organic groups. The modern field of organometallic chemistry stems from the discovery of the first metallocene, ferrocene, in the 1950’s. In our compounds the metallocene backbone provides interesting properties to these ligands. The ligands act as a sort of spring loaded ball bearing, which means the ligands have the ability to both rotate and stretch. This can have a tremendous impact on the catalytic activity of compounds containing these ligands. Students in my group make new compounds and study the properties of these compounds using a variety of instrumental techniques.

Selected Publications:

  • “Synthesis, characterization and electrochemistry of [Pd(PP)MeCl] compounds with 1,1ʹ-bis(phosphino)ferrocene ligands.” M. E. Hendricks, X. Xu, T. R. Boller, E. M. Samples, A. R. Johnson and C. Nataro, Polyhedron 2021, 199, 115104.
  • “Hydroamination reactions catalyzed by [Au2(μ-Cl)(μ-bis(phosphino)ferrocene)][BArF24].” S. A. Wolfarth, N. E. Miner, N. E. Wamser, R. K. Gwinn, B. C. Chan and C. Nataro, J. Organomet. Chem. 2020, 906, 121049.
  • “Catalytic ring-closing reactions of gold compounds containing bis(phosphino)ferrocene ligands.” T. A. Michaels, O. F. Pritchard, J. S. Dell, M. W. Bezpalko, W. S. Kassel and C. Nataro, J. Organomet. Chem. 2019, 889, 1.
  • “Monodentate phosphine substitution in [Pd(κ3-dppf )(PR3)][BF4]2 (dppf = 1,1’-bis(diphenylphosphino)ferrocene) compounds.” K. D. Cabrera, A. T. Rowland, J. M. Szarko, P. L. Diaconescu, M. W. Bezpalko, W. S. Kassel and C. Nataro, Dalton Trans. 2017, 46, 5702.
  • “Late transition metal compounds with 1,1ʹ-bis(phosphino)ferrocene ligands.” S. F. Hartlaub, N. K. Lauricella, C. N. Ryczek, A. G. Furneaux, J. D. Melton,  N. A. Piro, W. S. Kassel and C. Nataro, Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2017, 424.
  • “Spectroscopic, structural and computational analysis of [Re(CO)3(dippM)Br]n+ (dippM = 1,1ʹ-bis(diiso-propylphosphino)metallocene, M = Fe, n = 0 or 1; M = Co, n = 1).” A. G. Furneaux, N. A. Piro, R. H. Sánchez, K. M. Gramigna, N. Fey,  M. J. Robinson, W. S. Kassel and C. Nataro, Dalton Trans. 2016, 45, 4819.
  • “Structural, computational and spectroscopic investigation of [Pd(k3-1,1ʹ-bis(ditert-butylphosphino)ferrocenediyl)X]+ (X = Cl, Br or I) compounds.” B. L. Blass, R. H. Sánchez, V. L. Decker, M. J. Robinson, N. A. Piro, W. S. Kassel, P. L. Diaconescu and C. Nataro, Organometallics 2016, 35, 462.

undergraduate student coauthors underlined