School of Life Sciences

Nixon Lab

Welcome to the Nixon Lab

Research in the Nixon lab is concerned with the chemistry of compounds involving low-coordinate phosphorus.

Front cover of "Phosphorus: The Carbon Copy"

We have pioneered devlopments in the field of low-coordinate phosphorus chemistry, and demonstrated that phosphorus has an exception ability to mimic the chemistry of unsaturated carbon.

Of particularly interest is the chemistry of the phosphaalkyne tBuC≡P, and its use as precursor to poly-phosphorus analogues of well-known arenes, cyclobutadienes and the aromatic cyclopendadienyl anion.  These molecules exhibit a rich coordination chemistry, utilising both the unsaturated pi-systems and the phosphorus lone-pair electrons, making them versatile ligands for main-group, transition metal and lanthanide/actinide elements.

We are particularly interested in the exploitation of these phospha-organometallic complexes for catalysis, and as intermediates en route to novel phosphorus-carbon cage compounds.
Logo for Alexander von Humboldt Foundation




Professor John F. Nixon FRS
Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

University of Sussex
Chichester III Building
Brighton, BN1 9QJ

T: +44 (0)1273 678536
F: +44 (0)1273 876687