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Robert Paley

Edmund Allen Professor

Organic Chemistry


  2. Phone: (610) 328-8525
  3. Science Center 182
Robert Paley


B.Sc., McGill University
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University


Chemistry 32 (Organic Chemistry II)
Chemistry 22 (Organic Chemistry I) Laboratory
Chemistry 102 (Topics in Modern Organic Chemistry)


The Paley group specializes in developing new methods for synthetic organic chemistry. We are currently using planar chiral, enantiomerically pure sulfinyl iron(0) tricarbonyl complexes to control the absolute stereochemistry of spiroketal stereocenters.

Recent publications

(undergraduate researchers marked with †)

"Diastereoselective Spiroketalization: Stereocontrol Using An Iron(0) Tricarbonyl Diene Complex", R.S. Paley, M.C. Laupheimer, N.A.K. Erskine, P.R. Rablen, R.D. Pike, J.S. Jones, Organic Letters 2011, 13, 58-61.

"Diastereoselective Intramolecular Pinacol Couplings of Sulfinyl Iron(0) Diene Complexes", R.S. Paley, K. E. Berry, J.M. Liu, T.T. Sanan,J. Org. Chem., 2009, 74, 1611-1620.

"Computational Modeling of a Stereoselective Epoxidation: Reaction of Carene with Peroxyformic Acid", S.M. Koskowich, W.C. Johnson, R.S. Paley, P.R. Rablen J. Org. Chem. 2008, 73, 3492-3496.

"Iron: Organometallic Chemistry". Invited Contribution to "Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry", JohnWiley & Sons, London, 2005.

"Simultaneous and Stereoselective Formation of Planar and Axial chiralities in Enantiopure Sulfinyl Iron Diene Complexes", R.S. Paley, J.M. Liu, B.R. Lichtenstein, V.L. Knoedler, T.T. Sanan, D.J. Adams, J. Fernández, P.R. Rablen Org. Lett. 2003, 5, 309-312.

"Enantiomerically Pure Planar Chiral Organometallic Complexes via Facially-Selective π-Complexation", R.S. Paley Chem. Rev. 2002, 102, 1493-1524.

"Enantiopure η4-(1-Sulfinyldiene)iron(0) Tricarbonyl Complexes as Templates for Carbocycle Construction via Ring-Closing Metathesis", R.S. Paley, L.A. Estroff, J.-M. Gauguet, D.K. Hunt, R.C. Newlin Org. Lett. 2000, 2, 365-368.

Current grant support

"Planar Chiral Sulfinyl Diene Iron(0) Tricarbonyl Complexes as a Platform for Diastereoselective Synthesis of Spiroketals" American Chemical Society - Petroleum Research Foundation (ACS-PRF), $65,000, 2011-2013.

To learn more about me and my research, visit my Lab web page and my personal webpage