Lawrence Wolf

Lawrence M. Wolf, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

College of Sciences
Olney Hall - 409


Organic, Organometallics, Computational Chemistry


  • Computational/Theoretical Chemistry, (2016), Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung - Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany
  • Ph D: Organic Chemistry, (2012), University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Dissertation/Thesis Title:Catalyst Development in Asymmetric Phase Transfer Catalysis Employing QSAR Methods & Computational Investigations on the Stereochemical Course of the Addition of Allylsilanes to Aldehydes
  • BS: Chemistry, (2006), Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA
    Supporting Area: Physics

Selected Publications

  • Wang, F., Li, J., Wolf, L.M., Liu, K., Zhang, H. (2019). A bifunctional electrode engineered by sulfur vacancies for efficient electrocatalysis. Nanoscale, 11(35) 16658-16666.
  • Wolf, L.M., Thiel, W. (Max-Planck-Institute Fuer Kohlenforschung) (2019). Computational Investigations into the Mechanisms of Trans-Selective Hydrogenation and Hydrometalation of Alkynes (1317: pp. 57-69). ACS Symposium Series
  • Rajasekhar, T., Emert, J., Wolf, L.M., Faust, R. (2018). Controlled Catalytic Chain Transfer Polymerization of Isobutylene in the Presence of tert-Butanol as Exo-Enhancer. Macromolecules, 51 3041-3049.
  • Guthertz, A., Leutzsch, M., Wolf, L.M., Gupta, P., Rummelt, S.M., Goddard, R., Farès, C., Thiel, W., Fürstner, A. (2018). Half-Sandwich Ruthenium Carbene Complexes Link trans-Hydrogenation and gem-Hydrogenation of Internal Alkynes. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 140 3156-3169.
  • Lee, Y., Wang, M., Kokubo, K., Kang, N., Wolf, L.M., Tan, L., Chen, C., Chiang, L. (2018). New 2d-Stereoconfigured Cis-Tris(Fluorenylphenylamino)-Benzene with Large Steric Hindrance to Minimize Stacking in Thin-Film Devices. Dyes and Pigments, 149 377-386.
  • Huang, L., Wang, M., Huang, Y., El-Hussein, A., Wolf, L.M., Chiang, L.Y., Hamblin, M.R. (2018). Progressive Cationic Functionalization of Chlorin Derivatives for Antimicrobial Photodynamic Inactivation and Related Vancomycin Conjugates . Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, 17 638-651.
  • Gu, L., Wolf, L.M., Thiel, W., Lehmann, C.W., Alcarazo, M. (2018). Reductive Elimination of C 6 F 5 − C 6 F 5 from Pd(Ii) Complexes: Influence of α ‑Dicationic Chelating Phosphines. Organometallics, 37 665-672.
  • Roşca, D., Radkowski, K., Wolf, L.M., Wagh, M., Goddard, R., Thiel, W., Fürstner, A. (2017). Ruthenium-Catalyzed Alkyne trans-Hydrometalation: Mechanistic Insights and Preparative Implications. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139 2443-2455.
  • Gu, L., Wolf, L.M., Zieliński, A., Thiel, W., Alcarazo, M. (2017). α-Dicationic Chelating Phosphines: Synthesis and Application to the Hydroarylation of Dienes. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139 4948-4953.
  • Boess, E., Wolf, L.M., Malakar, S., Salamone, M., Bietti, M., Thiel, W., Klussmann, M. (2016). Competitive Hydrogen Atom Transfer to Oxyl- and Peroxyl Radicals in the Cu-Catalyzed Oxidative Coupling of N-Aryl Tetrahydroisoquinolines Using tert-Butyl Hydroperoxide. ACS Catalysis, 6 3253-3261.
  • Ilg, M.K., Wolf, L.M., Mantilli, L., Farès, C., Thiel, W., Fürstner, A. (2015). A Striking Case of Enantioinversion in Gold Catalysis and Its Probable Origins. Chemistry—A European Journal, 21 12279-12284.
  • Xie, L., Bagutski, V., Audisio, D., Wolf, L.M., Schmidts, V., Hofmann, K., Wirtz, C., Thiel, W., Thiele, C.M., Maulide, N. (2015). Dynamic Behavior of Monohaptoallylpalladium Species: Internal Coordination as a Driving Force in Allylic Alklylation Chemistry. Chemical Science, 6 5734-5739.
  • Leutzsche, M., Wolf, L.M., Gupta, P., Fuchs, M., Thiel, W., Farès, C., Fürstner, A. (2015). Formation of Ruthenium Carbenes by Gem-Hydrogen Transfer to Internal Alkynes: Implications for Alkyne trans-Hydrogenation. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 54 12431-12436.
  • Wolf, L.M., Thiel, W. (2014). Origin of Inversion versus Retention in the Oxidative Addition of 3-Chloro-cyclopentene to Pd(0)Ln. Journal of Organic Chemistry, 79 12136-12147.
  • Wolf, L.M., Denmark, S.E. (2013). A Theoretical Investigation on the Mechanism and Stereochemical Course of the Addition of (E)-2-Butenyltrimethylsilane to Acetaldehyde by Electrophilic and Nucleophilic Activation. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 135 4743-4756.
  • Denmark, S.E., Weber, E.J., Almstead, N.J., Wolf, L.M. (2012). On the Stereochemical Course of the Addition of Allylsilanes to Aldehydes. Tetrahedron, 68 7701-7718.
  • Denmark, S.E., Gould, N.D., Wolf, L.M. (2011). A Systematic Investigation of Quaternary Ammonium Ions as Asymmetric Phase Transfer Catalysts. Application of Quantitative Structure Activity/Selectivity Relationships. Journal of Organic Chemistry, 76 4337-4357.

Selected Presentations

  • Understanding the endo/exo Selectivity Enhancement in the Diels-Alder Reaction under Lewis Acid Activation and post-TS Bifurcation in the Oxidative Addition to LnPd - Symposium on Electronic Structure and Dynamics of Complex Systems, April 2019 - Beijing, China
  • Mechanistic Investigations in Alkyne Hydrogentation, Allylation, and Phase Transfer Catalysis guided by DFT, 2016 - Changchun, China
  • A DFT Study on the Ru Catalyzed trans-Hydrogenation of Alkynes: Unique Access to a Ru-carbene - The 13th International Kyoto Conference on New Aspects of Organic Chemistry, November 2015 - Kyoto, Japan
  • A DFT Study on the Ru Catalyzed trans-Hydrogenation of Alkynes - Biannual Max-Planck-Institut Internal Seminar, April 2015 - Mülheim, an der Ruhr, Germany
  • Origin of Inversion vs Retention in the Oxidative Addition of 3-chlorocyclopentene to Pd(0)Ln - 50th Symposium on Theoretical Chemistry, September 2014 - Vienna, Austria
  • On the Selectivity of Inversion vs Retention in The Oxidative Addition of Allylic Halides by Palladium - Binnual Max-Planck-Institut Internal Seminar, December 2013 - Mülheim, an der Ruhr, Germany
  • Investigation of Phase Transfer Catalysis Employing Quantitative Structure Activity Relationships - Fuson Travel Award Lecture, August 2011 - Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • Investigation of Phase Transfer Catalysis Employing Quantitative Structure Activity Relationships - Physical Organic Gordon Research Conference, June 2011 - Holderness, NH
  • The Application of QSAR/QSSR Methods for Catalyst Evaluation and Development in Phase Transfer Catalysis - 23rd Annual Allerton Research Conference, November 2009 - Urbana-Champaign, IL

Research Currently in Progress

  • Our current research interests include the development and application of modern reactivity models for elucidating reactivity/selectivity principles focused in transition metal mediated catalysis, organocatalysis, as well as applying strategies in computer aided catalyst design.
    Wolf, L.