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Alexandra Velian

Alexandra Velian, PhD.Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014

(Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry, Materials Science)

(206) 616-5179


Velian group website


Research Interests


Research in the Velian group focuses on the development of synthetic strategies to access new generations of molecular and heterogeneous inorganic catalysts and electronic materials, with the long-term goal of contributing fundamental understanding of the chemical processes occurring at the surface of semiconductor materials. While rooted in inorganic and organometallic chemistry, research in the Velian group interfaces with chemical engineering and materials science.

Representative Publications


Champsaur, A. M.; Velian, A.; Paley, D. W.; Choi, B.; Roy, X.; Steigerwald, M. L.; Nuckolls, C. Building Diatomic and Triatomic Superatom Molecules. Nano Lett. 2016, 16, 5273–5277.


Transue, W. J.; Velian, A.; Nava, M.; Martin-Drumel, M.-A.; Womack, C. C.; Jiang, J.; Hou, G.-L.; Wang, X.-B.; McCarthy, M. C.; Field, R. W.; Cummins, C. C. A Molecular Precursor to Phosphaethyne and Its Application in Synthesis of the Aromatic 1,2,3,4-
Phosphatriazolate Anion
. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 6731–6734.


Velian, A.; Cossairt, B. M.; Cummins, C. C. Assembly and Stabilization of {E(cyclo-P3)2} (E = Sn, Pb) as a Bridging Ligand Spanning Two Triaryloxyniobium Units. Dalton Trans. 2016, 45, 1891–1895. (Front cover, “Phosphorus Chemistry: Discoveries and Advances” special issue)


Velian, A.; Transue, W. J.; Cummins, C. C. Synthesis, Characterization, and Thermolysis of Dibenzo-7-dimethylgermanorbornadiene

Organometallics 2015, 34, 4644–4646.


Velian, A.; Cummins, C. C. Synthesis and Characterization of P2N3-: An Aromatic Ion Composed of Phosphorus and Nitrogen. Science 2015, 348, 1001–1004. (Featured in C&EN News; highlighted in Phys. Org, SynFacts, Angew. Chem.)


Velian, A.; Nava, M.; Temprado, M.; Zhou, Y.; Field, R. W.; Cummins, C. C. A Retro Diels-Alder Route to Diphosphorus Chemistry: Molecular Precursor Synthesis, Kinetics of P2 Transfer to 1,3-Dienes, and Detection of P2 by Molecular Beam Mass SpectrometryJ. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014136, 13586–13589. (Selected SynFact of the Month)

Cummins, C. C.*; Huang, C.; Miller, T.; Reintinger, M.; Tannou, I.; Tofan, D.; Toubaei, A.; Stauber, J.; Velian, A.*; Wu, G.* The Stannylphosphide Anion Reagent Sodium Bis(Triphenylstannyl) Phosphide: Synthesis, Structural Characterization, and Reactions with Indium, Tin, and Gold Electrophiles. Inorg. Chem. 2014, 53, 3678–3687. (*Corresponding authors)


Velian, A.; Cummins, C. C. Facile Synthesis of Dibenzo-7-L3-phosphanorbornadiene Derivatives Using Magnesium Anthracene. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012134, 13978–13981. (Featured in C&EN News)


Velian, A.; Cummins, C. C. Synthesis of a Diniobium Tetraphosphorus Complex by a 2(3−1) ProcessChem. Sci. 2012, 3, 1003–1006.

Velian, A.; Lin, S.; Miller, A. J. M.; Day, M. W.; Agapie, T. Synthesis and C-C Coupling Reactivity of a Dinuclear NiI-NiI Complex Supported by a Terphenyl Diphosphine. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 6296-6297.

Google Scholar profile


Awards & Activities

  • 2014-17 Materials Research Science & Engineering Center Fellowship, Columbia University
  • 2016 Young Investigator Award, American Chemical Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry
  • 2015 Alan Davison Prize (Best Inorganic Thesis), MIT

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