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Professor Polly L Arnold FRS

Professor Polly Arnold

Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry

Room 248

University of Edinburgh
Joseph Black Building
David Brewster Road

Research Interests

d- and f-block organometallic chemistry; small molecule activation chemistry; homogeneous catalysis

Research Overview

We make and study reactive and unusual complexes of the rare earths, actinides, and early transition metals. We use these to make new catalysts for difficult transformations such as hydrocarbon C-H bond activation and carbon dioxide chemistry. Our labs have state-of-the-art equipment for the synthesis of highly air-sensitive complexes, and the study of their reactivity towards small, inert molecules, particularly for the development of new homogeneous catalysts.



  1. Organometallic Neptunium Chemistry. P. L. Arnold, M. S. Dutkiewicz, O. Walter. Chem. Rev. 2017, 117, 11460.
  2. Organometallic neptunium(III) complexes. P. L. Arnold, M. D. Dutkiewicz, J. B. Love, C. Apostolidis, O. Walter, N. Kaltsoyannis, M. G. Gardiner, R. Caciuffo, N. Magnani. Nature Chem. 2016, 8, 797.
  3. C-H Bond Activation by f-Block Complexes. P. L. Arnold, M. W. McMullon, J. Rieb, F. E. Kuhn, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 82-100
  4. New chemistry from an old reagent: Mono- and dinuclear macrocyclic uranium(III) complexes from U(BH4)3(THF)2. P. L. Arnold, C. J. Stevens, J. H. Farnaby, M. G. Gardiner, G. S. Nichol, J. B. Love JACS 2014, 136, 10218-10221.
  5. Thorium mono- and bis(imido) complexes made by reprotonation of cyclo-metalated amides. N. L. Bell, L. Maron, P. L. Arnold JACS 2015, 137, 10492-10495.
  6. Strongly coupled binuclear uranium-oxo complexes from uranyl oxo rearrangement and reductive silylation. P. L. Arnold, G. M. Jones, S. O. Odoh, G. Schreckenbach, N. Magnani, J. B. Love. Nature Chem. 2012, 4, 221-227.
  7. Spontaneous reduction and C-H borylation of arenes mediated by uranium(III) disproportionation.P. L. Arnold, S. M. Mansell, L. Maron, D. McKay. Nature Chem. 2012, 4, 668-674.
  8. Reduction and selective oxo group silylation of the uranyl dication. P. L. Arnold, D. Patel, C. Wilson, J. B. Love. Nature 2008, 451, 315-317.
  9. Small molecule activation by uranium tris(aryloxides): Experimental and computational studies of binding of N2, coupling of CO, and deoxygenation insertion of CO2 under ambient conditions. S. M. Mansell, N. Kaltsoyannis, P. L. Arnold. JACS 2011, 133, 9036-9051.