MacGillivray Group's chemistry paper selected as "Spotlight" article in Journal of the American Chemical Society

Monday, August 7, 2017
Leonard MacGillivray
Leonard MacGillivray

A study by University of Iowa Professor Leonard MacGillivray’s research group has published a paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Journal editors selected to highlight the paper as a “Spotlight” article, a high honor.

The paper, “Supramolecular Construction of an Aldehyde–Cyclobutane via the Solid State: Combining Reversible Imine Formation and Metal–Organic Self-Assembly,” was published in June. Its authors are Shalisa M. Oburn, Dale C. Swenson, S.V. Santhana Mariappan, and MacGillivray.

Article abstract:

“A combination of metal–organic self-assembly and reversible imine formation is used to achieve an organic synthesis via the solid state. Imine bond formation is employed to install a pyridyl to the alkene trans-cinnamaldehyde while Ag(I) ions are used in a second step to assemble the pyridyl-functionalized alkene into a geometry in the solid state for an intermolecular [2 + 2] photodimerization. The alkene undergoes the cycloaddition reaction via a 1D coordination polymer to generate a pyridyl-functionalized cyclobutane stereoselectively and in quantitative yield. Removal of the pyridyl group affords the aldehyde-functionalized cyclobutane α-truxilaldehyde.”

MacGillivray is a professor in the Department of Chemistry, part of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, as well as in the College of Pharmacy.


The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 67 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students study each year in the College’s 39 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.