David Atwood

  • Professor
  • Director (2010-2016), Environmental & Sustainability Studies Program
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental and Sustainability Studies
347 Chemistry-Physics Building
859-257-7304 (office), 859-323-9985 (fax)
Other Affiliations:
  • Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing
  • Center of Excellence for Watershed Management
  • Center for Research on Environmental Diseases
  • UK Nanobiotechnology Center
Research Interests:

University of Alabama, B.S. Chemistry (1987)
University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D. Chemistry (1992)



We conduct research that unites fundamental studies with real-world applications in the general areas of environmental chemistry, metal chelate compounds, and solid-state materials. The research combines aspects of inorganic, organic, analytical, biological, and physical chemistry and consequently utilizes a broad range of analytical techniques. Examples of these techniques are listed in the sidebar, Laboratory Techniques. Much of the research is collaborative and conducted with students and faculty at other institutions and with scientist in industry and national laboratories.

For a more detailed research description please see the sidebar: Research Description.


Graduate Training

Inorganic, Organometallic, and Solid-State Materials Synthesis and Characterization Laboratory Techniques (see sidebar)

Selected Publications: 

Publications from 2002 to Present

108.  A. R. Hutchison and D. A. Atwood, "Research with First- and Second-Year Undergraduates:  A New Model for Undergraduate Inquiry at Research Universities," J. Chem. Ed., 79, 125-126 (2002).

109.  C.-H. Kim, S. Parkin, M. Bharara and D. Atwood, "Linear Coordination of Hg(II) by Cysteamine," Polyhedron, 40, 225-228 (2002).

110.  M.-A. Muñoz-Hernández, M. L. McKee, T. S. Keizer, B. C. Yearwood and D. A. Atwood, "Six-Coordinate Aluminum Cations:  Characterization, Catalysis, and Theory," J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans., 410-414 (2002).

111.  Y. Wang, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Ligand-Tetrahydrofuran Coupling in Chelated Aluminum Phosphinates," Inorg. Chem., 41, 558-565 (2002).

112.  T. S. Keizer, L. J. De Pue, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Catalytic Dealkylation of Phosphates with Binuclear Boron Compounds," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 124, 1864-1865 (2002).

113.  M. M. Matlock, B. S. Howerton and D. A. Atwood, "Chemical Precipitation of Lead from Lead Battery Recycling Plant Wastewater," Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 41, 1579-1582 (2002).

114.  M. M. Matlock, B. S. Howerton, M. A. Van Aelstyn, F. L. Nordstrom and D. A. Atwood, "Advanced Mercury Removal from Gold Leachate Solutions Prior to Gold and Silver Extraction:  A Field Study from an Active Gold Mine in Peru," Env. Sci. Tech., 36, 1636-1639 (2002).

115.  M. M. Matlock, K. R. Henke and D. A. Atwood, "Effectiveness of Commercial Reagents for Heavy Metal Removal from Water with New Insights for Future Chelate Designs," J. Haz. Mat., B92, 129-142 (2002).

116.  B. Yearwood, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Synthesis and Characterization of Organotin Schiff Base Chelates," Inorg. Chim. Acta, 333, 124-131 (2002).

117.  M. Sánchez, T. S. Keizer, S. Parkin, H. Höpfl and D. A. Atwood, "Salen-Supported Dinuclear and Trinuclear Boron Compounds," J. Organomet. Chem., 654, 36-43 (2002).

118.  P. A. Iyere, W. Y. Boadi, R. S. Brooks, D. Atwood and S. Parkin, "4,4'-Bipyridin-1-ium Bromide Monohydrate," Acta Cryst., E58, 825-827 (2002).

119.  B. D. Conley, B. C. Yearwood, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Ammonium Hexafluorosilicate Salts," J. Fluor. Chem., 115, 155-160 (2002).

120.  M. M. Matlock, B. S. Howerton and D. A. Atwood, "Chemical Precipitation of Heavy Metals from Acid Mine Drainage,"Wat. Res., 36, 4757-4764 (2002).

121.  T. S. Keizer, L. J. De Pue, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Boron Halide Chelate Compounds and Their Activity towards the Demethylation of Trimethylphosphate," Can. J. Chem., 80, 1463-1468 (2002).

122.  T. S. Keizer, L. J. De Pue, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Salen Supported Molecular Borosilicates," J.Cluster Sci., 13, 609-620 (2002).

123.  M. Sánchez, M. J. Harvey, F. Nordstrom, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Salen-Type Compounds of Calcium and Strontium," Inorg. Chem., 41, 5397-5402 (2002).

124.  M. M. Matlock, B. S. Howerton, J. D. Robertson and D. A. Atwood, "Gold Ore Column Studies with a New Mercury Precipitant," Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 41, 5278-5282 (2002).

125.  T. Otieno, A. R. Hutchison, M. K. Krepps and D. A. Atwood, "Synthesis and Spectral and Thermal Properties of Pyrazine-Bridged Coordination Polymers of Copper(II) Nitrate:  An Experiment for Advanced Undergraduates," J. Chem. Ed., 79, 1355-1357 (2002).

126.  J. Li, J. Wang, V. G. Gavalas, D. A. Atwood and L. G. Bachas, "Alumina-Pepsin Hybird Nanoparticles with Orientation-Specific Enzyme Coupling," Nano Lett., 3, 55-58 (2003).

127.  T. S. Keizer, L. J. De Pue, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Dealkylation with Boron Bromide Chelates," J. Organomet. Chem., 666, 103-109 (2003).

128.  M. M. Matlock, B. S. Howerton and D. A. Atwood, "Irreversible Binding of Mercury from Contaminated Soil," Adv. Env. Res., 7, 347-352 (2003).

129.  M. M. Matlock, B. S. Howerton and D. A. Atwood, "Covalent Coating of Coal Refuse to Inhibit Leaching," Adv. Env. Res., 7, 495-501 (2003).

130.  M. M. Matlock, B. S. Howerton, M. Van Aelstyn, K. R. Henke and D. A. Atwood, "Soft Metal Preferences of 1,3-Benzenediamidoethanethiol," Water Res., 37, 579-584 (2003).

131.  A. R. Hutchison and D. A. Atwood, "Mercury Pollution and Remediation:  The Chemist's Response to a Global Crisis," J. Chem. Cryst., 33, 631-645 (2003).

132.  P. A. Iyere, W. Y. Boadi, R. S. Brooks, D. Atwood and S. Parkin, "Supramolecular Aggregation in 4,4'-Bipyridin-1,1'-ium Dichloride, 4,4'-Bipyridin-1,1'-ium Dinitrate and 4,4'-Bipyridin-1'-ium Bromide," Acta Cryst., B59, 664-669 (2003).

133.  Y. Wang, S. Bhandari, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Five-Coordinate Organoaluminum Acetylides and Crystal Structure of the Hydrosylate, [Salophen(tBu)Al]2O," J. Organomet. Chem., 689, 759-765 (2004).

134.  M. S. Bharara, C. H. Kim, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Synthesis and X-Ray Crystal Structures of Dinuclear Hydrogen-Bonded Cadmium and Lead 2-Aminoethanethiolates," Polyhedron, 24, 865-871 (2005).

135.  Y. Wang, S. Bhandari, A. Mitra, S. Parkin, J. Moore and D. A. Atwood, "Ambient-Condition nano-Alumina Formation Through Molecular Control," Z. Anorg. Allg. Chem., 631, 2937-2941 (2005).

136.  S. Liu, P. Wei, Y. Wang, E. Santillan-Jimenez, R. C. Bakus II and D. A. Atwood, “Use of a Structurally Characterized Molecular Cluster to Form Yb3Al5O12 Under Ambient Conditions” Main Group Chem., 4, 3 - 10 (2005).

137.  A. Mitra and D. A. Atwood, First Example of a Borate-Bridged Dimeric Aluminum Schiff-Base Complex Containing Five-Coordinate Metal Centers, Main Group Chem., 4, 91-96 (2005).

138.  A. R. Hutchison, A. Mitra and D. A. Atwood, “The Four-Coordinate Geometric Parameter: A New Quantification of Geometry for Four-Coordinate Aluminum and Gallium” Main Group Chem., 4, 187-200 (2005).

139. M. S. Bharara, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, “Solution Behavior of Hg(II)-cystamine by UV-Vis and 199Hg NMR” Main Group Chem., 4, 217-225 (2005)

140.  A. Mitra, P. Wei and D. A. Atwood, “Tripodal Saltren(Al(iBu)(Cl))3Main Group Chem., 4, 309-314 (2005).

141.  M. S. Bharara, T. H. Bui, S. Parkin, D. A. Atwood, “Structure-Directing Influence of Halide in Mercury Thiolate Clusters” Inorg. Chem, 44, 5753-5760 (2005).

142.  M. S. Bharara, T. H. Bui, S. Parkin, D. A. Atwood, “Mercurophilic Interactions in Polynuclear Hg(II)-2-aminothiolates” J. Chem. Soc. Dalton Trans., 3874-3880 (2005).

143.  A. Mitra, L. J. DePue, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Five-Coordinate Aluminum Bromides:  Synthesis, Structure, Cation Formation, and Cleavage of Phosphate Ester Bonds," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 128, 1147-1153 (2006).

144.  A. Mitra, M. J. Harvey, M. K. Proffitt, L. J. DePue, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Binuclear Salan Borate Compounds with Three-Coordinate Boron Atoms," J. Organomet. Chem., 691, 523-528 (2006).

145.  A. R. Hutchison and D. A. Atwood, "A Novel Tin (II) Dithioether Complex," J. Organomet. Chem., 691, 1658-1660 (2006).

146.  T. A. Shaikh, R. C. Bakus II, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Structural Characteristics of 2-Halo-1,3,2-Dithiarsenic Compounds and Tris-(pentafluorophenylthio)-arsen," J. Organomet. Chem., 691, 1825-1833 (2006).

147.  M. S. Bharara, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Two-Dimensional Network Acquired by Pb(II) 2-Aminoethanethiolate," Inorg. Chim. Acta, 359, 3375-3378 (2006).

148.  A. Mitra, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Aluminum Phosphinate and Phosphates of Salen Ligands," Inorg. Chem., 45, 3970-3975 (2006).

149.  T. A. Shaikh, S. Parkin and D. A. Atwood, "Synthesis and Characterization of a Rare Arsenic Trithiolate with an Organic Disulfide Linkage and 2-Chloro-benzo-1,3,2-dithiastibole," J. Organomet. Chem., 691, 4167-4171 (2006).

150.  M. S. Bharara, S. Parkin, D. A. Atwood, “Solution and Solid-State Study of Heteroleptic Hg(II)-Thiolates: Crystal Structures of [Hg4I4(SCH2CH2NH2)4] and [Hg4I8(SCH2CH2NH3)2]n·nH2O,” Inorg. Chem, 45, 2112-2118 (2006).

151.  M. S. Bhara, S. Parkin, D. A. Atwood, “Mercury(II) 2-Aminoethanethiolate Clusters: Intramolecular Transformations and Mechanisms,” Inorg. Chem. 45, 7261-7268 (2006).

152.  D. A. Atwood, J. Delcamp, M. K. Zaman, “Synthesis of 1,3-bis(4,5-dihydrothiazole) benzene” Main Group Chem., 5, 137-140 (2006).

153.  A. Mitra, L. J. DePue, J. E. Struss, B. P. Patel, S. Parkin, D. A. Atwood, “Mononuclear Schiff Base Boron Halides: Synthesis, Characterization, and Dealkylation of Trimethyl Phosphate” Inorg. Chem. 45, 9213-9224 (2006).  

154.  K. M. Zaman, L. Y. Blue, F. E. Huggins, D. A. Atwood, “Cd, Hg, and Pb Compounds of Benzene-1,3-diamidoethanethiol (BDETH2)”, Inorg. Chem. 46, 1975-1980 (2007).

155.  K. M. Zaman, C. Chusuei, L. Y. Blue, D. A. Atwood “Prevention of Sulfide Mineral Leaching Through Covalent Coating” Main Group Chem. 6, 169-184 (2007).            

156. A. Mitra, S. Parkin, D. Atwood, “Halogen-Containing Tetrametallic Aluminum Alkoxides” J. Chem. Soc.Dalton Trans. 1037-1042 (2008).

157.  A. Mitra, D. A. Atwood, J. Struss, D. J. Williams, B. J. McKinney, W. R. Creasy, D. J. McGarvey, H. D. Durst, R. Fry, “Group 13 Chelates in Nerve Gas Agent and Pesticide Dealkylation” New J. Chem., 32, 783-785 (2008).

158. L. Y. Blue, M. A. Van Aelstyn, M. A. Matlock, M, D. A. Atwood, “Low-Level Mercury Removal from Groundwater Using a Synthetic Chelating Ligand” Wat. Res.,42, 2025-2028 (2008).

159. S. Dagorne, and D. A. Atwood, “The Synthesis, Characterization, and Applications of Group 13 Cationic Compounds” Chem. Rev. 108, 4037-4071 (2008).

160. C. C. Chusuei, K. M. Zaman, D. A. Atwood, “Charge Transfer Between Benzene-1,3-diamidoethanethiol (BDET) and Metal Sulfides Affect Efficiency of Acid Mine Drainage Treatment” Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem. Eng. Aspects 331, 155-161 (2008).

161.  A. Hutchison, D. Atwood, Q. Eduardo Santillian-Jimenez, “The Removal of Mercury from Water by Open Chain Ligands Containing Multiple Sulfurs” J. Haz. Mat., 156, 458-465 (2008).

162.  L. Y. Blue, P. Jana, D. A. Atwood, “Aqueous Mercury Precipitation with the Synthetic Dithiolate, BDTH2Fuel 89, 1326-1330 (2009)

163.  L. Hewitson, L. A. Houser, C. Stott, G. Sackett, J. L. Tomko, D. Atwood, L. Blue, E. R. White, A. J. Wakefield, “Delayed Acquisition of Neonatal Reflexes in Newborn Primates Receiving a Thimerosal-Containing Hepatitis B Vaccine: Influence of Gestational Age and Birth Weight” J. Toxicology and Env. Health, Part A, 73, 1298-1313 (2010).

164.  A. Mitra, B. C. Yearwood, T. S. Keizer, D. A. Atwood, “Oxide Compound Formation between Boron and Excess Magnesium” Main Group Chem. 9, 193-201 (2010).

165. R. Butala, J. K. Cooper, A. Mitra, M. K. Webster, D. A. Atwood, “Dealkylation of Chemical Weapon Agents and Pesticides with Group 13 Salen Compounds” Main Group Chem. 9, 315-336 (2010).

166. K. Kim, O. G. Tsay, D. A. Atwood, D. G. Churchill, “Destruction and Detection of Chemical Warfare Agents” Chem. Rev. 111, 5345-5403 (2011).

167. Removal of Mercury from the Environment – A Quantum Chemical Study with the Normalized Elimination of the Small Component (NESC) Method, Zou, W.; Filatov, M.; Atwood, D.; Cremer, D., Inorg. Chem. 52 (2013) 2497-2505.

168. C6H4S2AsCl: Description and Interpretation of an Incommensurately Modulated Molecular Crystal Structure, Bakus II, R.C.; Atwood, D.; Parkin, S.; Brock, C. P.; Petříček, V. Acta Cryst. B69 (2013) 496-508.

169. Removal of Selenite from Water Using a Synthetic Dithiolate: An Experimental and Quantum Chemical Investigation, Burriss, D.; Zou, W.; Cremer, D.; Walrod, J.; Atwood, D.; Inorg. Chem. 53 (2014) 4010-4021.

170. Lewis Acid-Assisted Detection of Nerve Agents in Water, Butala, R. R.; Creasy, W. R.; Fry, R. A.; McKee, M. L.; Atwood, D. A. Chem. Commun. 51 (2015) 9269-9271.

171.  Quality of Water from Tile Drains in Fields Treated with Poultry Litter in McLean County, Kentucky, Beck, E. Glynn; Blue, Lisa Y.; Atwood, D. A. Kentucky Geological Survey, Information Circular 32, Series XII, fall 2015.
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