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Professors Byers, Hoveyda, Kelly, Liu, Morken, Scott, & Snapper
Shih-Yuan Liu

Professor of Chemistry
Merkert Chemistry Center
Boston College
2609 Beacon Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3860

Contact Information:
shihyuan.liu@bc.edu
617-552-8543
Fax: 617-552-2705



Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003

Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003-2006


Selected Honors & Awards:

Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2012

Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry Award for Early Excellence, 2012



We are engaged in synthetic chemistry with emphasis on developing molecules of importance in biomedical research and materials science.

We are interested in the development of boron(B)-nitrogen(N)-containing heterocycles, specifically azaborines. These are structures resulting from the replacement of two carbon atoms in benzene with a boron and a nitrogen atom. Azaborines are isosteres of the important family of benzenoid compounds / arenes. We aim to exploit the unique properties of azaborines and investigate their potential as arene surrogates in materials and biomedical research. Our approach combines the broad utility of arenes with the unique elemental features of boron. Areas of exploration include organic synthesis, catalysis, hydrogen storage, optoelectronic materials, and drug discovery. The development of azaborines has the potential of changing the way chemists think about creating molecular diversity, namely through isosterism.


Representative Key Publications:

“A Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Benzene” Marwitz, A. J. V.; Matus, M. H.; Zakharov, L. N.; Dixon, D. A.; Liu, S.-Y. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 973-977.

“Boron in Disguise: The Parent "Fused" BN Indole” Abbey, E. R.; Zakharov, L. N.; Liu, S.-Y. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 11508-11511.

“1,2-BN Cyclohexane: Synthesis, Structure, Dynamics, and Reactivity” Luo, W.; Zakharov, L. N.; Liu, S.-Y. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 13006-13009.

“A 1,3-Dihydro-1,3-azaborine Debuts” Xu, S.; Zakharov, L. N.; Liu, S.-Y. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 20152-20155.