Associate Professor Graham Saunders

Graduate Coordinator (Chemistry); Associate Professor (Inorganic Chemistry)

Qualifications: B.A.(Hons) Oxon, D.Phil Oxon

Research Interests

Research is directed towards using the properties of the carbon―fluorine bond in organometallic chemistry and for highly repellant surfaces.

Organometallic Chemistry
The extreme strength and the electronic and steric properties of the C―F bond are used to confer useful properties on organometallic complexes, in particular catalytic activity.
C―F bond fission is used to synthesize organometallic complexes, not accessible by other routes.
Superhydrophobic Surfaces
The extreme water repellancy of perfluoroalkyl groups is used to confer superhydrophobicity on metal surfaces. The work has been highlighted by Nature and Scientific American. The simple fabrication technique allows a range of unusual phenomena to be investigated, such as the Cheerios Effect and 'super-buoyancy', which allows boats to be constructed of metal mesh, and has potential industrial importance.

Research Supervised


  • Thomas, Hayden (in progress). Synthesis and reactions of metal complexes of fluoroaryl-substituted N-heterocycle carbenes.


  • Pachal, Sam (2012). Superhydrophotitanium bic and titanium dioxide.

BSc (Hons)

  • Thomas, Hayden (2015). Synthesis and characterisation of mecury and rhodium NHC complexes containing polyfluoroaryl substituents.
  • Schroder, Ivan (2012). Synthesis of dicyandiamide derivatives for agricultural applications.

Teaching Commitments

Recent Publications

  • Oosterwijk, M. A., Saunders, G. C., & Zou, W. (2016). Polyfluoroarene–arene π–π stacking in three directions to provide crystal polarity. Journal of Fluorine Chemistry, 188, 80-84. doi:10.1016/j.jfluchem.2016.06.015

  • Althagbi, H. I., Edwards, A. J., Nicholson, B. K., Reason, D. A., Saunders, G. C., Sim, S. A., & van der Heijden, D. A. (2016). Arene-Perfluoroarene-Anion Stacking and Hydrogen Bonding
    Interactions in Imidazolium Salts for the Crystal Engineering of
    Polarity. Crystal Growth and Design, 16(1), 174-188. doi:10.1021/acs.cgd.5b01077

  • Sim, S. A., Saunders, G. C., Lane, J. R., & Henderson, W. (2016). Synthesis and characterisation of organo-platinum(II) complexes of the N,O-donor ligands hippuric acid (N-benzoylglycine) and N-phenylanthranilic acid. Inorganica Chimica Acta, 450((in progress)), 285-292. doi:10.1016/j.ica.2016.05.053

  • Harrison, J. A., Nielson, A. J., Sajjad, M. A., Saunders, G. C., & Schwerdtfeger, P. (2016). Steric and electronic manipulation of the anagostic interaction in 1-Tetralone oxime and imine complexes of Rhodium(I). European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, (1), 64-77. doi:10.1002/ejic.201501122

View All research publications by Graham Saunders

Contact Details

Room: CD.3.01
Phone: +64 7 838 4092