Gregory L. Hillhouse: His Life, His Art, His Science, and the Rise of "Double Nickel"
Professor Gregory Lee Hillhouse was a purist who explored at a fundamental level structure, bonding, and reactivity of organic and inorganic molecules. Whether at the canvas or in the laboratory, he was a creative artist who lived life to its fullest, and enriched the lives of those around him. As an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina with Professor Edward Mercer, Greg became interested in the chemistry of transition metals. In his graduate and postdoctoral studies, Greg focused on the roles of transition metals in stabilizing reactive molecules and activating inert ones, which would become hallmarks of his independent career. In his early days as a graduate student in the laboratories of Professor Barry Haymore (Figure 1) at the Indiana University—Bloomington, Greg (Figures 1 and 2) began exploring fundamental chemistry of energy-rich nitrogen compounds such as organic azides and diazoalkanes.(1-3) In parallel, he pursued the synthesis of metal hydride complexes that underwent insertion reactions with unsaturated molecules.(2, 4) At this early stage of his career, the seeds of Greg's passion for metal–ligand multiple bonding were sown.(2, 5)
© 2015 American Chemical Society. Published: October 12, 2015. Special Issue: Gregory Hillhouse Issue.