Diaconescu, Paula L.


WebsiteHome URL
Division
Inorganic
Title
Faculty
Associate Professor
Specialties
Nanoscience and Materials
Synthesis
Theory
inorganic

Contact Information

Email
Office
Molecular Sciences Building 1515
(310) 794-4809
Lab
Molecular Sciences Building 1210, 1220
(310) 825-7937

Short Biography

Professor Diaconescu received her B.S. in 1998 from the University of Bucharest, Romania. She received her Ph.D. in 2003 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. She was a postdoctoral fellow, 2003-2005, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.

Biography

Paula Diaconescu joined the UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry department in 2005, after spending two-years as a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Robert Grubbs at California Institute of Technology. She obtained her Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Prof. Christopher Cummins at Massachusetts Institute of Technology working on arene-bridged complexes of uranium. Her earlier education was completed in Romania, where she obtained her B.S. from University of Bucharest and worked on coordination complexes of transition metals and lanthanides at University Politehnica of Bucharest. Her current research efforts focus on the design of reactive metal complexes with applications to small molecule activation, organic synthesis, and polymer formation.

Research Interest

Dr. Paula Diaconescu's current research efforts focus on the design of reactive metal complexes with applications to small molecule activation, organic synthesis, and polymer formation.

Early transition metals, lanthanides, and uranium

Early transition metals, lanthanides, and uranium (d0fn elements) have shown impressive reactivity in transformations ranging from the activation of small, inert molecules such as methane, dinitrogen, and carbon dioxide to reactions with applications in natural product synthesis (e.g. hydroamination) and formation of biodegradable polymers. The high reactivity of d0fn metal centers makes it difficult to tune their behavior without rendering them unreactive. Our solution to this problem involves the design and synthesis of complexes with specific geometric and electronic properties. For example, weak interactions, such as electronic assistance from an electron rich metal center, are used in small molecule activation to generate highly reactive metal species. In a uranium bisferrocene compound, uranium was found to mediate the electronic communication between the two iron centers better than zirconium did in an analogous complex.
Monreal, M. J., Carver, C. T., Diaconescu, P. L., Inorganic Chemistry 2007, 46(18), 7226-7228

 

 

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Honors & Awards

  • UCLA Faculty Career Development Award
  • BP Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Bruker/MIT Symposium Poster Prize
  • MIT Department of Chemistry Teaching Assistant Award
  • P & G Fellowship
  • University of Bucharest National Scholarship

Publications

  1. Synthesis of symmetrically and unsymmetrically 3,5-dimethylbenzyl-substituted 1,1'-ferrocene diamines.
    Jason A. Lee, Bryan N. Williams, Kevin R. Ogilby, Kevin L. Miller and Paula L. Diaconescu J. Organomet. Chem. 2011, ASAP DOI:10.1016/j.jorganchem.2011.06.043
  2. Redox control of a polymerization catalyst by changing the oxidation state of the metal center.
    Erin M. Broderick, Neng Guo, Tianpin Wu, Carola S. Vogel, Cuiling Xu, Jörg Sutter, Jeffrey T. Miller, Karsten Meyer, Thibault Cantat and Paula L. Diaconescu Chem. Commun. 2011, 47 9897-9899
  3. Molecular quadrangle formation from a diuranium mu-eta6,eta6-toluene complex.
    Marisa J. Monreal, Saeed I. Khan, Jaqueline L. Kiplinger and Paula L. Diaconescu Chem. Commun. 2011, 47 9119-9121
  4. Scandium Arene Inverted-Sandwich Complexes Supported by a Ferrocene Diamide Ligand.
    Wenliang Huang, Saeed I. Khan, and Paula L. Diaconescu J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133(27) 10410-10413
  5. Redox Control of a Ring-Opening Polymerization Catalyst.
    Erin M. Broderick, Neng Guo, Carola S. Vogel, Cuiling Xu, Joerg Sutter, Jeffrey T. Miller, Karsten Meyer, Parisa Mehrkhodavandi, and Paula L. Diaconescu J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133(24) 9278–9281
  6. Complexes of Gold(I), Silver(I), and Copper(I) with Pentaaryl[60]fullerides.
    Merissa Halim, Robert D. Kennedy, Mitsuharu Suzuki, Saeed I. Khan, Paula L. Diaconescu, and Yves Rubin J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133(17) 6841–6851
  7. An Unusual Hydrogen Migration/C–H Activation Reaction with Group 3 Metals.
    Bryan N. Williams, Diego Benitez, Kevin L. Miller, Ekaterina Tkatchouk, William A. Goddard, III, and Paula L. Diaconescu J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133(13) 4680–4683
  8. Synthesis and Characterization of Cerium(III/IV) Alkoxide Complexes Supported by Chelating-Ferrocene Ligands.
    Erin M. Broderick, Peter S. Thuy-Boun, Neng Guo, Carola S. Vogel, Joerg Sutter, Jeffrey T. Miller, Karsten Meyer, and Paula L. Diaconescu Inorg. Chem. 2011, 50(7) 2870-2877
  9. Transmetallation Reactions of a Scandium Complex Supported by a Ferrocene-Diamide Ligand.
    Wenliang Huang, Colin T. Carver, and Paula L. Diaconescu Inorg. Chem. 2011, 50(3) 978–984
  10. d0fn-Metal Complexes Supported by Ferrocene-Based Chelating Ligands.
    Paula L. Diaconescu Comments Inorg. Chem. 2010, 31(5-6) 196–241
  11. Group 3 Metal Complexes of Radical-Anionic 2,2′-Bipyridyl Ligands.
    Bryan N. Williams, Wenliang Huang, Kevin L. Miller, and Paula L. Diaconescu Inorg. Chem. 2010, 49(24) 11493–11498
  12. Phosphine-Tethered Carbene Ligands: Template Synthesis and Reactivity of Cyclic and Acyclic Functionalized Carbenes.
    Insun Yu, Christopher J. Wallis, Brian O. Patrick, Paula L. Diaconescu, and Parisa Mehrkhodavandi Organometallics 2010, 29(22) 6065–6076
  13. Ring opening of aromatic heterocycles by uranium complexes.
    Selma Duhovic, Marisa J. Monreal, and Paula L. Diaconescu J. Organomet. Chem. 2010, Pacifichem2010 issue 695(25) 2822-2826
  14. A Tale of Two Nitrides.
    Paula L. Diaconescu Nature Chem. 2010, 2(8) 705-706

     
  15. Reactions of Aromatic N-Heterocycles with d0fn-Metal Alkyl Complexes Supported by Chelating-Diamide Ligands.
    Paula L. Diaconescu Acc. Chem. Res. 2010, 43(10) 1352-1363
  16. Reactions of Aromatic Heterocycles with Uranium Alkyl Complexes.
    Selma Duhovic, Marisa J. Monreal, and Paula L. Diaconescu Inorg. Chem. 2010, 49(15) 7165–7169
  17. Inter- and Intramolecular Hydroamination with a Uranium Dialkyl Precursor.
    Erin M. Broderick, Nathaniel P. Gutzwiller, and Paula L. Diaconescu Organometallics 2010, 29(15) 3242–3251
  18. Synthesis and Structural Studies of Chiral Indium(III) Complexes Supported by Tridentate Diaminophenol Ligands.
    Alberto Acosta-Ramirez, Amy F. Douglas, Insun Yu, Brian O. Patrick, Paula L. Diaconescu, and Parisa Mehrkhodavandi Inorg. Chem. 2010, 49(12) 5444-5452
  19. Reactions of Aromatic N-heterocycles with a Lutetium Benzyl Complex Supported by a Ferrocene-diamide Ligand.
    Allison W. Wong, Kevin L. Miller, and Paula L. Diaconescu Dalton Trans. 2010, 39(29) New Horizons in Organo-f-element Chemistry 6726-6731
  20. The Riches of Uranium.
    Marisa J. Monreal and Paula L. Diaconescu Nature Chem. 2010, 2(5) 424-424
  21. Reactions of Imidazoles with Electrophilic Metal Alkyl Complexes.
    Kevin L. Miller, Colin T. Carver, Bryan N. Williams, and Paula L. Diaconescu Organometallics 2010, 29(10) 2272-2281
  22. In Situ Generation of Uranium Alkyl Complexes.
    Selma Duhovic, Saeed Khan, and Paula Diaconescu Chem. Commun. 2010, 46 3390-3392
  23. Reversible C−C Coupling in a Uranium Biheterocyclic Complex.
    Marisa J. Monreal and Paula L. Diaconescu J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132(22) 7676-7683
  24. Reactions of Aromatic N-Heterocycles with Yttrium and Lutetium Benzyl Complexes Supported by a Pyridine-Diamide Ligand.
    Suyun Jie and Paula L. Diaconescu Organometallics 2010, 29(5) 1222-1230
  25. Coupling of Aromatic N-Heterocycles Mediated by Group 3 Complexes.
    Colin T. Carver, Bryan N. Williams, Kevin R. Ogilby, and Paula L. Diaconescu Organometallics 2010, 29(4) 835-846
  26. Dearomatization Reactions of N-Heterocycles Mediated by Group 3 Complexes.
    Kevin L. Miller, Bryan N. Williams, Diego Benitez, Colin T. Carver, Kevin R. Ogilby, Ekaterina Tkatchouk, William A. Goddard, III, and Paula L. Diaconescu J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 132(1) 342-355
  27. Reactions of Group III Biheterocyclic Complexes.
    Colin T. Carver, Diego Benitez, Kevin L. Miller, Bryan N. Williams, Ekaterina Tkatchouk, William A. Goddard, III, and Paula L. Diaconescu J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131(19) 10269-10278
  28. Beyond C-H Bond Activation with Uranium: A Cascade of Reactions Mediated by a Uranium Dialkyl Complex.
    Marisa J. Monreal, Saeed Khan, and Paula L. Diaconescu Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48(44) 8352-8355
  29. Cerium(IV) Catalysts for the ring-opening polymerization of lactide.
    Erin M. Broderick and Paula L. Diaconescu Inorg. Chem. 2009, 48(11) 4701-4706
  30. Insertion Reactions of Scandium Pyridyl Complexes Supported by a Ferrocene Diamide Ligand.
    Colin T. Carver and Paula L. Diaconescu J. Alloys Compd. 2009, 488 Proceedings of the 25th Rare Earth Research Conference 518-523
  31. Reactions of Early Transition Metal – Carbon Bonds with N-Heterocycles.
    Paula L. Diaconescu Curr. Org. Chem. 2008, 12 1388-1405
  32. Ring-Opening Reactions of Aromatic N-Heterocycles by Scandium and Yttrium Alkyl Complexes.
    Colin T. Carver and Paula L. Diaconescu J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130(24) 7558-7559
  33. A Weak Interaction between Iron and Uranium in Uranium Alkyl Complexes Supported by Ferrocene Diamide Ligands.
    Marisa J. Monreal and Paula L. Diaconescu Organometallics 2008, 27(8) 1702-1706
  34. Scandium Alkyl Complexes Supported by a Ferrocene Diamide Ligand.
    Colin T. Carver, Marisa J. Monreal, and Paula L. Diaconescu Organometallics 2008, 27(3) 363-370
  35. Palladium Nanoparticles Supported on Polyaniline Nanofibers as Semi-Heterogeneous Catalysts in Water.
    Benjamin J. Gallon, Robert W. Kojima, Richard B. Kaner, and Paula L. Diaconescu Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007, 46(38) 7251-7254
  36. Redox Processes in a Uranium Bis(1,1'-diamidoferrocene) Complex.
    Marisa J. Monreal, Colin T. Carver, and Paula L. Diaconescu Inorg. Chem. 2007, 46(18) 7226-7228

Pre-UCLA Publications

25 The Conversion of Methanol to 2,2,3-Trimethylbutane (Triptane) over Indium(III) Iodide. Bercaw, John E.; Diaconescu, Paula L.; Grubbs, Robert H.; Hazari, N.; Kay, Richard D.; Labinger, Jay A.; Mehrkhodavandi, Parisa; Morris, George E.; Sunley, Glenn J.; Vagner, Patrick Inorg. Chem. 2007, 46(26), 11371-11380. »
24 On the Mechanism of the Conversion of Methanol to 2,2,3-Trimethylbutane (Triptane) over Zinc Iodide. Bercaw, John E.; Diaconescu, Paula L.; Grubbs, Robert H.; Kay, Richard D.; Kitching, Sarah; Labinger, Jay A.; Li, Xingwei; Mehrkhodavandi, Parisa; Morris, George E.; Sunley, Glenn J.; Vagner, Patrick. J. Org. Chem. 2006, 71(23), 8907-8917. »
23 On the Mechanism of the Conversion of Methanol to 2,2,3-Trimethylbutane (Triptane) over Zinc Iodide. Labinger, Jay A.; Bercaw, John E.; Diaconescu, Paula L.; Grubbs, Robert H.; Kay, Richard D.; Kitching, Sarah; Li, Xingwei; Mehrkhodavandi, Parisa; Morris, George E.; Sunley, Glenn J.; Vagner, Patrick. Preprints of Symposia - American Chemical Society, Division of Fuel Chemistry 2006, 51(2), 839-840. »
22 Portability of the RNNMo(3+) core - Application to the Synthesis of Dinitrogen-Derived Trialkoxymolybdenum Organodiazenido Complexes. Cherry, John-Paul F.; Diaconescu, Paula L.; Cummins, Christopher C. Can. J. Chem. 2005, 83(4), 302-307. »
21 Organic Nitriles from Acid Chlorides: An Isovalent N for (O)Cl Exchange Reactions Mediated by a Tungsten Nitride Complex Clough Christopher R.; Greco, Jane B.; Figueroa, Joshua S.; Diaconescu, Paula L.; Davis, William M.; Cummins, Christopher C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 127(25), 7742-7743. »
20 A Sterically Demanding Enolate Ligand: Tantalum Ligation and Pyridine Coupling Soo, han Sen; Diaconescu, Paula L.; Cummins, Christopher C. Organometallics 2004, 23(3), 498-503. »
19 Molybdenum-Phosphorus Triple Bond Stabilization by Ancillary Alkoxide Ligation: Synthesis and Structure of a Terminal Phosphide Tris-1-methylcyclohexanoxide Complex Stephens, Frances H.; Figueroa, Joshua S.; Diaconescu, Paula L.; Cummins, Christopher C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125(31), 9264-9265. »
18 Diuranium Inverted Sandwiches Involving Napthalene and Cyclooctatetraene Diaconescu, Paula L.; Cummins, Christopher C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2002, 124(26), 7660-7661. »
17 Radical Scission of Symmetrical 1,4-Dicarbonyl Compounds: C-C Bond Cleavage with Titanium(IV) Enolate Formation and Related Reactions Agapie, Theodor; Diaconescu, Paula L.; Mindiola, Daniel J.; Cummins, Christopher C. Organometallics 2002, 21(7), 1329-1340. »
16 Methine (CH) Transfer via a Chlorine Atom Abstraction/Benzene-Elimination Strategy: Molybdenum Methylidyne Synthesis and Elaboration to a Phosphaisocyanide Complex. Agapie, Theodor; Diaconescu, Paula L.; Cummins, Christopher C. J. Am. Chem. Soc 2002, 124(11), 2412-2413. »
15 Vanadium nitride functionalization and denitrogenation by carbon disulfide and dioxide. Brask, Justin K., Dura-Vila, Victor, Diaconescu, Paula L., Cummins, Christopher C. Chem. Commun. 2002, 902-903. »
14 Uranium-Group 14 Element Single Bonds: Isolation and Characterization of a Uranium(IV) Silyl Species. Diaconescu, Paula L.; Odom, Aaron L.; Agapie, Theodor; Cummins, Christopher C. Organometallics 2001, 20(24), 4993-4995. »
13 Terminal Phosphide and Dinitrogen Molybdenum Compounds Obtained from Pnictide- Bridged Precursors. Cherry, John-Paul F.; Stephens, Frances H.; Johnson, Marc J. A.; Diaconescu, Paula L.; Cummins, Christopher C. Inorg. Chem. 2001, 40(27), 6860-6862. »
12 Coordination Chemistry of a Chelating Amidoximato Ligand. Barybin, Mikhail V.; Diaconescu, Paula L.; Cummins, Christopher C. Inorg. Chem. 2001, 40(12), 2892-2897. »
11 Arene-Bridged Diuranium Complexes: Inverted Sandwiches Supported by δ Backbonding. Diaconescu, Paula L.; Arnold, Polly L.; Baker, Thomas A.; Mindiola, Daniel J.; Cummins, Christopher C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2000, 122(25), 6108-6109. »
10 Facile Synthesis of Trialkoxymolybdenum(VI) Alkylidyne Complexes for Alkyne Metathesis. Tsai, Yi-Chou; Diaconescu, Paula L.; Cummins, Christopher C. Organometallics 2000, 19(25), 5260-5262. »
9 Heteropolynuclear complex precursors used in mixed oxide synthesis. Guran, Cornelia; Diaconescu, Paula; Barboiu, Mihai; Iluc, Vlad; Stan, Claudiu British Ceramic Proceedings 2000, 61 (Novel Chemistry and Processing of Ceramics), 33-39.  
8 Mono and polynuclear complexes of Cr(III) with dichloro-tetramorpholinocyclotriphosphazatriene. Guran, Cornelia; Barboiu, Mihai; Diaconescu, Paula; Iluc, Vlad; Stan, Claudiu Rev. Roum. Chim. 2000, 44(9), 917-921.  
7 Pyridazinyl-hydrazine derivatives as polydentate ligand generators of Pt(II) and Pd(II) ciscomplexes. Guran, Cornelia; Iluc, Vlad; Diaconescu, Paula; Bicher, Mariana; Ciocoiu, Calin Roum. Biotechnol. Lett. 1999, 4(5), 369-374.  
6 Functionalized derivatives of benzo-crown ethers. Part 4. Antifungal macrocyclic supramolecular complexes of transition metal ions acting as lanosterol-14-α-demethylase inhibitors. Barboiu, Mihai; Supuran, Claudiu T.; Scozzafava, Andrea; Guran, Cornelia; Diaconescu, Paula; Bojin, Mihaela; Iluc, Vlad; Cot, Louis Met.-Based Drugs 1999, 6(2), 101-110.  
5 Synthesis and antifungal activity of metal complexes containing dichloro tetramorpholinocyclophosphazatriene. Guran, Cornelia; Barboiu, Mihai; Diaconescu, Paula; Iluc, Vlad; Bojin, Mihaela; Scozzafava, Andrea; Supuran, Claudiu T. Met.-Based Drugs 1998, 5(5), 287-294.  
4 Complex compounds with phenothiazine derivatives as biologically active ligands. 4. Mono and polynuclear complex compounds of Fe(III). Guran, Cornelia; Bacu, Elena; Ciocoiu, Ioana; Carp, Nicoleta; Iluc, Vlad; Diaconescu, Paula; Bojin, Mihaela; Nicolae, Simona Roum. Biotechnol. Lett. 1998, 3(2), 123-130.  
3 Contribution to the cyclophosphazene chemistry. 3. Complex compounds of Cu(II) with substituted cyclophosphazatriene derivatives. Guran, Cornelia; Barboiu, Mihai; Meghea, Aurelia; Jitaru, Ioana; Cimpoesu, Marilena; Berger, Daniela; Diaconescu, Paula; Bojin, Mihaela; Iluc, Vlad; Bita, Ion Rev. Roum. Chim. 1997, 42(7), 609-614.  
2 Complex compounds of copper(II) with phenothiazine derivatives. Guran, Cornelia; Bicu, Elena; Jitaru, Ioana; Ciocoiu, Ioana; Meghea, Aurelia; Iluc, Vlad; Bojin, Mihaela; Diaconescu, Paula Rev. Roum. Chim. 1997, 42(9), 891-896.  
1 Complex compounds with phenothiazine derivatives as biological active ligands III. Guran, Cornelia; Bicu, Elena; Ciocoiu, Ioana; Bojin, Mihaela; Diaconescu, Paula; Iluc, Vlad; Jinga, Oana Roum. Biotechnol. Lett. 1997, 2(3), 243-252.