Linda Helen Doerrer

Prof. Linda Doerrer

Professor Linda Doerrer

Degrees and Positions

  • B.A. in Chemistry (magna cum laude), Cornell University, 1991.
  • Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1996.
  • NATO Postdoctoral Fellow, Oxford University, 1996 – 1997.
  • Junior Research Fellow, Oxford University, 1997 – 1999.


  • Fulbright Scholar Award, 2013
  • Henry Dreyfus Fellow, 2005
  • Emily Gregory Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service, Barnard College, 2002
  • Goodwin Medal for Conspicuously Effective Teaching by an MIT Graduate Student (Finalist), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1993
  • Department of Chemistry Award for Excellence in Recitation Teaching by a Graduate Student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1992
  • The American Institute of Chemists Foundation Student Award, Cornell University, 1991
  • National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, Honorable Mention, March 1991

The Doerrer group’s work was featured in a thematic issue of Dalton Transactions. (Young Inorganic Chemists, January 2010)


The Doerrer Group specializes in synthetic inorganic chemistry and is an equal-opportunity element utilizer. The lab currently has two main research thrusts, but there are always spirits of other ideas floating around the lab waiting for the right person to embody them with intelligence, direction, passion, creativity and give them life in publications.

  • The first research area is the use of highly fluorinated aryloxide and alkoxide ligands for the stabilization of high oxidation states in first-row transition metals. Spectroscopic work strongly suggests that these ligands generate a medium field environment and can serve as fluoride mimics. We have prepared many phenolate and alcholate anions of the form [M(OR)n]m- as well as neutral derivatives, and are investigating their reactivity with a broad spectrum of oxidizing and reducing agents.
  • The second investigation arena is the bottom-up synthesis of potentially conducting one-dimentional nanowires.  The early stages of the project used the fascinating phenomenon of metallophilicity to facilitate assembly.  This attractive interaction between electron rich metal centers with filled or pseudo-filled subshells, e.g. d10 Au(I), d8 Pt(II), can be as strong as hydrogen bonding and can act seemingly in opposition to electrostatic forces. We are modifying the so-formed one-atom-wide metal atom chains to have an odd number of spins and investigate their behavior as low-dimensional conductors.

Techniques & Resources

We have substantial resources and expertise in the handling of oxygen- and water-sensitive compounds including two N2-filled dryboxes (one single and one double-station).  We also have our equipment for UV/vis/NIR solution characterization including a dip-probe and electrochemical apparatus as well.  The lab contains two temperature-programmable ovens, five Schlenk lines, and a six-solvent SPS station.


Students in the Doerrer group receive broad and rigorous training in inorganic synthesis due to the diversity of projects in the lab.  We often collaborate (within Boston University and without) with physicists, materials scientists, and engineers on the characterization of compounds.

What’s Next for Graduates of the Doerrer Group?

Members of the Doerrer Group have gone on to many prestigious positions in academia.

  • Dr. Rachel Allenbaugh – Assistant Professor, Murray State University
  • Dr. Marisa C. Buzzeo, BC’01 – Assistant professor, Barnard College
  • Dr. Charli M. Long, BC’00 (PhD. Univ. of Pennsylvania, 2005)
  • Mr. Joshua S. Wittenberg, CU’02 (Research Associate, University of California, Berkeley)
  • Ms. Annie J. Jiang BC’05 (5th year PhD student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Ms. Montana V. Childress, BC’05 (5th year PhD student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Mr. Matthew A. Pellow CU’03 (5th year PhD student, Stanford University)

SCI 383
Fax: 617.353.6466
Office Hours: by Appointment
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