Dr. Wallen first fell in love with chemistry during high school while working in a chemistry research lab at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Wallen graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry at Union University in 2012 and received his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2017 from Emory University where he conducted the first experimental investigations into the coordination of molecular hydrogen peroxide with transition metals. He then moved on to study diruthenium paddlewheel complexes for electrocatalytic ammonia oxidation in future direct-ammonia fuel cells with John Berry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for three years. Dr. Wallen joined the faculty at Appalachian State University in 2020 and enjoys teaching Introductory and Inorganic Chemistry and working with students in the research lab.
Dr. Wallen’s research is focused on the coordination and reactivity of hydrogen sulfide and other biologically- and industrially-relevant small molecules with transition metal complexes. Research projects involve using a variety of organic and inorganic synthetic techniques to prepare ligands and complexes with earth-abundant transition metals. The capture and oxidation of hydrogen sulfide is of vital importance in the treatment of natural gas feedstocks and occurs on an incredibly large scale worldwide. Dr. Wallen investigates how hydrogen sulfide binds to transition metals to inform the development of novel catalysts for hydrogen sulfide oxidation. Hydrogen sulfide also plays an important role in biological systems as a signaling agent. Little is known about how hydrogen sulfide interacts with metal-containing enzymes in the body, so another facet of Dr. Wallen’s research is to prepare complexes of biologically-relevant metals with intramolecular hydrogen-bonding networks to mimic biological environments of some metal-containing enzymes. Students working on these projects can expect to learn synthetic techniques and procedures to prepare a variety of organic ligands and metal-organic complexes, including procedures in air-free environments, as well as extensive use of spectroscopic methods to characterize novel compounds and investigate reactivity. Dr. Wallen is always looking for motivated students to mentor in the research lab. If you are interested, please contact him via email.
Title: Assistant Professor
Email address: Email me