Caulton Lab

Professor Kenneth G. Caulton


B. A. cum laude, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, 1962

Ph.D. (chemistry with physics minor), University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1967

Professional Societies

Sigma Xi, American Chemical Society

Previous Experience

Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor F. Albert Cotton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1967-1969. Sabbatical leave with Professor E.L. Muetterties at Cornell University, 1974-75.Visiting Professor at Technische Hochschule, Aachen, West Germany, 1984. Visiting Professor at University of Hamburg, West Germany, 1987. Visiting Professor at Université de Nice, France, October, 1989. Visiting Professor, Tokyo Institute of Agriculture and Technology, 1992. Visiting Professor, University of Hawaii, 1992. Visiting Professor, Université de Paris-Sud, 1995. Visiting Professor, University of Minnesota, 1996.

ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry, 2014.


Prof. Caulton has been at Indiana University for his entire career as an independent researcher. His work deals with transition metal complexes from all around the transition series, and uses a range of ligand-induced effects, both steric and electronic, to create high reactivity in such complexes. Numerous studies with unsaturated hydrocarbon ligands revealed that p-donor ligands increase metal reducing power, which is the same as p-basicity, and thus can effect contrathermodynamic isomerizations of hydrocarbons to acidic ligands. These same effects have the expected effects on the equilibrium between dihydride and dihydrogen ligands, and those effects enable hydrogenolysis of later-transition-metal-to-OR and -F bonds, with elimination of H-F or H-OR.