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Chemistry at Aquinas College

Jonathan Fritz, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry
(616) 632-2190
AH 323


Research Interests

We live in a world with many challenging problems to which chemistry can offer potential solutions.  I am particularly intrigued with the role ligands can play in solving some of these problems.  While ligands are virtually unknown to your average passerby on the street, they are indispensable to the organometallic chemist.  Chemists often use ligands, which are molecules that bind to metals, to control the selectivity of metal catalyzed reactions.  Ligands have important roles in some dye-sensitized solar cells and some water oxidation catalysts, both of which are technologies that enable us to harvest solar energy.  Ligands also serve an important role in an area of chemistry known as C-H functionalization, which provides more efficient ways for chemists to synthesize compounds.

While ligands are nearly ubiquitous in organometallic chemistry, in many cases it is poorly understood why a particular ligand allows for the desired reactivity.  I am interested in characterizing ligands and then correlating their structures and characteristics to regioselectivity in direct arylation reactions (a type of C-H functionalization).  Direct arylations offer a more efficient synthetic route than traditional cross-coupling reactions to biaryl compounds but suffer from regioselectivity issues.  For select substrates, direct arylation can occur with high regioselectivity.  However, many remain problematic.  A better understanding of the structure-activity relationships of ligands, will lead to better selectivity for these reactions.

Professional Memberships

American Chemical Society

Publications and Presentations

  • Fritz JA. “Ligand Modulated Regioselectivity in Iridium Catalyzed C-H Borylation Reactions” Presentation at Boron in the Americas XII, June 2010, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.
  • Fritz JA. “Pd-Catalyzed Carboamination of N-Allylureas for the Synthesis of Imidazolidin-2-ones” Poster presented at the National Organic Symposium, June 2009, Boulder, Colorado.
  • Fritz JA, Wolfe JP. “Stereoselective Synthesis of Imidazolidin-2-ones via Pd-catalyzed Alkene Carboamination. Scope and Limitations” Tetrahedron,2008; 64: 6838-6952.
  • Fritz JA. “Palladium Catalyzed Synthesis of Imidazolidin-2-ones” Poster presented at Annual Perspectives on Research at the University of Michigan, August 2008, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • Fritz JA, Nakhla JS, Wolfe, JP. “A New Synthesis of Imidazolidin-2-ones via Pd-Catalyzed Carboamination of N-Allylureas” Org. Lett., 2006; 8: 2531-2534.

Favorite Link

Master Organic Chemistry


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan
  • M.S., University of Michigan
  • B.A., Carleton College