Our research encompasses the fluorine chemistry of the main-group and transition elements, polyatomic anions of the main-group elements and radiochemistry, which also span the extremes of oxidizing and reducing properties. The main philosophy is to target compounds that challenge current theories of stereochemistry and bonding, or those previously thought not to exist and/or those which have unusual chemical or physical properties. The chemical systems we deal with are at the fringes of stability and existence and are among the most reactive, energetic and fragile species known. Our work also exploits the synergism of theory and synthesis and greatly benefits from a diverse range of physical and spectroscopic techniques and quantum-chemical methods we use to understand structure and bonding.
Our main interest is in the field of synthetic inorganic fluorine chemistry with special emphases on noble-gas chemistry and high oxidation states of the elements. Our achievements include the syntheses and structural characterizations of a significant number of the known noble-gas compounds as well as fluoro- and oxofluoro-derivatives of the main-group and transition elements in their highest oxidation states and at the limits of coordination. In a number of cases, noble-gas species have been used as synthons to generate high-oxidation state transition metal species and carbocations. Multi-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and Raman spectroscopies and X-ray crystallography are routinely applied to the elucidation of the structures of highly unstable compounds. Our work has made important contributions to understanding of structure and chemical bonding, including so-called "hypervalent" species. We have also made significant contributions to the syntheses and understanding of the structures and bonding in main-group ring, cage and cluster molecules/ions of groups 13 and 14. These research contributions are of wide and fundamental interest, and are often quoted in the major textbooks of inorganic chemistry.