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Dr. Kathryn Preuss’ research facilities are designed to accommodate highly air-sensitive chemistry, including manipulation of reaction materials, controlled growth and separation of crystalline materials, and characterization of precursors, intermediates, and final products. The specialized instrumentation in the Preuss lab allows for the detection, identification, and characterization of radicals, magnetic materials, crystalline and amorphous solids, and phase transition behaviour.
Education and Employment Background
Dr. Kathryn Preuss received her PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Waterloo in 2000. She went on to work as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Physical Organic Chemistry at the University of Colorado and as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Magneto-chemistry at North Carolina State University. She joined the University of Guelph in 2002, where she is now a full professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry, effective March 1, 2021. Preuss also held a Tier II Canada Research Chair in the Chemistry of Molecular Materials from 2009 to 2019.
Preuss’s research is focused on developing unique (supra)molecular materials with technologically-relevant properties. Key areas of focus include:
- Smart materials based on paramagnetic molecules. Materials that exhibit memory (i.e., their present state is dependent on previous history) can store information about their environment and history and have potential uses in digital electronics, in safety applications, and as sensors. Preuss aims to design and characterize materials with memory (magnetic, ferroelectric, magneto-optical) and explore the coordination properties of radical species. She will also explore the design of magnetosalient materials, wherein applied magnetic field gradients can be used to induced motion.
- Supramolecular architecture and solid-state phase transitions. Preuss and her group established 1,2,3,5-dithiadiazolyl (DTDA) as a feasible building block for the design of stable paramagnetic ligands. Unlike most radical ligands, DTDA ligands allow for strong, directional supramolecular contacts that serve as magnetic (super)exchange pathways. Preuss and her research team have reported soluble, volatile molecular materials that exhibit antiferromagnetic (AF) and ferromagnetic (FM) ordering, and demonstrated addressable gating between two Dy(III) SMMs, a novel model for a CNOT (universal) quantum logic gate. Additionally, Preuss designed systems with re-entrant behaviour and reported magnetic hysteresis (i.e., memory) near room temperature (RT) in a crystalline small organic radical (HbimDTDA).
- Non-magnetic properties of crystalline materials. Preuss is also interested in exploring the plasticity of bending crystals, reversible chiral resolution, and host-guest chemistry using main group metal complexes for the separation of hydrocarbons.
- NSERC Discovery Grant and Discovery Accelerator Supplement, 2020
- Canada Research Chair, CRC Tier II (2009 – 2019)
- Associate Editor for the American Chemical Society (ASC) journal “Crystal Growth and Design), 2019-2022
- Women of Distinction (Science and Research), YMCA/YWCA of Guelph, 2015-2016
Awards and Honors
- CEPS News: CEPS Researchers Awarded $2.5 Million from NSERC
- University of Lethbridge News: Alumna of the Year Preuss realizes destiny