Michael McKee
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Professor Emeritus

Research Areas: Inorganic

Office: 413 Sciences Center Lab Building

Phone: (334)-844-6985

Email: mckee@chem.auburn.edu

Ph.D. Chemical Physics under M.J.S. Dewar from University of Texas, Austin, Texas
B.S. Chemistry from Lamar University

Professional Employment
Professor, Auburn University
1994 - present
Associate Professor, Auburn University
1986 - 1994
Assistant Professor, Auburn University
1981 - 1986
Postdoc under W.N. Lipscomb at Harvard University
1979 - 1981
Robert A. Welch Postdoctoral Fellow under Alan Cowley at University of Texas
1977 - 1978

Research and Teaching Interests

My current research interests focus on the application of computational methods to current chemical problems.  State-of-the-art methods coupled with large parallel computers allow calculations to lead rather than follow experiments.  We specialize in computing reaction mechanisms of inorganic systems.  Our present focus is unraveling the mysteries of nitrogen reduction at the FeMo co-factor of nitrogenase.  Another effort is the calculation of rate constants for reactions relevant to atmospheric chemistry, especially the reactions of a radical with a neutral molecule.  These reactions often proceed via an intermediate characterized by a 2c-3e bond.  Examples of complexes we have studied include X-SMe2, where X=OH, Cl, Br which have attracted the attention of atmospheric chemists for some time. In conjunction with a state-wide emphasis on actinide complexes, we have begun several projects including these “heavy” elements.  A long-standing interest of our research group has been all aspects of electron deficient systems, especial boron hydrides and carboranes.

Selected Publications

  1. Duin, E. C.; McKee, M. L. "A New Mechanism for Methane Production from Methyl-coenzyme M reductase as Derived from Density Functional Calculations", J. Phys. Chem. B2008112, 2466-2482.
  2. Lee, T. B.; McKee, M. L. "Endohedral Hydrogen Exchange Reactions in C60 (nH2@C60 n=1-5).  Comparison of Recent Methods in a High-Pressure Cooker", J. Am. Chem. Soc.2008130, 17610-17619.
  3. Lee, T. B.; M. L. McKee "Mechanistic Study of LiNH2BH3 Formation from (LiH)4 + NH3BH3 and Subsequent Dehydrogenation", Inorg. Chem. 200948, 7564-7575.
  4. Mloston, G.; Romanski, J.; McKee, M. L.; Reisenauer, H. P.; Schreiner, P. R. "Thermal Reactions of Regioisomeric 1,2,4-Trithiolane S-Oxides", Eur. J. Org. Chem.201011, 2132-2137.
  5. Lee, T. B.; McKee, M. L. “Dependence of pKa on Solute Cavity for Diprotic and Triprotic Acids”, Phys. Chem, Chem. Phys.201113, 10258-10269.

Last updated: 08/23/2019