COSAM » COSAM Faculty » Chemistry and Biochemistry » Anne Gorden

Anne E. V. Gorden
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Associate Professor

Research Areas: Inorganic , Organic

Office: 261 Chemistry Building

Lab: 207 Chemistry Building

179 Chemistry Building
Auburn, AL 36849

Phone: (334) 844-6973
Fax: (334) 844-6959

Curriculum vitae

Research Page


Emory University, B. S.,Chemistry and Literature
The University of Texas at Austin, Ph. D., Organic Chemistry
The University of California at Berkeley, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Seaborg Center Postdoctoral Fellow

Professional Employment

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Auburn University
2011- present
Assistant Professor, Department Chemistry and Biochemistry, Auburn University
2005- 2011
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
2003- 2005
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of California
2002- 2003

Honors and Awards

College of Sciences and Mathematics Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor
Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics Dean's Faculty Service/Outreach Award
Auburn University Provost’s Award for Fostering Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship
Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics Faculty Advisor of the Year
Delta Gamma Foundation Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence
The Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Seaborg Center Postdoctoral Fellow

Professional Activities

American Chemical Society, 1994- present
National Academy of Inventors, 2014- present
AWIS, Association of Women in Science, 2006- present

Research and Teaching Interests

The overall research goal of the Gorden Research Group is to develop broad-ranging, state-of-the-art programs based on combining organic synthesis and inorganic metal coordination chemistry, and to apply this both fundamental chemistry and practical applications.

 Actinide Specific Metal Detection - The use of actinides for energy or military applications has resulted in a host of waste and contamination issues. A need exists for new materials that can coordinate, sense, manipulate, to decontaminate sites or for sensors, “sensing” polymers, sprays, or pastes to detect and isolate toxic metals. Chemosensors such as these will allow for rapid in the field visual identification and thus increase ease of decontamination. We have developed ligands incorporating a quinoxaline into a salen backbone. The addition of a quinoxaline to the salen imparts the fluorescence to the quinoxaline and alters the coordination site. We have used these complexes to probe the contributing factors toward selectivity, signal intensity, and the differentiation between actinides (like uranium and thorium) and transition metals (like copper or cobalt). Differences in their spectroscopic signature is characteristic enough to discriminate between uranyl and transition metals. Additional experiments will continue to quantify this selectivity. 

 Improving Actinide Separations and Extractions - Contained within nuclear fuel wastes are valuable, reusable materials including uranium and plutonium that can be recycled. Various ligand systems have been proposed for the selective coordination of actinides; however, their use in applications is often limited by low signal response, sensitivity to pH, competition from other metals, or they are not proliferation resistant methods. The focus of this project is the synthesis and characterization of coordination complexes featuring soft-donor atoms (i.e., nitrogen and sulfur) for extraction agents that can differentiate between metals. We will use these to prepare metal complexes with uranium and then transuranic metals to test for selectivity, and thus learn about the fundamental chemistry like hard-soft interactions, selectivity, and reactivity, to allow us to improve separations methods.

Homogeneous Catalysis Based on Cu(II) or Mn(II) with Heterocyclic Ligand Supports - In “Green” chemistry we are seeking to use more environmentally-friendly or less-toxic chemicals, to eliminate purification steps, and to use catalytic rather than stoichiometric reactions methods, in the hopes of reducing wastes. The objective of this program is to develop ligand supported metal catalysts using quinoxolinol salens and copper or manganese. We have been able to use a quinoxolinol salen (salqu) copper complex in the oxidation of aryl methylenes in up to 99% yields while reducing the energy required because of increased solubility and better stabilization of the intermediates. We have investigated selective allyic oxidation in steroids, and are now investigating other allylic oxidations, the reaction mechanism, and electrochemistry.

Selected Publications

(See the Research Group Webpage for a full list of Publications)

Selected Gorden Group Publications:
Of >50 scientific peer-reviewed journal articles, 4 patents, >60 invited talks, >100 contributed presentations - undergraduates are in italics, graduate students are underlined

38. Niklas, J.E.; Hunter, K. M.; Gorden, Anne E.V. "Bonding Interactions in Uranyl α-Diimine Complexes: A Spectroscopic and Electrochemical Study of the Impacts of Ligand Electronics and Extended Conjugation" Inorganic Chemistry 2019, 58, 22, 15088-15100. (

37. Black, C.C.Gorden, Anne E.V. "Oxidative Mannich Reactions of Tertiary Amines Using a Cu(II) 2-Quinoxalinol Salen Catalyst," Journal of Organic Chemistry 2019,  84, (15), 9806-9810 (

36. Wyss, K. M.Hardy, E. E.; Gorden, Anne E.V. "An example of enhanced emission of a pyridine containing Schiff base Zn2+ complex," Inorganica Chemica Acta 2019, 492, 156-160. (DOI: 10.1016/j.ica.2019.04.032).

35.Grundhoefer, J.P; Hardy, E. E.; West, M.; Curtiss, A.B.; Mononuclear Cu(II) and Ni(II) Complexes of Bis(napthalen-2-ol) Schiff Base Ligands,”  Inorganica Chemica Acta 2019, 125-132. (

34. Niklas, J. E.; Hardy, E. E.; Gorden, Anne E.V. “Solid-state structural elucidation and electrochemical analysis of uranyl naphthylsalophen” Chemical Communcations 2018, 54, 11693-11696 (DOI:10.1039/C8CC05242E)


Last updated: 01/03/2020