Graham Ball

Graham Ball

Graham Ball

B.Sc. Sheffield, Ph.D. Sheffield U.K.

Associate Professor

Contact details

Phone: +61 2 9385 4720


Room 224, Dalton Building
UNSW Sydney 2052

Research Group Website


Biographical Details

Undergraduate and Postgraduate work at the University of Sheffield, B.Sc. 1986 and Ph.D. 1990. Postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, 1990-91. Postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, 1991-1994. Appointed University of NSW NMR Facility Manager and Adjunct Lecturer 1995. Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemistry 2005. Associate Professor 2018.

Research Interests

Our research focuses on applying NMR spectroscopy to explore chemical problems, most often in the areas of inorganic and organometallic chemistry. Characterising reactive intermediates via photolysis of precursors while they are in the NMR spectrometer is a major feature. Increasingly, our experimental work is supported by the application of computational chemistry techniques such as DFT and ab initio methods or molecular mechanics calculations:

  • Chemical and biological applications of NMR spectroscopy.
  • Characterisation of chemical reactive intermediates, especially organometallics.
  • Chemical transformations of CO2
  • Investigations of drug-DNA interactions.
  • Elucidation structures of inorganic molecules using NMR spectroscopy
  • Applications of computational chemistry.

Research Group Page

For more details about Graham's research please see his research group pages.

Professional Interests

  • Member, Royal Australian Chemical Institute
  • Member, Australia and New Zealand Society for Magnetic Resonance

Selected Publications

  • Serobian, A.; Pracey, C. P.; Thomas, D. S.; Denny, W. A.; Ball, G. E.; Wakelin, L. P. G. “Structures and dynamics of DNA complexes of the des-methyl analogue of the cytotoxin MLN944: Insights into activity when a methyl isn’t futile” J. Mol. Recognit. 2020, 33, e2843.
  • Das, B; Jia, C.; Ching, K.; Bhadbhade, M.; Chen, X.; Ball, G. E.; Colbran, S. B.; Zhao, C. “Ruthenium Complexes in Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalysis for Electroreduction of CO2”, ChemCatChem, 2020, 12, 1292.
  • Elton, T.E; Ball, G.E.; Bhadbhade, M.; Field, L.D.; Colbran, S.B. “Evaluation of Organic Hydride Donors as Reagents for the Reduction of Carbon Dioxide and Metal-Bound Formates” Organometallics 2018, 37, 3972-3982.Yau, H.M.; McKay, A.I.; Hesse, H.; Xu, R.; He, M; Holt, C.E.; Ball, G.E. “Observation of Cationic Transition Metal−Alkane Complexes with Moderate Stability in Hydrofluorocarbon Solution” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 281–288.
  • Young, R.D.; Lawes, D.J.; Hill, A.F.; Ball, G.E. "Observation of a tungsten alkane σ-complex showing selective binding of methyl groups using FTIR and NMR spectroscopies"J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134, 8294–8297.
  • Young, R.D.; Hill, A.F.; Hillier, W.; Ball, G.E. "Transition Metal-Alkane σ-Complexes with Oxygen Donor Co-ligands" J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 13806-13809.
  • Calladine, J.A.; Torres, O.; Anstey, M.; Ball, G.E.; Bergman, R.G.; Curley, J.; Duckett, S.B.; George, M.W.; Gilson, A.I.; Lawes, D.J.; Perutz, R.N.; Sun, X.-Z.; Vollhardt, K.P.C. "Photoinduced N2 loss as a route to long-lived organometallic alkane complexes: A time-resolved IR and NMR study" Chem. Sci. 2010, 1, 622-630.
  • Ball, G.E.; Brookes, C.M.; Cowan, A.J.; Darwish, T.A; George, M.W.;.Kawanami, H.K.; Portius, P.; Rourke, J.P. "A delicate balance of complexation vs. activation of alkanes: NMR and TRIR studies of the interaction of alkanes with [Re(Cp)(CO)(PF3)]." Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 2007, 104, 6927.
  • Lawes, D.J.; Darwish, T.A.; Clark, T.; Harper, J.B.; Ball, G.E. "A Rhenium-Cyclohexane Complex with Preferential Binding of Axial CH Bonds: A Probe into the Relative Ability of CH, CD, and CC Bonds as Hyperconjugative Electron Donors?" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2006, 45, 4486.
  • Lawes, D.J.; Geftakis, S.; Ball, G.E. "Insight into binding of alkanes to transition metals from NMR spectroscopy of isomeric pentane and isotopically labelled alkane complexes." J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2005, 127, 4134.
  • Evans, R.A; Hanley, T.L.; Skidmore, M.A.; Davis, T.P.; Such, G.K.; Yee, L.H; Ball, G.E.; Lewis, D.A. "Lubrication and Control of Nano-Mechanical Processes in Polymers." Nature Materials, 2005, 4, 193.
  • Ball, G.E.; Darwish, T.A; Geftakis, S.; George, M.W.; Lawes, D.J.; Portius, P.; Rourke, J.P. "Characterization of an Organometallic Xenon Complex using NMR and IR Spectroscopy." Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 2005, 102, 1853.
  • Direct Observation of a Transition Metal Alkane Complex, CpRe(CO)2(cyclopentane), Using NMR Spectroscopy. S. Geftakis and G.E. Ball, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1998, 120, 9953.