Graham Ball

Graham Ball

Graham Ball

B.Sc. Sheffield 1986, Ph.D. Sheffield 1990

Associate Professor

Contact details

Phone: +61 2 9385 4720


Room 129, Dalton Building
UNSW, Kensington 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:

  • Generation of new transition metal alkane complexes and investigations of their structure, dynamic processes and reactivity.
  • Light activated molecules
  • Fluxional processes in inorganic molecules.
  • Metal hydrides.
  • Structural studies of substituted fullerenes.
  • Structural characterisation of synthetic molecules and natural products.

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

  • 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., Article ASAP DOI: 10.1021/ja300281s.
  • 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.
  • Yee, L. H.; Hanley, T.; Evans, R. A.; Davis, T. P.; Ball, G. E. "Photochromic Spirooxazines Functionalized with Oligomers: Investigation of Core-Oligomer Interactions and Photomerocyanine Isomer Interconversion Using NMR Spectroscopy and DFT" J. Org. Chem., 2010, 75, 2851-2860.
  • 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.
  • Ball, G.E.; Burley, G.A.; Chaker, L.; Hawkins, B.C.; Williams, J.R.; Keller, P.A.; Pyne, S.G. "Structural reassignment of the mono- and bis-addition products from the addition reactions of N-(Diphenylmethylene)glycinate esters to [60]fullerene under Bingel conditions." J. Org. Chem., 2005, 70, 8572.
  • 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.