Les Field

Les Field

Les Field

B.Sc., Ph.D., D.Sc., USyd; CChem, FRACI, FAA, AM

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Professor of Chemistry

Contact details

Phone: (02) 9385 2700
Email: l.field@unsw.edu.au
Fax: (02) 9385 8008


Room 137, The Chancellery
UNSW, Kensington 2052

Research Group Website


Biographical Details

Ph.D. 1979 University of Sydney; D.Sc. 1991 University of Sydney; Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA 1979-1981; Research Fellow, Oxford University, UK, 1981-1982; 1982-2005 Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Reader/Professor University of Sydney; Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Sydney 1990 to 2005 and Head of the School of Chemistry from 1997 to 2001; Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Science, Chair of the University Research Committee, Deputy Chair of the Academic Board and Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Sydney. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at UNSW from April 2005 to February 2016. Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UNSW from March 2016. Member (AM) of the Order of Australia 2011.

Research Interests

Synthetic Organometallic Chemistry

  • The Organometallic Chemistry of Coordinated Dinitrogen - nitrogen fixation. Chemical transformation of dinitrogen coordinated to metal centres. Nitrogen fixation and nitrogen reduction at metal centres. Developing reagents and catalysts (based on iron, molybdenum, tungsten and ruthenium) for converting molecular N2 into NH3 and nitrogen-containing organic compounds. Synthesising new organometallic compounds that bind and activate nitrogen. The chemistry of metal nitrynes and metal nitrenes.
  • The Organometallic Chemistry of Carbon Dioxide - The catalytic incorporation of CO2 into organic molecules via C-H activation and functionalisation and utilising this normally wasted (and potentially environmentally dangerous) byproduct as a valuable C1 source.
  • Transition Metal Acetylides, Organometallic Polymers and New Materials - Dimeric, oligomeric and polymeric assemblies containing transition metal atoms covalently bonded within a conjugated an organic framework. Optical, electrochemical, electronic, spectroscopic properties of highly conjugated polymetal-acetylides. New approaches to the synthesis of metal acetylides and rearrangements and transformations of transition metal acetylides.
  • The Chemistry of 'CP3' Complexes - Recently developed a new of a polydentate ligand for transition metal chemistry, which binds to a metal centre using three phosphorus donors and an anionic carbon donor.
  • The Organometallic Chemistry of Silanes and Silylenes - Suitably activated transition metal complexes react with organosilanes and other silanes to form silicon metal hydrides which can go onto to form reactive metals silylenes
  • Metal Complexes of Molecular Hydrogen - Iron and ruthenium hydride complexes can be protonated to give metal complexes containing bound molecular hydrogen which can be used as a synthetic tool to other metal complexes


For more details about Prof. Field's research see his research group web pages.

Selected Publications

  1. L. D. Field, N. Hazari, H. L. Li, Inorg. Chem., 2015, 54, 4768-4776
  2. R. Gilbert-Wilson, L. D. Field, M. M. Bhadbhade, Inorg. Chem., 2014, 53, 12469-12479
  3. R. Gilbert-Wilson, L. D. Field, S. B. Colbran, M. M. Bhadbhade, Inorg. Chem., 2013, 52, 3043-3053
  4. L. D. Field, H. L. Li, S. J. Dalgarno, R. D. McIntosh, Inorg. Chem., 2013, 52, 1570-1583
  5. L. D. Field, H. L. Li, S. J. Dalgarno, R. D. McIntosh, Inorg. Chem., 2011, 51, 3733-3742
  6. R. Gilbert-Wilson, L. D. Field, M. M. Bhadbhade,  Inorg. Chem., 2011, 51, 3239-3246
  7. L. D. Field, P. M. Jurd, A. M. Magill, M. M. Bhadbhade, Organometallics, 2013, 32, 636-642
  8. O. R. Allen, L. D. Field, A. M. Magill, K. Q. Vuong, M. M. Bhadbhade, S. J. Dalgarno, Organometallics, 2011, 30, 6433-6440
  9. L. D. Field, A. M. Magill, T. K. Shearer, S. J. Dalgarno, M. M. Bhadbhade, Euro. J. Inorg. Chem., 2011, 3503-3510