Michael Zdilla

Temple University
Department of Chemistry
Beury 440
1901 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Phone: (215) 204-7886


Michael J. Zdilla received his Ph.D in Inorganic Chemistry from Princeton University in 2005. He was a postdoc at Purdue University from 2005 to 2009. In 2009 he  joined  the faculty at Temple as Assistant  Professor of Chemistry. He became the Robert L. Smith Early Career Professor in Chemistry in 2013. 

Zdilla’s expertises are in synthetic inorganic chemistry and characterization, with a focus on air sensitive preparation and handling of materials that do not survive on a regular lab benchtop. This approach allows access to useful precursors to novel materials that would not be otherwise available. Zdilla is also a trained kineticist and mechanistic chemist. This permits the elucidation of molecular mechanisms of chemical reactions, and provides key information for further development of catalysts. Dr. Zdilla is also an expert crystallographer, and has experience in spectroscopic techniques, including EPR and NMR spectroscopy, and in molecular magnetometry. 

Research Interests
Dr. Zdilla’s research interests are at the interface of inorganic chemistry and energy science: Water splitting catalysis, biomimetic water-oxidizing metal cluster synthesis, energetic materials, lithium ion battery technology. 

Honors & Awards

  •  Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar 2014
  • Robert L. Smith Early Career Chair in Chemistry 2013
  • Office of Naval Research Young Investigator 2013
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award 2013

5 most relevant publications

  • Hamilton, C. R.; Gau, M. R.; Baglia, R. A.; McWilliams, S. F.; Zdilla, M. J. Mechanistic elucidation of the stepwise formation of a tetranuclear manganese pinned butterfly cluster via N-N bond cleavage, hydrogen atom transfer, and cluster rearrangement.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 17974–17986
  • Gau, M. R.; Hamilton, C. R.; Zdilla, M. J. “Preparation of a ‘twisted basket’ Mn4N8 cluster: a two-hydrogen atom reduced analogue of the Mn4N8 pinned butterfly.” Chem. Commun., 2014, 50, 7780
  • Vaddypally, S.; Kondaveeti, S. K.; Roudebush, J. H.; Cava, R. J.; Zdilla, M. J. “Formation of the tetranuclear, tetrakis-terminal-imido MnIV4(NtBu)8 cubane cluster by four-electron reductive elimination of tBuN=NtBu. The role of the s-block ion in stabilization of high-oxidation state intermediates.” Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 1061
  • Imler G. H.; Zdilla, M. J.; Wayland, B. B. “Equilibrium Thermodynamics to Form a Rhodium Formyl Complex from Reactions of CO and H2: Metal  Donor Activation of CO. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014. 136, 5856
  • Shivaiah Vaddypally, Chongsong Xu, Senzhi Zhao, Yanfeng Fan, Christian E. Schafmeister, and Michael J. Zdilla. “Architectural Spiroligomers Designed for Binuclear Metal Complex Templating.” Inorg. Chem. 2013, 52, 6457