Assistant Professor Department of Chemistry

Liu Leo Liu (LLL) received his B.Sc. degree in chemistry (2011) at Xiamen University and Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry (2016) from a joint program under the supervision of Prof. Yufen Zhao at Xiamen University (2011-2013, 2015-2016) and Prof. Guy Bertrand at the University of California, San Diego (2013-2015). He also worked on computational chemistry with Prof. Jun Zhu. He was awarded the National Scholarship for outstanding Ph.D. students (2014). He was a post-doctoral fellow in Prof. Douglas W. Stephan's group at the University of Toronto (2016-2019). After a short post-doctoral study in the groups of Profs. F. Dean Toste and Kenneth N. Raymond in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory & the University of California, Berkeley (2019-2020), he has been an assistant professor (PI, tenure-track) at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) since September 2020. He serves as a Member of Next Generation Advisory Board of Chem (from Feb 2020).

Personal Profile


Main Group Chemistry

Publications Read More

For full publications, please see:

Representative publications prior to SUSTech:

1) L. Liu; D. A. Ruiz; D. Munz and G. Bertrand,* A Singlet Phosphinidene Stable at Room Temperature, Chem 2016, 1, 147–153. (Highlighted by Chem. Eng. News entitled “Stable phosphorus carbene analog debuts”; Previewed by Rory Waterman entitled “A ‘Bottle-able’ Phosphinidene” in Chem)

2) L. L. Liu; L. L. Cao; Y. Shao; G. Ménard and D. W. Stephan,* A Radical Mechanism for Frustrated Lewis Pair Reactivity, Chem 2017, 3, 259–267. (Highlighted by front cover; Previewed by Duncan F. Wass entitled “How Important Are Radical Mechanisms in Frustrated Lewis Pair Chemistry?” in Chem)

3) L. L. Liu; L. L. Cao; Y. Shao and D. W. Stephan,* Single Electron Delivery to Lewis Pairs: An Avenue to Anions by Small Molecule Activation, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 10062–10071.

4) L. L. Liu; J. Zhou; L. L. Cao; R. Andrews; R. L. Falconer; C. A. Russell and D. W. Stephan,* A Transient Vinylphosphinidene via a Phosphirene−Phosphinidene Rearrangement, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 147–150.

5) L. L. Liu; J. Zhou; R. Andrews and D. W. Stephan,* A Room-Temperature-Stable Phosphanorcaradiene, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 7466–7470.

6) L. L. Liu; J. Zhou; L. L. Cao; Y. Kim and D. W. Stephan,* Reversible Intramolecular Cycloaddition of Phosphaalkene to an Arene Ring, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 8083–8087.

7) L. L. Liu; J. Zhou; L. L. Cao and D. W. Stephan,* Phosphaaluminirenes: Synthons for Main Group Heterocycles, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 16971–16982. (Highlighted by ChemistryViews entitled “Phosphaaluminirenes Synthesized”)

8) L. L. Liu; L. L. Cao; J. Zhou and D. W. Stephan,* Facile Cleavage of the P=P Double Bond in Vinyl-Substituted Diphosphenes, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 273–277.

9) J. Tang;+ L. L. Liu;+ S. Yang;+ X. Cong; M. Luo and X. Zeng,* Chemoselective Cross-Coupling between Two Different and Unactivated C(aryl)–O Bonds Enabled by Chromium Catalysis, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 7715–7720. (+ = equal contribution)

10) L. Liu; D. A. Ruiz; F. Dahcheh; G. Bertrand;* R. Suter; A. M. Tondreau and H. Grützmacher,* Isolation of Au-, Co-η1 PCO and Cu-η2 PCO Complexes, Conversion of an Ir-η1 PCO Complex into a Dimetalladiphosphene, and an Interaction-free PCO Anion, Chem. Sci. 2016, 7, 2335–2341.

11) L. L. Liu,* The Dynamic Nature of Phosphorus, Chem 2017, 3, 195–197. (Invited “Potential Energy” article)

12) L. L. Liu and D. W. Stephan,* Radicals Derived from Lewis Acid/Base Pairs, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2019, 48, 3454–3463.

13) L. Liu; J. Zhu* and Y. Zhao,* The Phosphaethynolate Anion Reacts with Unsaturated Bonds: DFT Investigations on [2+2], [3+2] and [4+2] Cycloadditions, Chem. Comm. 2014, 50, 11347–11349.

14) L. Liu; D. A. Ruiz; F. Dahcheh and G. Bertrand,* Isolation of a Lewis Base Stabilized Parent Phosphenium (PH2+) and Related Species, Chem. Comm. 2015, 51, 12732–12735.

15) L. L. Liu and D. W. Stephan,* An Imine-Gallium Lewis Pair Stabilized Oxophosphinidene via an Unexpected Phosphirene Rearrangement, Chem. Comm. 2018, 54, 1041–1044. (Highlighted by front cover)

16) L. L. Liu; L. L. Cao; D. Zhu; J. Zhou and D. W. Stephan,* Homolytic Cleavage of Peroxide Bonds via a Single Electron Transfer of Frustrated Lewis Pair, Chem. Comm. 2018, 54, 7431–7434. (Highlighted by front cover)

17) Y. Wu;* C. Shan; Y. Sun; P. Chen; J. Ying; J. Zhu; L. L. Liu* and Y. Zhao,* Main Group Metal Ligand Cooperation of N-Heterocyclic Germylene: An Efficient Catalyst for the Hydroboration of Carbonyl Compounds, Chem. Comm. 2016, 52, 13799–13802.

18) J. Zhou; L. L. Liu; L. L. Cao and D. W. Stephan,* The η5-Pentamethylcyclopentadienyl Phosphorus Dication [(η5-Cp*)P]2+: A Phosphorus Lewis Super Acid, Chem 2018, 4, 2699–2708. (Highlighted by Chemistryworld entitled “Rare phosphorus dication synthesised”)

19) Z. Li;* X. Chen; L. L. Liu; M. T. Scharnhölz and H. Grützmacher,* N-Heterocyclic Carbene Stabilized Dicarbondiphosphide: A Strong Neutral Four-membered Heterocyclic 6π-electron Donor, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 4288–4293.

20) J. Zhou; L. L. Liu; L. L. Cao and D. W. Stephan,* Base-Stabilized [PO]+/[PO2]+ Cations, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 18276–18280.

21) J. Zhou; L. L. Liu; L. L. Cao and D. W. Stephan,* The Arene-Stabilized η5-Pentamethylcyclopentadienyl Arsenic Dication [(η5-Cp*)As(toluene)]2+, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 5407–5412.

22) J. Zhou; L. L. Liu; L. L. Cao and D. W. Stephan,* Nitrogen-Based Lewis Acids: Synthesis and Reactivity of a Cyclic (Alkyl)(Amino)Nitrenium Cation, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 3322–3326.

23) C. Pranckevicius; L. Liu; G. Bertrand and D. W. Stephan,* Synthesis of a Carbodicyclopropenylidene: A Carbodicarbene Based Solely on Carbon, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 5536–5540.

24) Z. Li; X. Chen; Z. Benkő; L. Liu; D. Ruiz; J. Peltier; G. Bertrand;* C. Su* and H. Grützmacher,* N-Heterocyclic Carbenes as Promotors for the Rearrangement of Phosphaketenes to Phosphaheteroallenes: A Case Study for OCP to OPC Constitutional Isomerism, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 6018–6022.

25) B. Rao; H. Tang; X. Zeng*; L. Liu; M. Melaimi and G. Bertrand,* Cyclic (Amino)(aryl)carbenes (CAArCs) as Strong σ-Donating and π-Accepting Ligands for Transition Metals, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 14915–14919.

26) C. Weinstein; C. Martin; L. Liu and G. Bertrand,* Cross-Coupling Reactions between Stable Carbenes, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 6550–6553.

News More

Lab members Read More

Join us



Read More

Contact Us

Contact Address

508, 5 Chuangyuan

Office Phone


Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved.