Dr. Lijuan Li

Dr. Lijuan Li

Professor & Chemistry Graduate Advisor (1998) 
Inorganic, Bioinorganic, & Nanomaterials 

Teaching: Graduate & undergraduate inorganic chem
E-mail: lijuan.li@csulb.edu
Phone: 562.985.5068 
Office: MLSC-321 

Research Interests:


Dr. Li received a B.Sc. (Honours) degree from the Department of Chemistry, Jilin University, China in 1983 and studied an M.Sc./Ph.D. in the Institutes of Theoretical Chemistry in the area of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. In 1987, she went to Canada as a Visiting Scientist working in Don Eaton's research group at McMaster University, and transferred to the Ph.D. program in 1988 under the joint supervision of Michael McGlinchey and Donald Eaton. She obtained a Ph.D. (with distinction) in Organometallic Chemistry from McMaster University in 1992.

Dr. Li moved to Ottawa in 1993 to take up a Research Associateship in the Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences at the National Research Council of Canada, where she worked in the Molecular Structure and Dynamics, and Electrochemistry groups under the direction of Keith Preston and Dan Wayner. In 1995, she was hired as Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at McMaster University. In 1998, Dr. Li moved to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) as Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001 and full Professor in 2005.

Dr. Li's honors and awards include: Distinguished Faculty Scholarly & Creative Achievement Awards (2010), CSULB Alumni Association Class of 2009 Favourite Professor Award (2009), College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Research Excellence Award (2008), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Women's International Science Collaboration Award (2001), Guest Professor of Jilin University (1998-present), International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Travel Award (1998), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Women's Faculty Award (1995-2000), National Research Council (NRC) Research Associateship (1993-95), Ontario Graduate Scholarship (1990-92), McMaster University Centennial Scholar (1988-92), Yates Fund Scholar (1992), J. R. Longstaffe Scholarship (1989-1990), Excellent Graduate Student Award (1983-86), and Excellent Undergraduate Student Award (1980-83).

As a principal investigator (PI), Dr. Li has received over three million dollars in research funding from the following sources: National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Research Corporation, American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (ACS-PRF), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Beckman Foundation, Avery Research Centre, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Materials and Manufacturing Ontario (MMO), Human Resources Development of Canada, California State University, and McMaster University.

Dr. Li is a Member of the American Chemical Society, the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and elected Member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. She is currently a mentor for the Partners for Success Program, Beckman Scholars Program, NIH-BRIDES Program and NIH-RISE Program.

Brief Description of Current Research Projects:

Recent discoveries of the roles of nitric oxide in humans have generated tremendous interest in biologically active transition metal nitrosyl complexes. Among them, the non-heme iron nitrosyl complexes have been identified as products of biosynthetic evolution of nitric oxide, suggested as nitric oxide storage, and found to be responsible for several important biological functions.

Our research program focuses on the chemistry of nitric oxide and on its transition metal complexes of biological interests and/or of potential for developing useful materials. A typical project would involve in synthesis of non-heme iron nitrosyl compounds that mimic biologically active non-heme iron nitrosyls by using specially selected ligands that model amino acids of protein and DNA. Some typical reactions are shown bellow:

Figure showing chemical reaction      A compund in ball and stick model formation          A compound in ball and stick model formation

The reaction mechanisms and structures of these complexes will be studied by a combination of spectroscopic methods, such as FT-IR, EPR, NMR, UV-vis, X-ray crystallography, electrochemical techniques, and DFT calculations.

Diagram showing comparison chart      Figure showing chemical reaction

These results will provide information on the structures of biologically active non-heme iron nitrosyls, thus helping identify the NO releasing metal complexes, which could be used in cardiovascular muscle relaxation, cancer therapy, etc


  1. R. Wang, W. Xu, J. Zhang and L Li, "A New Hexanuclear Iron-Selenium Nitrosyl Cluster: Primary Exploration of the Preparation Methods, Structure, Spectroscopic and Electrochemical Properties", Inorg. Chem., 49, 4814-4819 (2010).
  2. R. Wang, J. Zhang and L. Li, "A 2D Metal-Organic Framework with a Flexible Cyclohexane-1,2,5,6-tetracarboxylic Acid Ligand: Synthesis, Characterization and Photoluminescent Property" J. Mol. Struc., 970, 14-18 (2010).
  3. R. Wang, X. Wang, E. B. Sundberg, P. Nguyen, G. P. G. Grant, C. Sheth, Q. Zhao, S. Herron, K. A. Kantardjieff and L. Li, "Synthesis, Structures, Spectroscopic and Electrochemical Properties of Dinitrosyl Iron Complexes with Bipyridine, Terpyridine, and 1,10-Phenathroline", Inorg. Chem., 48 (20), 9779-9785 (2009).
  4. R. Wang, J. Zhang and L. Li, "Conformation Preference of a Flexible Cyclohexanetetracarboxylate Ligand in Three New Metal-Organic Frameworks: Structures, Magnetic and Luminescent Properties", Inorg. Chem., 48 (15), 7194-7200 (2009).
  5. X. Song, Z. Wang, Y. Liu, C. Wang and L. Li, "A high sensitive gas sensor for ethanol based on Mesoporous ZnO-SnO2 nanofibres", Nanotechnology, 20, 075501, http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0957-4484/20/7/075501 (2009).
  6. R. Wang, M. A. Camacho-Fernandez, W. Xu, J. Zhang and L. Li, "Neutral and Reduced Roussin's Red salt Ester [Fe2 2(NO)4] (R = n-Pr, t-Bu, 6-methyl-2-pyridyl and 4,6-dimethyl-2-pyrimidyl): Synthesis, X-ray Crystal Structures, Spectroscopic, Electrochemical and Density Functional Theoretical Investigations", Dalton Trans., 777-786 (2009).
  7. R. Wang, W. Xu, J. Zhang, and L. Li, "Synthesis, characterization and crystal structure of a dinuclear iron nitrosyl complex with 2-mercapto-1-[2-(4-pyridyl)-ethyl]-benzimidazolyl", J. Mol. Struc., 923, 110-113 (2009).
  8. X. Li, C. Wang, L. Li, Y. Y. Zhao, H. Y. Wang and Y. Young, "Preparation and Dielectric Property Investigation of Ferrocene/Poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) Composite Membranes", J. Nanosci and Nanotech., 9, 704-708 (2008).
  9. Y. Y. Zhao, X. Li, C. Wang and L. Li,, "The Effects of Organic Solvent on the Electrospinning of Water-Soluble Polyacrylamide with Ultrahigh Molecular Weight", Journal Solid State Phenomena, 121, 113-116 (2007).
  10. X. Li, C. Wang, Y. Li, H. B. Liu and L. Li, "The Effects of CdS Nanorods on the Morphology of ELectrospun Poly(vinyl pyrrolidonr) Products", Journal Solid State Phenomena, 121, 109-112 (2007).
  11. N. Guo, Y. Zhao, Y. Zhang, L. Dong, L. Li, and C. Wang, "Roles of TiO2 Nano-Particles in the Formation of Monolithic Silica-Gels via Bulk Sol-Gel Process", R. J. Inorg. Chem., 50(2), 158-164 (2005).
  12. R. C. Struthers, D. B. Chang, R. Toossi, S. Ahdout, L. Li, and R. G. Palomba, "Storage device for sorption and desorption of molecular gas contained by storage sites of nano-filament laded reticulated aerogel., United States Patent #6906003. (2005)
  13. X. Wang, E. B. Sundberg, L. Li, K. Kantardjieff, S. Herron, M. Lim and P. C. Ford "A Cyclic Tetra-Nuclear Dinitrosyl Iron Complex [Fe(NO)2(Imidazolate)]4: Synthesis and Structure" J. Chem. Soc. Chem. Comm. ,477-479, (2005).
  14. S. Wang, X. Wang, L. Li and R. C. Advincula, "Design, Synthesis and Photochemical Behavior of Poly(benzyl ester) Dendrimers with Azobenzene Groups Throughout Their Architecture", J. Org. Chem., 69, 9073-9084 (2004).
  15. L. Li, E. B. Sudberg and X. Wang "Synthesis, Structures and Spectroscopic Studies of non-heme Iron Nitrosyl Complexes", J. Inorg. Biochem. 96, 179 (2003).
  16. X. Wang, S. Wang, L. Li, A. E. B. Sundberg and G. P. Gacho "Synthesis, Structure and Catalytic Activity of Mononuclear Iron and -oxo Diiron Complexes with Ligand 2,6-bis(N-methylbenzimidazol-2-yl)pyridine". Inorg. Chem., 42, 7799-7808 (2003).
  17. W. Liu, C. Wang, T. Shi, W. Zhang and L. Li "Synthesis and Properties of Liquid Crystal Zinc Porphyrin", Polymer Preprints, 44(2), 877 (2003).
  18. L. Li, N. Reginato, M. Urschey, M. Stradiotto and J. Liarakos "The synthesis and Crystallographic Characterization of Linear and Cyclic Dinitrosyl Complexes Containing Bis(phosphine) Bridgeing Ligands", Can. J. Chem., 81, 468-475 (2003).
  19. L. Li "Some Coordination Chemistry of Non-heme Iron Nitrosyl Complexes", Comm. Inorg. Chem., 23, 335-353 (2002).
  20. G. Zheng, J. D. Liarakos and L. Li "Metalloporphyrin Catalyzed Electrocarboxylation of Alkyl Halides: Elucidate Mechanisms by Electrochemical and in situ IR-spectroelectrochemical Methods”, (Invited review) Recent Res. Devel. Electroanal. Chem., Transworld Research Network, 2, 89-115 (2000).
  21. N. Reginato, C. T. C. McCrory, D. Pervitsky and L. Li "Synthesis, X-ray Crystal Structure, and Solution Behavior of Fe(NO)2(1-MeIm)2: Implications for Nitrosyl Non-heme-iron Complexes with g = 2.03", J. Am. Chem. Soc., 121, 10217 (1999).
  22. Y. H. Huang, Q. Yu, S. Zhu, G. L. Rempel and L. Li "ESR Studies on Oxidation State of Titanocene and Zirconocene Catalysts",J. Polymer Sci.: Part A: Polymer Chem., 37, 1465-1472 (1999).
  23. Y. Zhang, S. R. Breeze, S. Wang, J. E. Greedan, N. P. Raju and L. Li "Polynuclear Co(II) and Cu(II) Complexes of Tetraacetylethane: Cu(II)2(dpa)2(tae)(O2CCF3)2, {[Cu(II)2(dpa)2(tae)(4,4'-bipy)](O2CCF3)2}n, and [Co(II)2(dpa)4(tae)](O2CCH3)2(H2O)2, dpa = 2,2'-dipyridylamine, tae = tetraacetylethane dianion" Can. J. Chem., 77, 1424(1999).
  24. C. Wang, Y. Zhang, J. Gao, W. Zhang, Y. F. Lu, Y. B. Bai, T. J. Li, L. Li and Y. Wei "Preliminary Study on Oligoaniline/Silica Composite Nana-particles as a High Density Information Storage Materials", Chem. J. Chin Univ., 20, 1491 (1999).
  25. A. Hörsken, G. Zheng, and L. Li "Novel Nonlinear Optical Materials Containing Organometallic Transition-metal Nitrosyls: Syntheses, Structures and Dynamics", Proceedings in the 2rd Asian Symposium on Organized Molecular Films for Electronic and Photonics, 20-21 (1998).
  26. G. Zheng, M. Stradiotto and L. Li "The in situ IR-spectroelectrochemistry Study of the Reaction Intermediates of Electrocarboxylation Catalyzed by Metalloporphyrin" J. Electroanal. Chem., 453, 79-88 (1998).
  27. A. Hörsken, G. Zheng, M. Stradiotto, C. T. C. McCrory, and L. Li "Iron Dinitrosyl Complexes Containing TCNE: A Synthetic, X-ray Crystallographic, High Field NMR, and Electrochemical Study" J. Organomet. Chem.,558, 1-9 (1998).
  28. A. Hörsken, C. T. C. McCrory, and L. Li, "Syntheses, Structures and Dynamics of Transition Metal Nitrosyl Complexes",Proceedings in the Symposium on Frontiers of Chemistry, 269-270 (1997).
  29. K. L. Malisza, L. Li and M. J. McGlinchey, "Delocalized Bonding in Tetrahedral organo-Transition Metal Clusters: An EHMO study of Metal Vertex Rotation in Co2Fe(CO)9S, CpMoCo2(CO)8CR, and in Cp2Mo2(CO)4(RC=CR)", Can. J. Chem., 74, 1021-1031, (1996).
  30. L. Li, J. R. Morton and K. F. Preston, "EPR Study of Iron-Nitrosyl Clusters in the Oxidation of Fe(NO)2(CO)2", Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, 31, S14-S19, (1995).
  31. L. Li, G. D. Enright and K. F. Preston "Synthesis and X-ray Crystal Structure of a Novel Iron Nitrosyl Complex: Fe(NO)2(PPh3)[η2-(NC)2C=C(CN)2]", Organometallics, 13, 4686-4688 (1994).
  32. L. Li, A. Decken, B.G. Sayer, M.J. McGlinchey and C. Lapinte "Multiple Fluxional Processes in Chiral Pentaphenylcyclopentadienyl Iron Complexes" Organometallics, 13, 682-689 (1994).
  33. M. Gruselle, H. E. Hafa, M. Nikolski, G. Jaouen, J. Vaissermann, L. Li and M.J. McGlinchey "Metal Cluster Stabilized 2-Bornyl Cations: A Synthetic, X-ray Crystallographic, and EHMO Study" Organometallics, 12, 4917-4925 (1993).
  34. L. Li, M.F. D'Agostino and M.J. McGlinchey "Variable Temperature 1- and 2-dimensional 13C NMR Studies on CH3CCo3(CO)8P(cyclo-C6H11)3: the Mechanism of Carbonyl Migration" Organometallics, 11, 477-481 (1992).
  35. K. A. Sutin, L. Li, C. S. Frampton, B. G. Sayer and M. J. McGlinchey "High-Field NMR Study of Vertex Rotation in (C5HnMe5-n)MCo2(CO)8CR Clusters (M = Mo, W): X-ray Crystal Structure of (C5Me5)MoCo2(CO)8CCO2-i-Pr" Organometallics, 10, 2362-2370(1991).
  36. L. Li, D. R. Eaton and M. J. McGlinchey "An ESR Study of the Reaction of t-BuNO with (C6H7)Fe(CO)3+ and Steroidal Cation: A Novel Oscillating System" Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 396, 65-72 (1990).
  37. L. Li, R. E. Perrier, D. R. Eaton and M. J. McGlinchey "The Reaction of Nitrosoarenes with Cationic Cyclohexadienyl Complexes of Iron Tricarbonyl: An ESR Study" Canadian Journal of Chemistry, 67, 1868-1877 (1989).
  38. L. Li, S. Yue and Z. Qiu "ESR and NMR Studies of Three Reduced M6O19n- Heteropolyanions", Chinese Journal of Microwave & Radio-Frequency Spectroscopy, 3(2), 171-181 (1988).

List of Group Members:

Current Members:

Former Members of the Group:

Post-doctoral Fellows: Graduate Students: Undergraduate Students:

Teaching Interests: