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William T. Pennington

Dr. William T. PenningtonAlumni Distinguished Professor
Inorganic Chemistry

Phone: (864) 656-4200 or 656-2896
Office: 377 Hunter Laboratories

Research Interests | Publications

Dr. Bill Pennington, Professor and Director of the Molecular Structure Center, received his B.A. in chemistry from Hendrix College (1977) and his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas (1983) working with Professor A.W. Cordes in inorganic chemistry. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois, working with Professors Iain Paul and David Curtin in the area of solid state organic chemistry, and spent two years at Molecular Structure Corporationin College Station, Texas, before coming to Clemson in 1987. Dr. Pennington has over 260 publications in the areas of X-ray crystallography and solid state chemistry, and serves as Editor of the Journal of Chemical Crystallography. He also serves as Director of the EUREKA! program, a summer research program for incoming Calhoun Honors students. In 2000, Dr. Pennington received the Award of Excellence for Teaching in the Sciences at Clemson University and the South Carolina Governor’s Award for Excellence in Science Awareness in 2002. In 2007 he received the Class of 1940 Douglas W. Bradbury Award for Contributions to the Calhoun Honors College, in 2008, the Class of 1939 Award for Faculty Excellence, and in 2009, the Philip H. Prince Award for Innovative Teaching. In 2010, he received the Charles H. Stone Award from the Carolina-Piedmont section of the ACS, and in 2012 was named as an Alumni Distinguished Professor.

Research Interests

example oneDr. Pennington's research is focused on the crystal chemistry of materials involving halogen bonding (Lewis acid-Lewis base interactions). Like hydrogen bonding, this interaction is strong, directed and selective, making it ideal for crystal design. Donor-acceptor complexes possessing halogen bonding have been prepared in which small acceptor molecules serve as structural auxiliaries, templates and protecting groups. Applications involving these complexes include interconversion of polymorphic donors by controlled solid phase decomposition of halogen-bonded complexes; design of porous materials by halogen bonding directed topopolymerization of diacetylenes and diolefins followed by removal of acceptor molecules; and synthesis of multifunctional macrocycles using halogen-bonded templates.

Dr. Pennington is also interested in the structural characterization of single-crystal, multicrystalline and amorphous materials through X-ray diffraction and scattering techniques. This includes the investigation of polymer electrolyte membranes used in fuel cell technology and the online analysis of fiber structure in polymeric materials.



Walsh RD, Smith JM, Hanks TW, & Pennington WT (2012) Computational and Crystallographic Studies of Pseudo-Polyhalides. Crystal Growth & Design 12(6):2759-2768.

Shuler WG, Smith EA, Hess SM, McFadden TMC, Metz CR, VanDerveer DG, Pennington WT, Mabe PJ, Knick SL, & Beam CF (2012) Preparation and X-Ray Crystal Structure of 3-(4-(Dimethylamino)phenyl)-2-(phenylamino)isoquinolin-1(2H)-one, 3-(4-Methoxyphenyl)-2-(phenylamino)isoquinolin-1(2H)-one, and 2-Methyl-N '-(4-methylbenzoyl)-N '-phenylbenzohydrazide from Polylithiated 2-methylbenzoic Acid Phenylhydrazide and Methyl 4-dimethylaminobenzoate, Methyl 4-methoxybenzoate, or Methyl 4-methylbenzoate. Journal of Chemical Crystallography 42(9):952-959.

Arman HD, Rafferty ER, Bayse CA, & Pennington WT (2012) Complementary Selenium center dot center dot center dot Iodine Halogen Bonding and Phenyl Embraces: Cocrystals of Triphenylphosphine Selenide with Organoiodides. Crystal Growth & Design 12(9):4315-4323.

Babu, B.; Lee, M.; Lee, L.; Strobel, R.; Brockway, O.; Nickols, A.; Sjoholm, R.; Tzou, S.; Chavda, S.; Desta, D.; Fraley, G.; Siegfried, A.; Pennington, W.; Hartley, R. M.; Westbrook, C.; Mooberry, S. L.; Kiakos, K.; Hartley, J. A.; Lee, M., Acetyl analogs of combretastatin A-4: Synthesis and biological studies. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 2011, 19 (7), 2359-2367.

Arman, H. D.; Gieseking, R. L.; Hanks, T. W.; Pennington, W. T., Complementary halogen and hydrogen bonding: sulfur center dot center dot center dot iodine interactions and thioamide ribbons. Chemical Communications 2010, 46 (11), 1854-1856.

 Metz, C. R.; Knight, J. D.; Dawsey, A. C.; Pennington, W. T.; VanDerveer, D. G.; Brown, J. B.; Bigham, K. J.; Beam, C. F., Synthesis and Crystal Structure Determination of Methyl 2-acetyl-5 '-phenyl-2H-spiro[benzo[d]isothiazole-3,3 '-pyrazole]-1,1-dioxide-2 '(4 ' H)-carboxylate and Methyl 2-acetyl-5 '-(2-thienyl)-2H-spiro[benzo[d]isothiazole-3,3 '-pyrazole]-1,1-dioxide-2 '(4 ' H)-carboxylate. Journal of Chemical Crystallography 2010, 40 (4), 296-301.

Metz, C. R.; Knight, J. D.; Pastine, S. J.; Pennington, W. T.; Beam, C. F., Synthesis and Crystal Structure Determination of 3-Phenyl-2-(2-phenylhydrazino)-4H-1-benzothiopyran-4-one. Journal of Chemical Crystallography 2010, 40 (6), 536-540.    

Potter, C.; Smith, A. M. R.; Metz, C. R.; Pennington, W. T.; VanDerveer, D. G.; Beam, C. F., The Synthesis and Crystal Structure Determination of Phenyl 2-(3,4-dihydro-1(2H)naphthalenylidine)hydrazinecarboxylate and Phenyl (2,4-dichlorophenyl-methylene)hydrazinecarboxylate. Journal of Chemical Crystallography 2010, 40 (6), 541-545.

Smith, E. A.; Potter, C.; Kennedy, Z. C.; Puciaty, A. J.; Acevedo-Jake, A. M.; Hersey, S. D.; Metz, C. R.; Pennington, W. T.; VanDerveer, D. G.; Beam, C. F., Preparation of NH-Pyrazoleacetic Acid Anilides from Trilithiated Acetoacetanilide, Select Aromatic Esters, and Hydrazine. Journal of Heterocyclic Chemistry 2010, 47 (1), 147-152.

Chavda, S.; Davis, R.; Ferguson, A.; Riddering, C.; Dittenhafer, K.; Mackay, H.; Babu, B.; Lee, M.; Siegfried, A.; Pennington, W.; Shadfan, M.; Mooberry, S. L.; Mishra, B. K.; Pati, H. N., On the Synthesis and Anticancer Testing of alpha,beta-Unsaturated Ketones as Analogs of Combretastatin-A4. Letters in Drug Design & Discovery 2009, 6 (7), 531-537.

Dawsey, A. C.; Potter, C.; Knight, J. D.; Kennedy, Z. C.; Smith, E. A.; Acevedo-Jake, A. M.; Puciaty, A. J.; Metz, C. R.; Beam, C. F.; Pennington, W. T.; VanDerveer, D. G., Preparation of 2H-spirol[Benzo[d]isothiazole-3,3 '-pyrazole]-1,1-dioxide-2 '(4 ' H)-carboxylates from Dilithiated C(alpha),N-Carboalkoxyhydrazones and Methyl 2-(Aminosulfonyl)benzoate. Journal of Heterocyclic Chemistry 2009, 46 (2), 231-236.

Kauffman, J. S.; Ellerbrock, B. M.; Stevens, K. A.; Brown, P. J.; Pennington, W. T.; Hanks, T. W., Preparation, Characterization, and Sensing Behavior of Polydiacetylene Liposomes Embedded in Alginate Fibers. Acs Applied Materials & Interfaces 2009, 1 (6), 1287-1291.

Ellison, M. S.; Lopes, P. E.; Pennington, W. T., In-Situ X-Ray Characterization of Fiber Structure During Melt Spinning. Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics 2008, 3 (3), 10-21.

Knight, J. D.; Metz, C. R.; Beam, C. F.; Pennington, W. T.; VanDerveer, D. G., New strong base synthesis of symmetrical 1,5-diaryl-1,3,5-pentanetriones from acetone and benzoate esters. Synthetic Communications 2008, 38 (14), 2465-2482.

Pennington, W. T.; Hanks, T. W.; Arman, H. D., Halogen bonding with dihalogens and interhalogens. In Halogen Bonding: Fundamentals and Applications, 2008; Vol. 126, pp 65-104.

Knight, J.D.; Kramp, C.R.; Hilton, E.J.; Vella, J.H.; Grant, B.J.; Hajiaghamohseni, L.M.; Meierhoefer, M.A.; Dunn, S.P.; Walters, M.J.; Overby, J.S.; Metz, C.R. Pennington, W.T.; VanDerveer, D.G.; Beam, C. F., “Synthesis of NH-, 2H-4,5-Dihydrobenz[g]inazoles and related compounds from 1-tetralone carbomethoxyhydrazones and aromatic esters.” Industrial & Eng. Chem. Res. 2007, 46, 8959-8967.

Grant, B.J.; Kramp, C.R.; Knight, J.D.; Meierhoefer, M.A.; Vella, J.H.; Sober, C.L.; Jones, S.S.; Metz, C.R.; Beam, C.F.; Pennington, W.T.; VanDerveer, D.G.; Camper, N.D. “Preparation of spiro[benzoisothiazole-isoxazole] dioxides from dilithiated C(alpha),O-oximes and methyl 2-(aminosulfonyl)benzoate” J. Heterocyclic Chem.
2007, 44, 627-632.

Elliott, B; Yang, K.; Rao, A.M.; Arman, H.D.; Pennington, W.T.; Echegoyen, L. “A reassignment of the EPR spectra previously attributed to Cu@C60” Chem. Commun. 2007, 2083–2085.

Padgett, C.W.; Arman, H.D.; Pennington, W.T. “Crystal structures elucidated from X-ray powder diffraction data without prior indexing” Cryst. Growth & Des. 2007, 7, 367-372.