Department of Chemistry

Bruce M. Foxman

Bruce Foxman

Professor of Chemistry Emeritus

Group Lab Site

Curriculum Vitae


Iowa State University, Chemistry, BS
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD


When two or more small molecules combine in a crystal, unusual opportunities may arise. The rewards that result from such opportunities include chemo-, stereo- and enantiospecific  syntheses, the synthesis of polymer single crystals, and the facile preparation of otherwise-unattainable molecules. Beyond the rewards lies a challenge: the discovery and design of new classes of materials capable of solid-state reactivity, and the elucidation of the principles which govern their behavior. Pursuit of this goal requires knowledge of molecular solid-state chemistry, principles of crystal packing, and chemical reactivity.  Salts and complexes of metals with pendant unsaturated carboxylates provide a set of reactive centers which may be proximate in the solid state. In favorable cases, a set of "favorable" intermolecular contacts will satisfy the criteria for the onset of solid state reactivity, viz., that unsaturated groups be oriented in a parallel fashion, at distances ca. 4.2 Å from one another.  Recent studies also include: (a) discovery of new polymorphs of important pharmaceuticals, (b) new methodologies for producing “movies” of the molecular motion which occurs in a phase transition or solid-state reaction, and (c) novel approaches to the understanding of twinning phenomena in crystals.  All the topics briefly outlined here are illustrated in the selected publications.

Foxman faculty image

Selected Publications

  1. Use of Topotactic Phase Transformations to Obtain Solutions of the Crystal Structures of Highly Disordered Materials,” Lorson, L. C.; Tai, O.; Foxman, B. M.  Cryst. Growth Des. 2017, accepted for publication.
  2. "An unprecedented case of dodecamorphism: the twelfth polymorph of aripiprazole formed by seeding with its active metabolite," Zeidan, T. A. ; Trotta, J. T.; Tilak, P. A.; Oliveira, M. A.; Chiarella, R. A.; Foxman, B. M.; Almarsson, Ö.; Hickey, M. B. CrystEngComm 2016, 18, 1486-1488 ;
  3. "Experimental Establishment of Mother-Daughter Orientation Relationships and Twinning Effects in Phase Transitions : A Great Legacy from Jack Gougoutas and Peggy Etter," Posner, S. R.; Lorson, L. C.; Gell, A. R.; Foxman, B. M. Cryst. Growth Des. 2015, 15, 3407–3416;
  4. "Fitting the Pieces of the Puzzle: The Delta Bond," Falvello, L. R.; Foxman, B. M.; Murillo, C. A. Inorg. Chem. 2014, 53, 9441−9456;
  5. "Stereospecific solid-state cyclodimerization of bis(trans-2-butenoato)calcium and triaquabis(trans-2-butenoato)magnesium," Hickey, M. B.; Schlam, R. F.; Guo, C.; Cho, T. H.; Snider, B. B.; Foxman, B. M. CrystEngComm  2011, 13, 3146-3155;
  6. "Chemo- and stereospecific solid-state dimerization of lithium trans-2-butenoate and lithium trans-2-butenoate formamide solvate," Shang, W.; Hickey, M. B.; Enkelmann, V.; Snider, B. B.; Foxman, B. M. CrystEngComm  2011, 13, 4339-4350;
  7. "Celecoxib sodium salt: engineering crystal forms for performance," Remenar, J. F.; Tawa, M. D.; Peterson, M. L.; Almarsson, Ö. Hickey, M. B.; Foxman, B. M. CrystEngComm  2011, 13, 1081-1089;