Dr. Thottumkara (TK) Vinod

Dr. Thottumkara (TK) Vinod, Ph.D.

Professor/Interim Chair

1 University Circle
438A Currens Hall
Macomb, IL 61455

Work: (309) 298-1379
Fax: (309) 298-2180



BS University of Calicut
MS University of Calicut
Ph.D. University of Victoria, Canada
Post-Doctoral Fellow: Michigan State University & University of Oregon

Office Hours

Monday, Wednesday & Friday: 10:00 am-11:00 am, or by a prearranged (e. mail) appointment.

Teaching Areas

  • CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 435 Macromolecular Chemistry Topics

Research Interests

The overarching goal of the current research in our laboratory is the development and optimization of various chemo selective oxidation procedures using water- soluble hypervalent iodine reagents. Underlying green chemistry themes such as the use of benign oxidants, the use of aqueous solvent mixtures as reaction media and the feasibility of carrying out the synthetically useful oxidative transformations under catalytic conditions in presence of environmentally friendly co-oxidants are highlights and worthwhile aspects of the ongoing projects. We also focus on the mechanistic aspects of these chemo selective oxidative transformations. A careful evaluation of the mechanism of oxidation of alcohols carried out using water-soluble hypervalent iodine reagents in different solvents have allowed us to map out a series of feasible and predictable chemo selective oxidations from knowledge of the C-H bond dissociation energies of the bond involved in the oxidation step. Methodologies for chemo selective oxidation of a select methyl group on heterocyclic rings, selective introduction of -unsaturation in ketones over aldehydes, introduction of -unsaturation with predictable regio chemistry in unsymmetrical ketones, potential and possible selective oxidation of aliphatic aldehydes over aromatic aldehydes are a few of the different selective oxidation methods currently under investigation.

The specific goals, nature of the experiments, the theoretical basis for the observed selectivity, and synthetic targets for the different projects are both intellectually and practically suitable for the proper training of undergraduate and MS students at Western Illinois University. We have published pedagogically relevant aspects of the ongoing research program in our laboratory as classroom activities and as useful experiments in the Journal of Chemical Education. In addition to providing undergraduate with chemical research experience our lab also takes pride in training local high school students in the art of research and some of these students have placed well at national science fair competitions including Siemens Competition, Intel Science Talent Search and Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).