Neil Burford


Professor and Chair of the Department

PhD 1983 (Calgary)

Office: Elliott 303
Phone: +1 250-721-7150
Fax: +1 250-721-7147


The diverse chemistry established for phosphorus is often compared with that of carbon due to their diagonal relationship in the periodic table, but the extent of phosphorus chemistry is relatively limited. Moreover, the chemistry of the other Group 15 elements, arsenic, antimony and bismuth (collectively known as the pnictogens) has been superficially investigated. The emerging importance of the pnictogen elements in the development of new thermoelectric materials, new electronic materials, new pharmaceuticals and novel polymeric materials requires a more extensive understanding of their fundamental chemistry. We are investigating efficient and effective preparative or synthetic routes to new, fundamentally important molecules containing P, As, Sb or Bi, in which the pnictogen center exhibits an unusual local structure, is engaged in a new connectivity, provides materials with new, spectroscopic, physical or reactivity properties or has relevance in established bioactivity.


Dr. Burford enjoys teaching first year chemistry. In addition, he has experience teaching introductory inorganic and organic chemistry, and at the advanced levels his expertise is in the chemistry of the main group elements.