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Fellows Directory

Robert Haszeldine

Credit: Godfrey Argent Studio

Dr Robert Haszeldine FRS


Elected: 1968


Robert Haszeldine made significant contributions to organic and inorganic chemistry, particularly the chemistry of free radicals, organometallic chemistry, the chemistry of carbenes and polymer chemistry. His name is particularly associated with the field of fluorine chemistry. He did outstanding synthetic work on inorganic and organic fluorocarbon derivatives, including fluoroalkyl Grignard and lithium reagents, fluoroalkyl derivatives of mercury, phosphorus, arsenic and sulfur, perfluoroalkyl silicones, fluoro-olefins, and hexafluorobenzene, pentafluoropyridine and their derivatives. He also made major contributions to the study of free radical addition reactions and has developed new routes to the carbenes. Special reference may be made to his discovery of a new class of polymers obtained by copolymerisation of a nitro-compound with an olefin or fluoro-olefin to give the –N–O–C–C– repeating unit in the polymer chain. His research revealed a mastery of modern ideas on the mechanism of organic and inorganic reactions coupled with outstanding experimental skill and originality. His contributions were recognised by the Award of the Meldola Medal and the Corday–Morgan Medal.