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Helene Joly

Helene Joly

Associate Dean

Emeritus Professor
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Architecture
Science, Engineering and Architecture
S-421, Science Building Sudbury Campus


  • H.B.Sc. Chemistry (Laurentian)
  • M.Sc. Chemistry (Laurentian)
  • Ph.D. Chemistry (Queen's)


We prepare reactive organometallic intermediates using metal vapour synthesis with the view of developing novel synthetic methods. A metal atom reactor known as a ‘rotating cryostat’ is used to synthesise the organometallic species at 10-6 Torr and 77 K.  Metal vapour is condensed on the cold surface of a rotating drum situated in the reactor and bombarded with an organic reactant. The products are transferred under vacuum at 77 K into a tube for further analysis. The advantage of this technique over the conventional methods of producing metal atoms is the ability to characterize the intermediates formed in the reaction by EPR, in situ IR and UV spectroscopy. My research group is engaged in a number of different projects.  These include the preparation and characterization of; i) intermediates resulting from Al atom reactions of thiols as well as organosulfides and ii) transition metal metallaoxetanes.  We are investigating the nature of the intermediates involved in the metal- assisted coupling of alkenes and  ketones.