Our Faculty

Nathanael Lau

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Contact Information


Office Hours

Office: Wilkens Science Center, Room 309E


Ph.D., Chemistry: University of California, Irvine - Irvine, CA
Thesis: Monometallic and Bimetallic Complexes with Sulfonamido-Based Tripodal Ligands

M.A., Education: Alliant International University - San Francisco, CA
Thesis: Effective Reflection Strategies in a 10th Grade Chemistry Classroom

B.S., Chemistry and History: California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA


I really enjoy teaching, and I think everyone should teach. Prior to my career in higher education, I taught high school science in Oakland, CA and Watts, CA. Those were some of the most challenging, but most rewarding, years in my life.

My research is focused on understanding how metal complexes can interact with reactive sulfur species. Reactive sulfur species are important, but complicated, compounds that are crucial in biology. Using metal complexes to stabilize them may provide insights towards how they function in biology.

What I Love About Emmanuel

I love the community of Emmanuel College. All of my students have been excited about learning, a passion that can often be quenched while navigating the education system. All of my colleagues have been supportive, helpful, and passionate about innovation and teaching. Emmanuel has a special environment of collaboration and hard work, and I am very excited to contribute to it!

Courses I Teach

CHEM 1101 and 1102: General Chemistry
CHEM L1101 and L1102: General Chemistry
CHEM 2115: Inorganic Chemistry


  • Lau, N.; Fargher, H. F.; Richardson, H. C.; Cheong, P. H.-Y.; Haley, M. M.; Johnson, D. W.; Pluth, M. D. Tuning Supramolecular Selectivity for Hydrosulfide: Linear Free Energy Relationships Reveal Preferential C-H Hydrogen Bond Interactions. Manuscript in Preparation
  • Biswas, S.; Lau, N.; Borovik, A. S.; Hendrich, M. P.; Bominaar, E. L. Analysis of the Puzzling Exchange-Coupling Constant in a Series of Heterobimetallic Complexes. Inorg. Chem. 2019, 58, 9150-9160
  • Lau, N.; Fargher, H. F.; Zakharov, L. N.; Haley, M. M.; Johnson, D. W.; Pluth, M. D. Expanding Reversible Chalcogenide Binding: Supramolecular Receptors for the Hydroselenide (HSe-) Anion. Chem. Sci. 2019, 10, 67-72
  • Lau, N.; Pluth, M. D. Reactive Sulfur Species (RSS): Persulfides, Polysulfides, Potential, and Problems. Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. 2019, 49, 1-8
  • Lau, N.; Zakharov, L. N.; Pluth, M. D. Modular Tripodal Receptors for the Hydrosulfide (HS-) Anion. Chem. Commun. 2018, 54, 2337-2340. - Cover article
  • Lau, N.; Sano, Y.; Weitz, A. C.; Ziller, J. W.; Hendrich, M. P.; Borovik, A. S. Modular Bimetallic Complexes with a Sulfonamido-Based Ligand. Dalton Trans. 2018, 47, 12362-12372
  • Sano, Y.; Lau, N.; Weitz, A. C.; Ziller, J. W.; Hendrich, M. P.; Borovik, A. S. Models for Unsymmetrical Active Sites in Metalloproteins: Structural, Redox, and Magnetic Properties of Bimetallic Complexes with MII-(μ-OH)-FeIII Cores. Inorg. Chem. 2017, 56, 14118-14128.
  • Lau, N.; Sano, Y.; Ziller, J. W.; Borovik, A. S. Terminal NiII-OH/-OH2 complexes in trigonal bipyramidal geometry prepared from H2O. Polyhedron 2017, 125, 179-185.
  • Lau, N.; Ziller, J. W.; Borovik, A. S. Sulfonamido tripods: tuning redox potentials via ligand modifications. Polyhedron 2015, 84, 777-782.

Bioinorganic chemistry

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