Joseph S. Thrasher
Emeritus/Retired / Professor Emeritus
Education: Undergraduate Degree
BS, 1978, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Education: Doctoral Degree
PhD, 1981, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Education: Other
DFG Research Fellowship, 1982, Freie Universität Berlin; Visiting Assistant Professor, 1983, Clemson University
Research Interests
Dr. Thrasher’s research interests are in the areas of preparation, characterization, and utility of novel sulfur-fluorine compounds; industrial fluorine chemistry including fluoropolymer chemistry and electrochemistry; fluorine-containing molten salts/ionic liquids; fluorous media for improved separations and catalysis; fuel cell technology; development of new analytical methodologies in fluorine chemistry; and computational chemistry. Current projects are aimed at:

  1. Synthetic and theoretical studies of hypervalent sulfur-fluorine compounds, including tris(pentafluorosulfanyl)amine and its derivative chemistry.

  2. New pentafluorosulfanyl benzenes: precursors for novel monomers, explosives, and biologically-active compounds.

  3. A study of the utility of the pentafluorosulfanyl group in medicinal chemistry including SF5-containing amino acids as enzyme inhibitors, etc.

  4. Preparation and characterization of the sulfur tetrafluoride derivatives SF3CF2H and SF3CH2F: potential precursors to SF2=CF2 and SF2=CHF, respectively.

  5. The use of the SF5 group in materials applications.

  6. Thiapyrylium fluoride: a computational and preparative study.

  7. Pentafluorosulfanyl anion, radical, and cation and the related chlorotetrafluorosulfanyl species: approaches to the synthesis of SF4Cl2.

  8. Novel catalysts and halogen exchange media for CFC alternatives and related chemistry.

  9. Surface spectroscopic investigations of perfluoroalkylpolyethers in terms of solving research problems in materials for information technology.

  10. The analysis of fluoro and oxo-fluoro anions by ion chromatography.

  11. Applications of microscopy (optical to scanning tunneling) and other modern ex-situ and in-situ techniques to the study of Simons electrochemical fluorination.

  12. Photoabsorption and variable-energy photoelectron spectroscopy of highly oxidized phosphorus and sulfur compounds: exploration of bonding in hypervalent species.

Representative Publications


"Improved thermal stability of perfluoropolyalkylethers (PFPAEs)." Howell, J. L.; Friesen, C. M.; Shtarov, A. B.; Thrasher, J. S.; Waterfeld, A.; Perez, E. W.; Sullivan, J. F. J. Synth. Lubr. 24, 227-234 (2007). "Low-temperature fluorination of fluoro-containing polymers." Allayarov, S. R.; Konovalova, T. A.; Waterfield, A.; Focsan, A. L.; Jackson, V.; Craciun, R.; Kispert, L. D.; Thrasher, J. S.; Dixon, D. A. J. Fluorine Chem. 127, 1294-1301 (2006). "A convenient and efficient method for incorporation of pentafluorosulfanyl (SF5) substituents into aliphatic compounds." Dolbier, W. R.; Ait-Mohand, S.; Schertz, T. D.; Sergeeva, T. A.; Cradlebaugh, J. A.; Mitani, A.; Gard, G. L.; Winter, R. W.; Thrasher, J. S. J. Fluorine Chem. 127, 1302-1310 (2006). "Pentafluoronitrosulfane, SF5NO2." Lu, N.; Thrasher, J. S.; von Ahsen, S.; Willner, H.; Hnyk, D.; Oberhammer, H. Inorg. Chem. 45, 1783-1788 (2006). "Synthesis of the long sought after compound pentafluoronitrosulfane, SF5NO2." Lu, N.; Kumar, H. P. S.; Fye, J. L.; Blanks, J. S.; Thrasher, J. S.; Willner, H.; Oberhammer, H. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 45, 938-940 (2006). "Studies of the thermal behavior of Nafion membranes treated with aluminum(III)." Sun, L.; Thrasher, J. S. Polym. Degrad. Stability 89, 43-49 (2005). "The preparation of primary poly-hexafluoropropylene oxide halides (poly-HFPO-CF2X where X = I, Br, Cl and F)." Howell, J. L.; Lu, N.; Perez, E. W.; Friesen, C. M.; Novak, I.; Waterfeld, A.; Thrasher, J. S., J. Fluorine Chem.125, 1513-1518 (2004). "New 4-pentafluorosulfanyl and 4-perfluoroalkylthio derivatives of 1-chloro-2-nitro- and 1-chloro-2,6-dinitrobenzenes." Sipyagin, A. M.; Enshov, V. S.; Kashtanov, S. A.; Bateman, C. P.; Mullen, B. D.; Tan, Y.-T.; Thrasher, J. S., J. Fluorine Chem.125, 1305-1316 (2004). "Crystal and molecular structures of the pentafluorosulfanyl compounds, SF5X (X = -NC, -CN, -NCO, -NCS and -NCCl2) by X-ray diffraction at low temperature. Buschmann, J.; Lentz, D.; Luger, P.; Perpetuo, G.; Preugschat, D.r; Thrasher, J. S.; Willner, H.; Wölk, H.-J., Z. Anorg. Allg. Chem., 630(7), 1136-1142 (2004).


Inorganic Fluorine Chemistry: Toward the 21st Century; Thrasher, J. S.; Strauss, S. H., Eds.; American Chemical Society Symposium Series 555; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC (1994).


Cicha, W. V.; Kornath, A. J.; McKinney, R. J.; Rao, V. N. M.; Thrasher, J. S.; Waterfeld, A. “Perfluoroalkyl sulfonates, their preparation and use,” U. S. Patent 5,773,637, 1998. St. Clair, T. L.; St. Clair, A. K.; Thrasher, J. S. “1,3-Diamino-5-pentafluorosulfanylbenzene,” U.S. Patent 5,200,070, 1993.