Luigi Cavallo, Ph.D.


​Professor of Chemical Science

Research Interests

​Prof. Cavallo’s research interests include unravelling the mechanisms of catalysts at work; understanding of structure-function relationship in organometallic compounds, olefin polymerization reactions and biological systems              

Selected Publications

  • Structural and energetic characterization of the emissive RNA alphabet based on the isothiazolo 4,3-d pyrimidine he... 
    M. Chawla, A. Poater, R. Oliva, L. Cavallo 
    DOI: 10.1039/c6cp03268k, (2016)
  • Selective Reduction of CO2 to CH4 by Tandem Hydrosilylation with Mixed Al/B Catalysts 
    J. Chen, L. Falivene, L. Caporaso, L. Cavallo, E.Y.-X. Chen, 
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 5321-5333, (2016)
  • Proton-Transfer Polymerization by N-Heterocyclic Carbenes: Monomer and Catalyst Scopes and Mechanism for Converting... 
    M. Hong, X. Tang, L. Falivene, L. Caporaso, L. Cavallo and E. Y.-X. Chen
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138 (6), 2021-2035, (2016)
  • Troubles in the Systematic Prediction of Transition Metal Thermochemistry with Contemporary Out-of-the-Box Methods 
    Y. Minenkov, E. Chermak, L. Cavallo
    J. Chem. Theory Comput., 2016, 12 (4), 1542-1560, (2016)
  • Theoretical Characterization of the H-Bonding and Stacking Potential of Two Nonstandard Nucleobases Expanding the G... 
    M. Chawla, R. Credendino, E. Chermak, R. Oliva, L. Cavallo
    J. Phys. Chem. B, 2016, 120 (9), 2216-2224, (2016)
  • How easy is CO2 fixation by M–C bond containing complexes (M = Cu, Ni, Co, Rh, Ir)? 
    S. V. C. Vummaleti G. Talarico S. P. Nolan, L. Cavallo and A. Poater 
    Org. Chem. Front., 3, 19-23, (2016)
  • Nitrite to nitric oxide interconversion by heme FeII complex assisted by [CuI(tmpa)] 
    F. Turias, M. Solà, L. Falivene, L. Cavallo, A. Poater
    Structural Chemistry February  Volume 27, Issue 1, 409-417, (2016)
  • Accuracy of DLPNO−CCSD(T) Method for Noncovalent Bond Dissociation Enthalpies from Coinage Metal Cation Complexes 
    Y. Minenkov , E. Chermak , L. Cavallo 
    J. Chem. Theo. Comp., in press, (2015)
  • Structural and Energetic Impact of Non-Natural 7-Deaza-8-Azaadenine and its 7-Substituted Derivatives on H-Bonding ... 
    M. Chawla, R. Credendino, R. Oliva and L. Cavallo
    J. Phys. Chem. B, 119 (41), 12982-12989, (2015)
  • Structural stability, acidity, and halide selectivity of the fluoride riboswitch recognition site 
    M. Chawla, R. Credendino, A. Poater, R. Oliva, L. Cavallo
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 137 (1), 299-306, (2015)


  • Visiting Scientist, University of Calgary, Canada, 1992, 1995, 1998
  • Ph.D, Chemistry, University of Napoli, Italy, 1991
  • Laurea, Chemistry, University of Napoli, 1987

Professional Profile

  • 2012-Present: Associate Professor of Chemistry, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2002-2012: Associate Professor of Industrial Chemistry, University of Salerno, Italy
  • 1994-2002: Assistant Professor of Industrial Chemistry, University of Napoli, Italy


  • 2016 Ziegler-Natta award

KAUST Affiliations

  • KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC)
  • Division of Physical Science and Engineering (PSE)​

Research Interests Keywords

​Catalysts organometallic compounds olefin polymerization biological systems