Paul Chirik

February 24, 2015 - 11:00am
Wright Rieman Auditorium

"Base Metal Catalysis for Organic Synthesis: The Interplay of Applications and Electronic Structure"

Spring 2015 Colloquium Series

Speaker: Paul Chirik
Department of Chemistry
Princeton University
Abstract: Transition metal catalysis has revolutionized organic synthesis by enabling new transformations with unprecedented selectivity. Our laboratory has been actively engaged in developing catalysts based on earth abundant elements rather than more traditionally deployed precious metals. The inspirations for this chemistry extend beyond catalyst cost; ultimately we aim to discover new reactivity that exploits the unique electronic structures of first row transition metals. My lecture will focus on two complementary approaches to this challenge. The first explores redox-active ligands, those that engage in reversible radical chemistry with the metal center, while the second employs a more traditional strong field ligand approach to engender more electron rich metal complexes. These two extremes define a continuum of reactivity ranging from new iron catalysts for commercial silicone production (Science 2012, 335, 567) to the asymmetric hydrogenation of alkenes (Science 2013, 342, 1054) and C-H functionalization (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 4133), important transformations with pharmaceutical relevance. Through continued ligand evolution and understanding of electronic structure, we have discovered base metal catalysts that promote chemistry unknown with established precious metal variants. The mechanisms of the various catalytic transformations and the importance of electronic structure controlled through ligand manipulation will be a highlighted throughout.
Poster: PDF
Host: Professor Alan Goldman
~ Coffee/tea will be served prior to lecture ~