[INTRO] The field of catalysis is important for everyone for very many reasons. Catalysis involves, in simple terms, concerns the conversion of one form of matter to another through the use of a substance that is not involved in change and can be used in small amounts. Consider the many different types of plastics that are present in all of the products we use everyday. Most of these are produced from small molecules present, or derived from, oil we pump from the ground. Whether the process yields a soft or hard plastic depends on the chemical nature of the catalyst used. Catalysts are also are being studied to provide economical ways to convert underutilized fuels such as methane gas to more transportation friendly methanol. Catalysts also provide many of the drugs and drug intermediates that are needed to cure, prevent, and treat many diseases. Many new drugs require development of new catalysts for their discovery and to make them affordable for patients. Catalysts are also an essential part of the campaign to make the chemical industry greener and more environmentally friendly. Specifically, optimal catalysts will be able to produce a desired chemical commodity in high yield with little or no toxic byproducts, operate in safe on non-volatile media (good for the environment) and do so at ambient temperatures and pressures (low energy footprint or need). Many catalysts are based on inorganic compounds and complexes. [/INTRO]
[Our Research Strategy] meta-Terphenyls are organic frameworks that feature two aromatic rings bridged by a phenylene unit in the meta-positions. The orientation of the rings in these platforms make great scaffolds upon which we can build many new exciting ligands. Shown above is one of our ligands and its palladium complex (Organometallics, 2004). The trans spanning mode of this ligand is unusual. These materials also act as catalysts for many important Suzuki and Heck coupling reactions that we are studying (Organometallics, 2009).
More recently, we have been able to prepare highly non-planar, high twist angle, pincer complexes, such as that shown below. We aim to explore this chiral (C2 symmetric) profile for effecting enantioselective transformations (Inorg. Chem. 2007).
[/Our Research Strategy]
Interest Area 1: Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Materials for Optoelectronic & Energy applications
Specific Project (a) Conjugated Materials Featuring Inorganic Elements
Specific Project (b) Designing New Materials for Increased Safety of Lithium Ion Batteries
Interest Area 2. Catalysis involving Main Group & Transition Metal Chemistry
Specific Project (a) Secondary Bonding and Hypervalent Organoiodine(III) Complexes
Specific Project (b) New Ligands for Catalysis based on meta-Terphenyls