RESEARCH

Our group pursues research projects that are united by the desire to enable selective, sustainable synthesis of functional organic molecules.

High-valent transition metal complexes featuring metal-ligand multiple bonds are often invoked as intermediates in C-H functionalization chemistry. Due to the reactivity of these species, they have fleeting lifetimes, and thus represent challenging targets for direct observation and characterization. We seek to develop new photosynthetic methods to generate, and enable characterization of, reactive intermediates relevant to C-H functionalization catalysis. 

 

Selective C-H functionalization remains a critical challenge in organometallic chemistry. Using novel porous catalyst materials, that support lattice-isolated reactive metal-ligand (M-L) multiple bonds, we aim to promote selective C-H functionalization of simple hydrocarbons. We envision that oxidation of lattice-isolated binuclear catalyst sites in the target porous material will generate highly reactive M–L multiple bonds. The tunable metal–metal (M–M) redox cooperation within catalyst sites supported by oxidatively robust ligand fields will provide access to highly reactive M–L multiply bonded intermediates that are capable of hydrocarbon functionalization under mild conditions.

 

Development of sustainable oxidation chemistry demands strategies to efficiently and selectively utilize O2 as a terminal oxidant. We have developed aerobic hypervalent iodine chemistry as a platform to couple a wide variety of substrate functionalization mechanisms to  O2 reduction.