Radical frontiers in catalysis

April 21, 2017

Theodore Betley

Within metal-catalyzed reactions, the development of electronic structure to function relationships is critical for understanding the factors that promote desirable reactivity. Electronic structure considerations dictate the stability and/or reactivity of both mononuclear and polynuclear complexes. At an extreme, maximally high-spin complexes represent attractive target complexes, allowing for one to build in instability to the coordination complex, thus achieving maximal reactivity. Towards this end we have developed weak-field ligand platforms to enable (1) iron-based reagents to catalyze C-H bond functionalization, and (2) unveil small-molecule activation at polynuclear reaction sites.