2015 Donald J. Cram Lecture

Thu, May 28 4:00pm
CS24 Young Hall
Speaker Professor David Milstein
Hosted by
UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

2015 Donald J. Cram Lecture

Cram Lecture Reception and Poster Session before the lecture at 4:00-5:00 PM in the Winstein Café Commons - 3037 Young Hall.

Cram Lecture presentation at 5:00-6:30 PM in CS24 Young Hall.


Design and Applications of Metal-Catalyzed Reactions for Sustainable Chemistry

Abstract.  In view of global environmental and economic concerns, there is a strong need for the development of sustainable, environmentally benign chemical synthesis, hence discovery of “green” reactions is a major goal of modern catalysis. Traditionally, catalysis by metal complexes has been based on the reactivity of the metal center, while the ligands bound to it influence its reactivity electronically and/or sterically, but do not interact directly with incoming substrate molecules. In recent years, complexes based on “cooperating” ligands were developed, in which both the metal and a ligand can undergo bond making and breaking in key steps of the catalytic cycle, thus providing new opportunities for catalytic design.

         We have developed a new mode of metal-ligand cooperation, involving ligand aromatization – dearomatization, which provides a new approach to the activation of chemical bonds. Pincer-type complexes of several transition metals exhibit such cooperation, including complexes of Ru, Fe, Co, Rh, Ir, Ni, Pd, Pt, Mn and Re, leading to facile activation of various chemical bonds. This has led to new, environmentally benign catalytic reactions, including several synthetically useful reactions which either produce hydrogen (“acceptorless dehydrogenation”) or consume it. These reactions are efficient, proceed under neutral conditions and produce no waste.