Reduction Chemistry of Rare-Earth Metal Complexes: Toward New Reactivity and Properties

Seminar series
Inorganic Chemistry
Wed, May 1 4:30pm
Cram Conference Room, 3440 Mol Sci
Speaker Wenliang Huang
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Rare-earth metals are essential to industrial processes and consumer commodities. Their unique electron configuration leads not only to special chemical properties but also to unrivalled physical properties, such as magnetism and luminescence. However, their organometallic chemistry is much less developed than that of d block metals and almost exclusively restricted to the trivalent oxidation state. By using redox-active, electronically and sterically flexible ferrocene based diamide ligands, we have been able to uncover unprecedented reactivity and make intriguing new classes of rare-earth metal complexes under strong reducing conditions. For example, a new aromatic C-H bond activation mechanism was discovered that is best described as reductive cleavage. In addition, a new class of rare-earth metal stabilized 6C,10π-electron aromatic complexes was synthesized and characterized by various experimental and computational methods. Recently, the dysprosium stabilized 6C,10π-electron aromatic complex was found to be a single molecule magnet. All these discoveries open the door for using organo-rare-earth metal chemistry to other applied research areas.