Catalytic hydrogen transfer (4 projects)

We are preparing oxazolinylborate-coordinated group 9 compounds for catalytic hydrogen transfer. Our motivation for this work is that manipulation of hydrogen, as part of organic molecules, is extremely important for energy-related applications.  These application include oxidation state control for transformations of oxygen-rich biomass and oxidation/functionalization of petrochemicals. The student working on this project will synthesis new oxazolinylborate cobalt, rhodium, and iridium catalysts, develop new conditions for catalytic hydrogen transfer, and apply the conditions in biomass conversions.

In a second project:

We are preparing new oxazolinylborate ligands for stereoselective organometallic chemistry and catalysis, specifically for enantioselective bond activation reactions. Our syntheses are stepwise, versatile, and modular, and as a result a number of creative structures can be prepared that contain one, two, or three oxazoline groups in combination with other good donors for creation of highly reactive organometallic compounds. The student will learn synthetic organic and inorganic chemistry, transition-metal chemistry, and stereoselective catalysis as part of this project.

In a third project:

We have developed new catalysts for dehydrogenative cross coupling reactions involving silicon (SiH), nitrogen (NH), and oxygen (OH) to give Si-N and Si-O bonds. Interestingly, the zinc catalysts for this reaction are not sensitive to other functionality, so these reactions may be applied in conversions of bio-renewable materials such as lignin and polysaccharides. A student working on this project would investigate the dehydrocoupling of silanes with polyols and carbohydrates derived from natural sources, and learn about catalytic methods and bio-renewable materials as natural sources for chemicals.

A fourth project:

We have been preparing new ligands that are amenable to surface grafting that facilitate characterization due to spectroscopically active groups. These include SiH groups that are easily identified in IR and 1H and 29Si NMR spectra, and oxazolinylborates that are active for IR and 15N NMR spectroscopies. The project involves synthesis of organometallic compounds, surface grafting to silica, and characterization using solid state NMR and IR spectroscopies. The students would learn synthetic inorganic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, and apply these skills in heterogeneous catalytic transformations.

Program mentor: Aaron Sadow, associate professor, Chemistry, Iowa State University

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