Building Molecular Complexity with Earth-Abundant Metals: Towards New Advances in Catalysis
Introducing molecular complexity into organic molecules is one of the hallmarks of modern organic synthesis, and often achieved by the selective functionalization of C=C and C–X bonds (X = I, Cl, Br, and H). To facilitate the functionalization of these bonds, chemists have traditionally relied on precious metals such as palladium, platinum, and iridium as catalysts in these transformations. Some of these metals, if not all of them, are one of the rarest on earth, leading to increasingly high prices and uncertainty in future supply chains. As their availability continues to decline it is important to address the scarcity of these metals to secure a sustainable future. One solution is to develop new technologies that allow one to substitute the precious metal catalysts for those that are abundantly available (e.g., iron, manganese, and cobalt), without sacrificing on performance and selectivity. In this talk, we will explore how we can utilize earth-abundant metals to facilitate selective transformations with a special emphasis on alkene isomerization (Figure 1), C–H bond activation, and aryl–aryl cross-coupling.[1-2] We will demonstrate that through bespoke ligand design we are able to eliminate the fundamental differences between the properties of first– and second–row transition metals and enable two-electron chemistry on iron to facilitate these ever-important transformations. Overall, the findings in this talk are expected to result in new avenues in earth-abundant metal catalysis and provide new methodologies to construct ever important C-C and C-N that can be used to induce molecular complexity.
 Garhwal, S.; Kaushansky, A.; Fridman, N.; Shimon, L. J. W.; and de Ruiter, G. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020. 142, 17131.
 Garhwal, S.; Kaushansky, A.; Fridman, A.; de Ruiter, G. Chem Catalysis, 2021, 1, 631.
Hosted by Professor Alan Goldman
~Coffee/tea will be served prior to the lecture~