01/10/20 - 9:45 AM to 11:00 AM
Department Seminar: Jessica R. Lamb, Ph.D.
Overcoming Fundamental Challenges in Organic Chemistry Through Methods Development Across Length Scales
In this talk, we will address two fundamental challenges in organic chemistry. The first of these is regioselective ring-opening of epoxides using aluminum salen-cobalt tetracarbonyl catalysts. These bimetallic catalysts were shown to promote (a) the isomerization of 2,3-disubstituted epoxides to ketones with excellent regioselectivities, even for unbiased epoxides, and (b) the carbonylation of isobutylene oxide to pivalolactone, which requires the catalyst to override the inherent substrate bias through a combination of steric bulk and a cation-π interaction. In the second half of the talk, an open-vial and additive-free method for oxygen-tolerant radical polymerization is described. High light intensity, a large volume-to-surface-area ratio, and high viscosity are all critical parameters for achieving well-controlled polymerizations with classic “living” characteristics such as low dispersities, linear molecular weight growth with conversion, and block copolymer formation.
Jessica Lamb, Ph.D.
Jessica Lamb, Ph.D., grew up in Fargo, ND, and received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Dakota. During her undergraduate career, she worked on the solvent-free synthesis of organometallic compounds (cyclopalladated complexes). She also conducted summer research in the Coatings and Polymeric Materials Department of North Dakota State University. She then moved to Cornell University for her graduate studies where she worked on catalyst development, methodology, and mechanistic investigations of selective epoxide transformations using bimetallic catalysts, culminating in her doctorate. As a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow, she joined Professor Jeremiah Johnson’s group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is studying photo-mediated polymerizations and complex polymer architectures. Outside of lab, she enjoys swing and ballroom dancing, crafts, reading, and photography.