04/13/17 - 9:45 AM to 11:30 AM
Department Seminar: Professor Joshua Figueroa
“Unsaturated Metal Isocyanides: Molecules to Materials”
Recent results concerning the construction and reactivity of low-coordinate transition-metal complexes featuring sterically encumbering m-terphenyl isocyanide ligands are presented. Given the isolobal relationship between organoisocyanides and carbon monoxide, these complexes serve as mimics of the unsaturated binary metal carbonyls. The latter have traditionally been studied in either the gas phase or by matrix-isolation techniques and, consequently, their condensed-phase reactivity patterns are largely unknown. Specifically addressed will be synthetic studies that have delivered homoleptic and heteroleptic isocyanide complexes that mimic several unsaturated binary carbonyls for the middle and late transition metals. The conversion of these reactive complexes into network materials is also discussed.
Research in Joshua Figueroa's group centers on the design and synthesis of highly reactive and unusual transition metal complexes for applications ranging from small-molecule activation, catalysis and organic methodology. His group's main research focus is on the synthesis and study of reactive metal centers supported by sterically encumbering m-terphenyl isocyanide ligands. They are particularly interested in defining the chemistry accessible to isocyanide analogues of the unsaturated binary metal carbonyls such as Mo(CO)3, Fe(CO)4 and Ni(CO)3, in addition to heteroleptic species such as CpCo(CO). Their goals are to discover new and well-defined solution-phase reactivity patterns for these isocyanide complexes, as well as to uncover new principles in electronic and geometric structure related to the d-block elements.