09/10/19 - 9:45 AM to 11:00 AM
Department Seminar: Professor Leslie J. Murray
Small Molecule Transformations at Polynuclear Metal Complexes
Our efforts have focused the design of multimetallic complexes using macrocyclic ligands, which are capable of effecting bond scission and formation in and between small molecule substrates. The expectation is that these complexes will provide insight into the parameters (e.g., metal-metal separation) required to execute multi-electron and -proton transformations of small molecules at metal clusters (e.g., enzyme cofactors, metal surfaces). Here, our reported and ongoing work on CO2 and N2 reactivity with multimetallic compounds will be presented, with particular interest on the parallels between these systems and their biological counterparts.
Professor Murray's research focus is to design, synthesize, and evaluate transition metal complexes for small molecule activation. In particular, his group is interested in energy-related processes, such as water oxidation, carbon dioxide reduction, and dioxygen reduction. Metal clusters housed within the active sites of proteins carry out basic and challenging redox reactions, such as carbon dioxide reduction or nitrogen fixation. Researchers expect that well-defined and tunable metal clusters can function as highly efficient catalysts in synthetic systems. The goal is to develop multimetallic complexes in which a tunable ligands controls the assembly and environment of each metal ion within a cluster (e.g., donor atom type, metal-metal distance). Importantly, one design criterion is that complexes retain an active site, which we anticipate will afford selective reactivity with substrates and increase the catalytic efficiency.
Professor Murray earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees in chemistry and biology from Swarthmore College, and earned his doctorate in inorganic chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, focusing on component interactions and dioxygen activation in the toluene/o-xylene monooxygenase system. He then was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, working on gas storage and separation using metal–organic frameworks. He joined the faculty at the Unversity of Florida in 2010, and is affiliated with the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.