09/15/16 - 9:45 AM to 11:00 AM
Department Seminar: Professor Neal P. Mankad
“Catalytic Transformations that Utilize Bimetallic Cooperation”
Research in Neal Mankad's group focuses on understanding multimetallic cooperativity in catalysis. His group is particularly motivated by issues related to sustainability, environmental remediation, and alternative energy conversion. Researchers approach this through two parallel approaches. First, they invent new bimetallic complexes designed to catalyze transformations of importance to organic synthesis as well as small-molecule conversions of relevance to energy storage and environmental remediation. In some cases, the bimetallic cooperativity inherent to these bimetallic complexes has allowed us to use earth-abundant metals for catalytic transformations typically associated with single-site precious metal systems. In other cases, completely novel reactivity has emerged through careful study of the cooperative effect. Second, they construct synthetic complexes that model the active sites of metalloproteins that feature bioinorganic clusters thought to utilize multimetallic cooperativity in nature. The goal is to understand how nature has evolved to use multimetallic cooperativity to mediate multielectron redox transformations, and to apply those lessons to the design of new synthetic catalysts. Students and postdoctoral researchers use techniques for air-free chemical manipulation, and methods of analysis in use include multinuclear NMR spectroscopy, IR spectroscopy, single-crystal X-ray crystallography, mass spectrometry, cyclic voltammetry, and quantum chemical calculations.