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  • Professor John Hartwig
    05/16/19 - 9:45 AM to 11:00 AM

    Student Seminar Series: Professor John F. Hartwig

    Student Seminar Series

Selective, Catalytic Functionalization of C-H Bonds with Small and Large Catalysts

Image for John Hartwig's seminar on Selective, Catalytic Functionalization of C-H Bonds with Small and Large Catalysts
The selective introduction of functional groups into complex molecules at the positions of C-H bonds has been a longstanding challenge in catalysis. Our group has developed practical methods for the catalytic functionalization of C-H bonds with main group reagents, such as boranes and silanes, to create a comprehensive strategy to use one C-H bond functionalization process to form a range of products. This catalysis inspired us to combine the reactions of C-H bonds catalyzed by small transition-metal complexes with the selectivity and evolutionary potential of enzymes. To do so, we have created artificial heme enzymes in which the iron of the heme has been replaced with noble metals to create catalysts for reactions that have not been catalyzed by natural or mutant heme enzymes. This lecture will present recent directions of research in our group toward discovering selective reactions of C-H bonds catalyzed by both transition metal complexes and artificial metalloenzymes. The design and selection, as well as the intimate mechanism, of catalysts and catalytic reactions for these selective functionalization processes will be presented.


Professor Hartwig’s research focuses on the discovery and understanding of new reactions catalyzed by transition metal complexes. He is well known for contributions to widely practiced cross-coupling chemistry that form arylamines, aryl ethers, aryl sulfides, and α-aryl carbonyl compounds and for the discovery of practical C-H bond functionalization reactions. While developing these catalytic processes, he has focused on the mechanism and fundamental organometallic chemistry that underpins them, including studies on reductive eliminations to form carbon-heteroatom bonds, oxidative addition of N-H bonds, and olefin insertions into amides and alkoxides. During the past several years, his group has initiated studies on creating artificial organometallic enzymes that catalyze abiological reactions.

Professor Hartwig

Professor Hartwig was raised near Schenectady, NY, received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, obtained his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and conducted a post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts of Technology. In 1992, he began his independent career at Yale University and became the Irenée P. DuPont Professor in 2004. In 2006, he moved to the University of Illinois as the Kenneth L. Rinehart Jr. Professor of Chemistry, and in 2011, he returned to the University of California, Berkley as the Henry Rapoport Professor. Professsor Hartwig has published more than 400 articles and is the author of the textbook “Organotransition Metal Chemistry: From Bonding to Catalysis.” He has received numerous awards from the American Chemical Soceity and international societies, most recently, the Centenary Prize from the Royal Society, the Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Synthesis, and the Wolf Prize in Chemistry. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2012 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015.

  • Event Details

    Location: 331 Smith Hall
    Host: Ryan Daley
    • Professor John F. Hartwig
    • John Hartwig
    • Division of Chemical Sciences & Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories
    • University of California, Berkeley