Cerium Polyoxometallate Photocatalysis
Despite cerium’s classification as a rare-earth metal, cerium is as abundant as cobalt, nickel, and copper and the U.S. Department of Energy designates it as a low supply-risk material. Cerium oxide (CeO2) is a critical material widely used for industrial applications including steam and dry reforming, the water-gas shift reaction (WGSR), and in automotive three-way catalysts (TWC). We are interested in solving longstanding issues involving the mechanisms in CeO2 catalysis by interfacing molecular, materials chemistry, and photochemistry to reconcile the reactivity on ceria surfaces while simultaneously using this to leverage organic transformations.
Lanthanide Mediated Multicomponent Reactions
Catalytic reductive C–C coupling reactions mediated by LnII are rare and accessing the LnIII/LnII redox couple is thermodynamically challenging since the +3 oxidation state is the most stable for all the lanthanides. We are exploring new avenues to advance Ln catalyzed C–C coupling by constructing well-defined bimetallic complexes. Pharmaceutically desirable precursors will be targeted and generated from simple unsaturated substrates.
Harnessing Ni-Ni Metal Bonds
Bimetallic group 10 metal complexes can engender C–C bond forming reactions. Many of these reactions have been demonstrated with Pd complexes, although a handful have been successful with Ni complexes. We are intersted in advancing metal–metal bond chemistry by constructing reactive bimetallic Ni2 complexes which will serve as a platform for C–C and C–N bond forming reactions as well as for dinitrogen activation at the Ni–Ni bond interface.