Abstract by Benjamin Bohman
Chemistry and Biochemistry
The development of new transition metal catalysts is an important area of research, as witnessed by the 3 Nobel prizes for organometallic chemistry being awarded in the last 20 years. Metal catalysts are commonly used in the pharmaceutical, oil and gas, polymer, and even in biological fields. Bimetallic catalysts are a relatively unexplored field of organometallics and yet have been proven to preform unique chemistry. This can include high chemoselectivity, unique coordination to substrates, new reaction mechanisms, and different reaction products. We recently synthesized a bimetallic rhodium catalyst that possess a unique crystal structure, with a metal-metal bond in a rhodium(i) oxidation state. This catalyst has shown strong reactivity in 4+2 cycloaddition, ketone arylation, and cyclopropanation reactions. Based on the catalyst’s high reactivity in these known reactions, we anticipate it to show strong reactivity new types of reactions as well. As we test the scope and activity of our catalyst, of particular importance will be to study the binuclear pathway of the catalyst and try to better understand its mechanism.