Stalking and Capturing Elusive Monomeric Copper Hydrides: R Morris Bullock, Director of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Event time: 
November 7, 2022 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Event description: 


Join Yale Chemistry for an Inorganic Chemistry Seminar with R. Morris Bullock, Director of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Morris Bullock is a Laboratory Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and is the Director of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC). His research includes the synthesis and design of molecular catalysts and electrocatalysts, with an emphasis on the reactivity of metal hydrides. He is an elected Fellow of the AAAS, the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Washington State Academy of Sciences. He received the award in ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry in 2022, and the Award in Homogeneous Catalysis from the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2013. He and the Hydrogen Catalysis team at PNNL were honored with the ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science in 2015.

Copper hydrides were first reported in 1844; their value as catalysts for organic reactions has significantly expanded in the last two decades. Copper hydrides with NHC (NHC = N-heterocyclic carbene) ligands typically exist as dimers, [(NHC)Cu(m-H)]2. The kinetics of insertion of organic substrates into the Cu-H bond are determined by the electronic properties of the substrates. Conversion of the dimer to a monomeric species or insertion into the Cu-H bond can be rate-determining. Remote ligand modification can have a large effect on the dimer-monomer equilibrium, even when substituents are several bonds away from the copper. Destabilization of the [(NHC)Cu(m-H)]2 dimer relative to the (NHC)Cu-H monomer favors enables isolation of a rarely observed Cu-H monomer. This highly reactive monomeric complex enables insertion of tri-substituted alkenes into the Cu-H bond.

This seminar is generously sponsored by the Mrs. Hepsa Ely Silliman Memorial Fund