This course will introduce mechanisms and applications of transition-metal catalysts. Fundamental background in structure and bonding of transition metals will lead into the properties of different ligand classes. Common reaction pathways will be covered, including their relationships to structural properties of the metal complex. Knowledge of individual reaction steps will provide the basis to understand and postulate catalytic cycles. Common catalytic transformations and applications will be discussed.
Wide-spread use of renewable energy sources – particularly in areas such as transportation and on-demand applications – requires efficient methods for the interconversion of chemical and electrical energy. This course will discuss recent advances in the design of molecular electrocatalysts that activate small molecules for the purposes of energy storage or use. Transformations of interest will include oxidation/production of H2, H2O oxidation, O2 reduction and CO2 reduction. The scope of the course will focus primarily on well-defined homogeneous catalysts that are made of earth-abundant metals. Performance and mechanism will be discussed, along with the role of catalyst structure on these two metrics.