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Research

First Row Late TMOur research focuses on developing novel organic transformations and known cross-coupling reactions through catalysis based on 1st row late transition metals such as Fe, Co, Ni and Cu.

Transition metal catalysis represents the core of modern-day synthetic methodology, which is being extensively practiced in both laboratory and industrial settings. Significance of these catalytic reactions has been recognized by the Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, including the one in 2010 for the discovery and development of palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions for organic synthesis.

Despite the maturity of these cross-coupling reactions with regard to their substrate scope and application, contemporary desire to replace palladium with earth-abundant and inexpensive metals has reshaped recent investigations and heightened aspirations for new catalytic processes.

Much of our work focuses on the design and synthesis of new hybrid ligands that are capable of stabilizing 1st row late transition metals (TMs) in their low oxidation states. Our pursuits of new hybrid ligands/catalysts design and synthesis are currently tailored to develop new catalytic pathways for existing but poorly-developed and challenging organic transformations, such as protodecarboxylation, decarboxylative cross-coupling, C-H activation, fluorination and trifluoromethylation, and well-developed but requiring rare and expensive metals such as palladium-catalyzed cross-couplings.

These transformations have extensive applications in areas ranging from the production of renewable diesel and modification of existing drugs to the step economic and cost effective synthesis of natural products and molecules of pharmaceutical significance.

In addition, we are exploiting these new hybrid ligands/catalysts to uncover novel organic transformations of synthetic values.

We gratefully thank the following sponsors for generously supporting our research:

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