Ludwig Mond Award 2012 Winner

Professor Douglas Stephan
Professor Douglas Stephan
University of Toronto

For his innovative work on early-late heterobimetallics, phosphorus chemistry and polymerization catalysis.

About the Winner

Doug Stephan, a Professor at the University of Toronto, is a world-leader in catalysis research having authored over 290 scientific articles and 70 patents. 

Stephan's research targets innovative new technologies for the efficient production of desirable chemical products. For example in his work, they developed some of the first molecular catalysts that incorporated both early and late transition metals that effectively produce terminal aldehydes. Subsequently, based on his fundamental studies of zirconium-phosphorus chemistry, his group uncovered new strategies to phosphorus materials. In the mid 1990's, Professor Stephan discovered of a new class of highly active titanium olefin polymerization catalysts. These catalysts were commercialized by NOVA Chemicals and are used to produce polyethylene in NOVA's plant in Joefre Alberta, the largest solution polymerization plant in the world. 

While the work described above garnered much attention, in 2006 Stephan's research group discovered the concept of "Frustrated Lewis Pairs" (FLPs). This concept provides the first metal-free systems known that effect "reversible hydrogen activation" and allowed the development of metal-free hydrogenation catalysts. This is significant breakthrough in hydrogenation catalysis technology providing new metal free strategies to reductions of polar double bonds, olefins and aromatic rings. The concept of FLPs has also been exploited to activate a wide variety of other small molecules. Indeed, Stephan has initiated work to target FLP reductions of CO2 to produce fuels, thereby addressing both energy and greenhouse gas concerns. 

Related Links

Link icon Stephan Research Group
Professor Stephan's Group Webpage

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