RSC Desktop Seminar with ChemComm

8 September 2020 10:00-11:30, United States

Welcome to the latest RSC Desktop Seminars, sponsored by Chemical Science, ChemComm and Chem Soc Rev. Each session will highlight two speakers, one journal board member and an early career researcher who has published in the journal.
Join Doug Stephan, Professor of Chemistry at University of Toronto and Editorial Board Chair of Chemical Communications, and Viktoria Gessner, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Rhur-Universität Bochum, to hear about their latest work.

This 90-minute seminar will allow researchers of all professional levels to connect and share ideas and ask questions.


Professor Doug Stephan
“FLP Chemistry: A metal-free approach to the activation of strong bonds”    

We have previously exploited Frustrated Lewis pair (FLP) chemistry for the activation of H2, hydrogenation catalysis and the capture of small molecules. More recently we have uncovered evidence of both heterolytic and homolytic reactions for select FLPs affording either ionic or radical reaction pathways. More recent efforts to expand applications of this concept have focused on the activation of strong bonds.  We are interested in the possibilities of FLP activation of the triple bonds in N2 and CO. surrogates. Herein we will discuss these efforts. While we have probed the reactions of N2 surrogates, we have also employed the concept of FLPs to activation CO for C-C bond formation. In addition, we have shown that such oligomerization of carbon monoxide in the presence “syn-gas” demonstrates the potential of FLPs in metal-free Fischer-Tropsch reactivity.

Prof. Dr. Viktoria Gessner
“Phosphorus-Ylides: Powerful Ligands for the Stabilisation of Reactive Main Group Compounds”

Reactive main group compounds such as low-valent or cationic species have received intense research interest in the past years due to their unique structures and reactivities, above all their propensity to act as transition metal mimics. The isolation of these compounds requires a careful molecular design which usually involves the use of sterically demanding and electronically stabilizing substituents. Especially, amino substituents are privileged ligands which provide thermodynamic stability due to their propensity to function as strong π-donor ligands. Thus, they are often applied in low-valent species (such as carbenes) or cationic main group compounds.

Programme - please note all timings are EDT

10:00 - Introduction
10:05 - “FLP Chemistry: A metal-free approach to the activation of strong bonds” - Professor Doug Stephan
10.55 - “Phosphorus-Ylides: Powerful Ligands for the Stabilisation of Reactive Main Group Compounds” - Prof. Dr. Viktoria Gessner
11.30 - Closing remarks
Professor Doug Stephan, University of Toronto, Canada

Doug Stephan is a professor of chemistry at the University of Toronto, a position he has held since 2008. Prior to this he was a professor at the University of Windsor from 1982 to 2007. He has a BSc from McMaster University and a PhD from University of Western Ontario, and between 1980 and 1982 he was a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University. Professor Stephan’s research interests span a wide range of inorganic main group and organometallic chemistry, including targeting new reactivity and chemical transformations with a view to developing new catalysts to either new materials or new processes. In addition, his collaborations with industry address the design and development of new catalyst and process technologies for use in commercial applications. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2005), Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2010), and a Fellow of the Royal Society (UK, 2013). He has held Humboldt Senior Research Awards (2002, 2011) as well as a Killam Research Fellowship (2009-2011). He has  received the Ludwig Mond Award (2012), the Tory Medal (2013), Applied Catalysis Award (2014), the Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Award (2014), and the CIC Medal (2014).  In 2014, he was also elected as a Corresponding Member of North-Rhein-Westfaelia Academy of the Sciences and Arts (Germany). More recently, he held a  Einstein Visiting Fellow at the Technical University of Berlin (2016-2019) and received the 2019 J.C. Polanyi Award and the  Steacie Award while  in 2020 he is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship from the Guggenheim foundation in the USA.

Prof. Dr. Viktoria Gessner , Rhur-Universität Bochum, Germany

Viktoria Gessner obtained her diploma degree in 2007 from the University of Würzburg and her PhD in 2009 from the TU Dortmund working with C. Strohmann. After a postdoctoral stay at UC Berkeley with T. D. Tilley she started her independent academic career at the University of Würzburg affiliated to the group of H. Braunschweig and finished her Habilitation in 2015. In 2016, she moved to the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, where she now holds a chair in Inorganic Chemistry. Her research interests involve organometallic and main group metal chemistry with focus on the development of new ligands for stabilizing reactive compounds and homogenous catalysis. Her work has been recognized by several grants and awards, such as by an Emmy Noether Grant of the German Research Council, a Starting Grant of the European Research Council, the IUPAC prize for young scientists and the Organometallics’ 2020 Distinguished Author Award.

Image ©RUB, Kramer

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