Nature’s enzymatic catalysts often rely on exquisite control of proton transfer or hydrogen bonding to accelerate reactions. Organometallic catalysts can benefit in a similar manner, helping reactions which enzymes cannot accomplish. Our laboratory focuses on metal complexes with ligands containing nitrogen bases or their conjugate acids, starting with bifunctional systems with one pendant organic group to help the metal during catalysis, but more complex systems can be imagined. Rate accelerations of as much as 1,000 to 10,000 have been achieved thanks to pendant bases. In this presentation, both published and ongoing work from our group in the areas of catalysis for organic synthesis and energy will be discussed.
Prof. M.G. Finn (404-385-0906)