B.A., Chemistry, Williams College, 1994; Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999; NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 1999–2001
Research in the Sadighi group focuses on the design and synthesis of late transition metal complexes in unusual coordination environments and oxidation states. We are particularly interested in the synthesis of small clusters of low-coordinate late transition metals, with the goal of achieving difficult bond-forming and bond-breaking processes to develop new catalytic cycles. Metal–metal interactions represent an important aspect of these clusters, with implications for cooperative substrate activation and for multielectron reactions.
Catalytic reactions of interest include the transformation of carbon dioxide to liquid fuels. This field has seen remarkable recent advances, but important opportunities and challenges remain. These challenges are complementary to the development of renewable energy: A conversion of CO2 to chemical fuel could make CO2 a currency, rather than a waste product, of energy use. Another area of interest is the reaction chemistry of labile metal fluorides in carbon–fluorine bond-forming reactions. Finally, low-valent late metal clusters show promise in key steps of aerobic oxidation catalysis, with potential industrial and environmental importance.