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Catalysis in Wonderland: An SL presentation of classic transition-metal chemistry.

28/04/2018 @ 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT



Organic chemistry tends to follow certain rules. Starting in the 1950’s, we began to find ways that transition metals (e.g. chromium, iron, nickel, rhodium, gold and many others) could bend the rules of classic organic chemistry and facilitate chemical transformations which would otherwise be onerous. One example of the utility of transition metals as applied to organic chemistry is in catalysis, i.e. the transformation of starting materials into products through an easy-to-traverse sequence of steps. Today, catalysts mediate a wide range of reactions, from improving the quality of air (e.g. catalytic converters) to the production of plastics, medicines and other chemical transformations. In this talk we will cover the basics of “organometallic” catalysis reactions such as “oxidative addition”, “insertion”, and reductive elimination. We will use these steps to illustrate how a metal can catalyze a reaction without itself being changed, through lecture and scripted objects. What we have learned about catalysts which dissolve has helped us to understand how metal surfaces mediate similar transformations.

Dr. Michael J. Shaw,

Distinguished Research Professor


Mike J. Shaw

Previous work in the Library

Previous work in the Film Collection




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10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT




Jes Stannard

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