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1/7 - Faculty Candidate Seminar (inorganic): Smaranda Marinescu, Cal Tech

Smaranda Marinescu
California Institute of Technology
Host: Jay Groves

Catalytic Processes for Organometallic Reactions and Solar Energy Conversion

The first part of the talk will focus on the development of molybdenum- and tungsten-based methodologies to generate exclusively Z- and E-olefins and related mechanistic studies. Ethenolysis of methyl oleate, a renewable feedstock derived from biomass, was achieved with excellent selectivity for terminal olefins. The second part of the talk will focus on mechanistic studies of the cobalt catalyzed hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and dehydrogenation of formic acid. Kinetics studies suggest a predominant heterolytic pathway involving a highly reactive CoII–H, generated by reduction of CoIII–H. These investigations shed new light on the previously speculative mechanisms of cobalt catalyzed HER. The interplay between mechanistic studies and reactivity will be highlighted as a strategy to develop more selective and efficient catalytic processes for organometallic reactions and solar energy conversion.