Patrick Holland (Yale University)

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Location: 123 Nieuwland Science Hall

Abstract:  N2reduction (or "fixation") has been a longstanding target of study in chemistry because of the compelling goal of utilizing abundant, cheap atmospheric N2for chemical synthesis. Current methods reduce N2to ammonia at high temperatures and pressures. This seminar will discuss our research into low-temperature N2fixation, as well as new mechanisms that lead to organic products from N2. One of our strategies borrows from the natural enzyme, nitrogenase, which uses an unusual iron-sulfur cluster whose atomic-level mechanism is mysterious. This motivates the development of iron-sulfur complexes with unusual shapes, and study of their interactions with N2and other nitrogenase substrates. Another strategy involves low-coordinate iron coordination compounds, which display new mechanisms for breaking the N-N bond of N2. Studies on low-valent iron compounds have led to the first example of converting N2and arenes directly into aniline products

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