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October 5, 2015

GSC Seminar 8

image01Photo: Prof. Okuda(Right) and Prof. Nakamura(Left)


“Molecular Hydrides and Organyls of Electropositive Metals: From Umpolung to Polymerization Catalysis”


Professor Jun Okuda
RWTH Aachen University, Germany


Professor Eiichi Nakamura
Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science


The discovery of dialkylzinc ZnR2 ushered in the era of organometallic compounds. They contain a nucleophilic (carbanion) rather than an electrophilic (carbenium ion) carbon center (“Umpolung”) and as documented by Grignard reagents, are synthetically most useful in forming carbon-carbon bonds. A further progress was the discovery that carbon-carbon double bonds can be activated by metal centers and in special cases, form long polymer chains. Metal-hydrogen bonds also results in a variety of hydride compounds that are highly reactive and play a major role in catalytic cycles of e.g. hydrogenation and hydroformylation.

This lecture will give an overview on selected milestones of modern organometallic chemistry which revolutionized the way organic molecules can be transformed by the action of metal centers. Emphasis will be put on the discussion of principles related to electropositive rather than noble metals. Applications in synthesis, catalysis, and energy storage will be presented.

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