Research Highlight

The Byers Group: Organometallic chemistry

Polymerization of Biodegradable Materials

M. Qi, D. Dong, J. A. Byers, D. Wang. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 17, 5686–5690. "Electrochemically Switchable Ring-Opening Polymerization of Lactide and Cyclohexene Oxide"

Electrochemical stimuli are utilized for the redox-switchable polymerization of lactide and cyclohexene oxide. This type of redox-switch behaves similarly to previously used chemical redox reagents, demonstrating high chemoselectivity as well as the ability to synthesize copolymers of poly(lactic acid) and poly(cyclohexene oxide). This discovery opens up the door for the programmable synthesis of multi-block copolymers through electrochemical redox-switches.

Iron-based Catalysts for Small Molecules

Graphical abstract: Iron-catalysed enantioconvergent Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling to afford enantioenriched 1,1-diarylalkanes

Chet C. Tyrol, Nang, S. Yone, Connor F. Gallin and Jeffery A. Byers. Chem. Commun. 2020, 56, 14661-14664. "Iron-catalysed enantioconvergent Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling to afford enantioenriched 1,1-diarylakanes".

Iron bis(oxazoline) catalysts are demonstrated for the cross-coupling of benzylic halides and aryl boronic esters to produce enantioenriched 1,1-diarylalkanes. These difficult substrates are accessed by taking advantage of iron's ability to engage in one and two electron processes. A mechanistic investigation is also pursued to further understand iron-catalyzed cross-coupling.

Host/ Guest Encapsulation of Homogenous Catalysts in MOFs

Thomas M. Rayder, Enric H. Adillon, Jeffery A. Byers and Chia-Kuang Tsung. Chem. 2020, 6, 1742- 1754. "A Bioinspired Multicomponent Catalytic System for Converting Carbon Dioxide into Methanol Autocatalytically".

Ruthenium catalysts are encapsulated in UiO-66 metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to allow for the one-pot synthesis of methanol from carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas using tandem catalysis between the two ruthenium catalysts and the Lewis acid MOF nodes. The MOFs also protect the ruthenium catalysts from decomposition allowing for high turnovers and long catalyst lifetimes. The encapsulated catalysts are recyclable compared to their homogenous counterparts, which could be useful for the future design of long-lived metal complex/ MOF catalysts.

Group Highlight: Prof. Alexander Miller
The Miller Group: Organometallic chemistry
Group Highlight: Prof. Dunwei Wang
The Wang Group: Heterogenous catalysis
Group Highlight: Prof . Chong Liu
The Liu Group: Electrochemical interfaces
Group Highlight: Prof. Jeffrey A. Byers
The Byers Group: Organometallic chemistry
Group highlight: Prof. Paula Diaconescu
The Diaconescu Group: Redox switchable catalysis
Group Highlight: Prof. Loi Do
The Loi Do’s group: organometallic chemistry of olefin polymerization