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Secondary Interactions in Symmetric Double Bond Formation Catalysed by Molecular Ruthenium Complexes

Time: Wed 2020-10-14 13.00

Location:, Stockholm (English)

Subject area: Chemistry

Doctoral student: Oleksandr Kravchenko , Organisk kemi

Opponent: Professor Roger Alberto, University of Zurich

Supervisor: Professor Licheng Sun, Molekylär elektronik, CMD, Kemi, Organisk kemi


Chemistry has a tremendous impact on everyone’s life, although society does not always realize its power and ubiquity. In recent years, improved economy and sustainability of chemical processes has become a worldwide priority. Since its discovery, catalysis has been leveraged in industry to decrease energy demands in chemical reactions and reduce their cost. This thesis focuses on two catalytic transformations and various aspects of catalyst design that improve the catalytic efficiency and applicability.

The first chapter contains an introduction of important concepts in catalysis and an overview of weak interactions, often used when designing catalysts. As symmetry plays a big role in chemistry in general and especially in the reactions discussed in this thesis, a brief overview of some symmetry aspects in molecules and reactions is provided.

The second chapter addresses applications of olefin metathesis in dynamic chemistry. The catalysts for establishing equilibria in simple dynamic systems under mild conditions are analysed from a structure-activity relationship perspective. An ability to perform self- and cross-metathesis of functionalized substrates in water is evaluated and used to improve selectivity.

The following chapters focus on water oxidation catalysis, which is an essential part of solar fuel generation and the development of sustainable energy solutions. Therefore, the third chapter focuses on the electronic effects in functionalized catalysts. The influence of substituents and backbone modifications on the properties of the catalysts is discussed. The fourth chapter introduces novel design of axial and equatorial ligands in state-of-the-art water oxidation catalysts for improvements in catalytic activity and stability.

The research presented in this thesis demonstrates the influence of weak intra- and intermolecular interactions on catalysis and the strategies of using these interactions in transition metal complexes to improve catalytic properties.