Chemistry 501 Seminar 'Biomimetic Denitrification, Hydrogenation, and Water Oxidation with New Hydrogen Bonding Ligands'

UT Host: Dr. David Jenkins

Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Papish, University of Alabama

Title: "Biomimetic Denitrification, Hydrogenation, and Water Oxidation with New Hydrogen Bonding Ligands"


Our research group mission is to apply bioinorganic and organometallic chemistry to problems that relate to green chemistry and sustainability. In particular, we are interested in exploring how hydrogen bonding groups impact catalysis. Within these broad goals, we have pursued bio-inspired reactivity, including denitrification, and reactivity inspired by the organometallic literature, specifically hydrogenation and water oxidation. The biomimetic chemistry has been aimed at designing structural and functional models for copper containing enzyme active sites. In particular, our tris(triazolyl)borate ligands (Ttz) allow for a functional model of copper nitrite reductase wherein hydrogen bonding interactions can alter the electronic properties of the ligand. Recently, we designed a new ligand that places hydrogen bonding groups near the metal center on a bipyridine scaffold. This has allowed for formation of ruthenium and iridium complexes that perform catalytic transfer hydrogenation in water and water oxidation. Hydrogenation and water oxidation are both of fundamental importance to the impending global energy crisis, as water oxidation is potentially a means of harnessing the sun's energy, and hydrogenation chemistry can allow for energy storage. Furthermore, we have also used our hydroxyl substituted bipyridine ligands for ruthenium based anti-cancer drugs that potentially are more toxic in cancer cells, and therefore can selectively target cancer cells.


This seminar will not be web cast

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Thursday, 13 March, 2014


Pam Roach

Phone: 865-974-3260



Buehler Hall

Room 555
1420 Circle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996
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