With this CAREER award, the Chemical Synthesis program is supporting the research of Professor Corey Stephenson of Boston University. Professor Stephenson will develop green chemical methodologies mediated by visible light sensitization. These operationally simple, catalytic methods forgo the need for specialized photochemistry equipment, utilizing inexpensive household light bulbs and energy efficient LEDs for irradiation. First, a general, catalytic approach to radical chemistry will be developed taking advantage of ligand dependent redox properties of ruthenium and iridium polypyridine complexes. Second, a catalytic approach to the activation of carbon-oxygen bond towards nucleophilic displacement reactions will be developed.
Professor Stephenson will also be initiating educational outreach projects which interweave research and teaching. The first project involves the development of workshops for underrepresented minority/low-income high school students from the Boston area. The second program aims to promote chemistry career awareness for undergraduate and graduate students at Boston University with the creation of a special seminar series featuring speakers from academia and industry.