Dr. Richard Schrock, Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is supported by the Inorganic, Bioinorganic, and Organometallic Program of the Chemistry Division for research into metal-carbon multiple bonds and metallacycles. The objective is to develop new catalytic reactions involving olefins and acetylenes. The project will concentrate on the synthesis of new molybdenum catalysts that contain biphenolate and binaphtholate ligands. The mechanism of asymmetric olefin metathesis catalyzed by these species will be determined. Related tungsten complexes will be studied and asymmetric olefin metathesis catalyzed by them will be probed.
Catalysts are important in the synthesis of specific reaction products and their use can result in significant energy and chemical savings. The goal of this work is to systematically design groups attached to active metal centers in order to control their catalytic effects. The specific systems studied contain nitrogen-based (amido) ligands and early transition metals. Facile routes to new asymmetric molecules will be devised. This will have great impact on, e.g., the pharmaceutical industry by providing new ways of obtaining pure enatio-isomers.