Faculty Mentor: Abby O’Connor
Student: Jacob Levene
valuable for use in catalysis. One place nickel is utilized in nature is in the hydrogenase enzyme, a biologically relevant catalyst. As organometallic chemists, we are interested in identifying new nickel complexes for use in catalytic applications. Our work focuses on the rational design of nickel complexes for use in different avenues of catalysis. Nickel complexes catalyze a number of different reactions, including the formation of carbon-carbon bonds. However, an area in which nickel complexes have not been utilized effectively is in the hydrogenation of alkenes. This poster highlights our progress towards the synthesis and reactivity of new nickel complexes containing hemilabile groups. A hemilabile group has the ability to coordinate to a metal to stabilize open sites but is readily dissociated to allow for substrate coordination and further reaction. One focus of this work is towards the synthesis of nickel complexes containing a hemilabile pendent phosphonate arm and weakly coordinating ligands. Ideally, the compound will be stable, yet reactive enough to act as a catalyst. Another area of study is the use of nickel and palladium complexes to polymerize alkenes and dienes. This work also highlights our progress towards studying the reactivity of nickel complexes containing phosphine ligands with hemilabile arene groups to polymerize norbornene.