The group is working to control the reactivity of transition metal complexes using long-range interactions. These interactions include metal-ligand cooperativity with heavy main group atoms, extended electron delocalization via ligand orbitals, and application of external electric fields.
Metal-ligand cooperativity is an emerging area of research in inorganic chemistry that invokes reactivity occurring at not only the transition metal center but also on the supporting ligand. Traditionally, such reactivity has been in proton or electron transfer. However, more recent work has shown that this chemistry can be expanded to store and transfer entire functional groups. This can allow for more complex reactivity that is challenging to achieve at a single metal site. Our group is focused on using constrained phosphorus-based ligands with first row transition metal ions observe new reactivity. New methods of bond-breaking and bond-forming reactions are enabled by taking advantage of the unique properties of these phosphorus centers along with a transition metal center. Working together, one can envision multi-electron, multi-component reactions in areas such as hydrofunctionalization, cross-coupling, and green oxidation.