The dianionic oxo ligand occupies a very special place in coordination chemistry, owing to its ability to donate pi electrons to stabilize high oxidation states of metals. The ligand field theory of multiple bonding in metal-oxos predicts that there must be an “oxo wall” between Fe-Ru-Os and Co-Rh-Ir in the periodic table. There have been many attempts to break down the wall, but in my seminar I will report that it is still standing! I will discuss the roles metal-oxos play in two of the most important chemical reactions on planet Earth, water oxidation to oxygen in photosystem II, and hydrocarbon oxygenation catalyzed by cytochrome P450.
Speaker: Harry Gray, California Institute of Technology
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