Small molecule transformations, such as CO2 or N2 reduction, in biology and solar fuels chemistry require multi-electron and multi-proton reaction sequences. The goal of synthetically realizing these reaction types provides a rich landscape for exploring new ideas in the design, synthesis, and characterization of inorganic and organometallic molecules. This talk will explore the molecular space where conjugated organic molecules and metal-metal bonded clusters provide electronic structures with delocalized frontier molecular orbitals. Just like in heterogeneous materials, these molecules have low kinetic barriers for electron and proton transfer reaction chemistry that enable transformations such as low potential ET, concerted ET, PT pathways and fast PT. These processes can be characterized using the powerful characterization tools of molecular chemistry to obtain new insights into reaction mechanisms and electronic structures.
Speaker: Louise Berben, UC Davis
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