Switchable Catalysis Publication

Matt has just co-authored a publication in Journal of the American Chemical Society with the Miller group at UNC resulting from some of his sabbatical work. The paper describes a powerful approach to switchable catalysis, where hydrogen bonding of a pendant crown ether to a bound ammine ligand can serve as a gate to catalysis that opens in the presence of cations that disrupt hydrogen bonding. The situation is analogous to biological systems, but this approach has not previously been demonstrated in synthetic systems. Congrats especially to Sebas, also to other Miller group members for their fantastic work!

Congrats to group alumni!

We are fast approaching the end of the academic year, which means congrats are in order to our graduating research students, who have been so awesome these past few years! So, thanks and congrats to Wenlai Han, Emma Watson, Ellie Vandel, Helen Jin-Lee, and Jackson Cleveland!

Congrats are also in order to group alumni as they move on to next steps:

  • Wenlai Han is heading to MIT to begin graduate work in Chemistry
  • Ellie Vandel is heading to UIUC to begin graduate work in Chemistry
  • Jackson Cleveland is starting a PhD in Materials Science at University of Minnesota
  • Emma Watson will be starting a research associate position at Carleton with Dan Maxbauer in Geology
  • Jack Williams ’21 will be starting graduate study in the Integrated Program in Biochemistry at Wisconsin
  • And, Luke Westawker ’20 (UIUC, Mirica Group) has recently been awarded an NSF graduate research fellowship

Again, congrats all around and thanks to all for your amazing work supporting our research at Carleton!

New NSF Grant!

The Whited Lab has been awarded an NSF grant for $356k to support our research into use of metal/silicon bonds to support cooperative catalysis. In the project, “RUI: CAS-SC: Promoting Group-Transfer Reactions at Metal/Main-Group Bonds,” we will target cut-and-paste-style reactions where reactive chemical fragments can be stitched onto inexpensive and readily abundant substrates to afford products with applications in both bulk- and fine-chemicals. This approach also seeks to replace expensive and toxic metals with earth-abundant ones in catalysis, and thus contributes to the Critical Aspects of Sustainability – Innovative Solutions to Sustainable Chemistry (CAS-SC) initiative.