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Joint Organic Chemistry and Inorganic-Electrochemistry Seminar

Tuesday, September 13, 2022
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Gates Annex B122
Main-Group Cations, Anions, and Radicals: From Redox Chemistry to Luminescent Materials
Robert J. Gilliard, Jr, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia,

Research efforts in the Gilliard laboratory span diverse areas of chemical synthesis. While the redox chemistry of transition metals is established, the development of main-group element-mediated redox reactions remain a major challenge. This is in part due to inherent differences in electronic structure and the highly reactive nature of main-group elements in low oxidation states. Thus, we have been interested in the design and isolation of low-oxidation state and cationic main-group compounds that impact energy-relevant molecular transformations, including reactions with small molecules (e.g., carbon dioxide, dihydrogen). Our work has mostly centered around establishing bonding and reactivity trends among the alkaline earth metals (Be, Mg) and heavy pnictogens (Sb, Bi). Thus far, we have isolated s-block radical cations and demonstrated that low-valent s-block compounds can be redox-active. Recently, we have begun to study heterocycles "doped" with boron for the development of new π-electron materials with unusual bonding and photophysical properties. This has led to the synthesis of new anionic borafluorene and borepin chemical synthons, thermochromic and thermoluminescent borafluorenium ions, and stable boracyclic radicals. Our primary goal has been to isolate molecules in rare electronic states and to provide a link between structure and function. This presentation will highlight our most recent results in these research areas.

For more information, please contact Julianne Just by phone at x2924 or by email at [email protected].