Special Seminar – Colin Gould (Princeton University)

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1315 Seminar Hall
@ 3:30 pm

Title: Radical Chemistry: From Single-Molecule Magnets to Photoredox Catalysis

Abstract: Molecules with unpaired electrons display intriguing electronic/magnetic properties and unique reactivity, phenomena that are widely studied across diverse chemical disciplines. In this seminar, I will discuss my research on radical chemistry in two distinct areas: single-molecule magnets and photoredox catalysis.

First, I will describe the synthesis and characterization of lanthanide complexes that contain radical ligands or single-electron metal–metal bonding interactions. I will highlight the isolation of a triplet benzene diradical—typically a high-energy excited state species—through ligand design and magnetic exchange. I will also discuss how metal–metal bonding within a dilanthanide complex gives rise to the largest coercive magnetic fields yet observed for any molecule or molecule-based material.

Next, I will describe a “radical sorting” method for C(sp3)–C(sp3) cross-coupling that is enabled by dual photoredox and iron catalysis. I will discuss both the mechanistic investigation of this transformation and synthetic applications, including the conversion of tertiary alcohols—abundant, structurally-diverse feedstocks—to quaternary carbons, a motif that is challenging to access via conventional synthetic methods.

Bio: Colin Gould is a postdoctoral scholar with research interests at the interface of physical-inorganic and synthetic organic chemistry. He obtained his Sc. B. from Brown University, where he studied the mechanism of terpene biosynthesis in the lab of Prof. David Cane. As an undergraduate, Colin also completed two summer research fellowships: the first focused on photoswitchable polymers with Prof. Anne Staubitz at the University of Kiel and the second centered on metal-organic framework catalysis with Prof. Jeff Long at the University of California, Berkeley. Colin returned to the Long lab as a Ph. D. student, where his graduate research focused on the design and synthesis of high-temperature single-molecule magnets. Now, Colin is an Arnold O. Beckman postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Dave MacMillan at Princeton University, where he seeks to develop novel synthetic methods for C(sp3)–C(sp3) bond formation via photoredox catalysis.

Key Words: Inorganic chemistry, single-molecule magnets, organic synthetic methods, photoredox catalysis

Host: Tehshik Yoon