A Project of Boston College Magazine

The Discovery and Development of High Oxidation State Catalysts for the Metathesis of Alkenes and Alkynes

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In chemistry, the term “metathesis” refers to a chemical reaction in which bonds between different atoms are broken and the atoms recombine to create a new molecule—a process that has been likened to dancers switching partners. As a bench chemist at E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Richard Schrock discovered the mechanism by which catalytic agents influence metathesis in carbon compounds, paving the way to synthesize pharmaceuticals, plastics, industrial chemicals, and other new substances. Along with two other chemists, Schrock received the 2005 Nobel Prize for advancing the use of metathesis. “The synthesis methods developed by the [Nobel] Laureates have rapidly become common tools in academic research,” said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in awarding the prize. “With catalytic metathesis the synthesis routes are shorter, giving more product and fewer restproducts. This leads to cleaner and more environmentally friendly production.”

Schrock, now the Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry at MIT, delivered three lectures in March, 2007 as University Lecturer in the Chemistry Department. The University Lecture Series is sponsored by Sigma-Aldrich.

Format: Lecture
Length: 55

Presenter(s): Richard R. Schrock

Date: March 21, 2007

Location: Merkert 127

Sponsor(s): Chemistry Department

URL: http://frontrow.bc.edu/program/schrock1/

The information on this page is accurate as of March 2007