Catalytic Reduction of Dinitrogen to Ammonia with Protons and Electrons
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.
Date: March 23, 2007
Location: Merkert 127
Sponsor(s): Chemistry Department