Base Metal Catalysis

Catalysis is a key driver of sustainable chemistry. Most chemical industries ranging from commodity and fine chemicals to petroleum to pharmaceuticals, rely on catalysis as an enabling technology. Often times, however, the transition metals that comprise the catalyst are some of the rarest in the Earth’s crust. A long-standing interest in the Chirik laboratory has been to discover new catalysts based on Earth abundant transition elements such as iron, cobalt, nickel and most recently molybdenum. Our primary goal is not to simply replace existing catalysts but to discover new reaction chemistry that takes advantage of the unique electronic structures of the inexpensive metal. Specific research areas are given below: