The Tilley Group

University of California, Berkeley

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Organometallic Chemistry and Homogeneous Catalysis

Research in organometallic chemistry involves the synthesis of transition metal complexes that exhibit new chemical properties, often via the design and introduction of new ancillary ligands. Work with early transition metals and the f metals target coordinatively unsaturated complexes that activate small molecules via sigma-bond metathesis. In previous work with Zr, Hf, Sc, and Lu, catalytic transformations of Si-H and C-H bonds have been developed. In late transition metal systems, chelating, nitrogen-donor ligands are being explored in attempts to generate reactive metal centers. In particular, research with Rh, Ir, and Pt has led to discovery of new reactions for the hydroarylation and hydroamination of olefins. A further interest concerns the activation of bonds via 1,2-migrations between a metal and a donor atom. This reaction type, which produces a metal-ligand multiple bond, has been used to obtain silylene complexes of Pt, Ir, Ru, Os, and W. These investigations have led to discovery of a new mechanism for the hydrosilylation of olefins, mediated by a metal silylene complex.

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