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Professors Byers, Hoveyda, Kelly, Liu, Morken, & Snapper
Jeffery A. Byers

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Contact Information:

Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 2007

Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT, 2007-2011

A central theme to research in our laboratory is the investigation of novel or underdeveloped organotransition metal chemistry and its catalytic application to useful processes in the fields of organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and materials science. One area of interest is in the development of new or underutilized bond activation mechanisms for the rapid assembly of small molecules. As an example, transition metals are being investigated as potential catalysts for carbon-to-oxygen silyl migration reactions or Brook rearrangements. Rapid and selective assembly of useful building blocks for chemical synthesis can be achieved by carrying out this transformation as part of a multicomponent coupling reaction with a variety of electrophiles. A related area of interest in our laboratory is the use of relatively abundant and inexpensive transition metal catalysts for the reversible hydrogenation of carbon dioxide to formic acid and/ or methanol. This process would provide a means to store and transport hydrogen, a leading candidate to replace fossil fuels as a sustainable and renewable energy source. A final area of interest in our laboratory is the development of new synthetic techniques for the production of novel copolymers useful as traditional engineering polymers, biodegradable polymers, or polymers useful for biomedical applications. To access these new materials, we intend to exploit transition metal catalysts that have tunable Lewis acidic properties as well as available one and two electron redox pathways.

Representative Key Publications:

“Evidence That Epoxide-Opening Cascades Promoted by Water Are Stepwise and Become Faster and More Selective After the First Cyclization” Morten, Christopher J.; Byers, Jeffery A.; Jamison, Timothy F. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011, 133, 1902-1908.

“On the Synergism Between H2O and a Tetrahydropyran Template in the Regioselective Cyclization of an Epoxy Alcohol” Byers, Jeffery A.; Jamison, Timothy, F. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2009, 131, 6383-6385.

“Kinetic resolution of racemic _-olefins with ansa-zirconocene polymerization catalysts: Enantiomorphic site vs. chain end control” Byers, Jeffery A.; Bercaw, John E. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 2006, 103, 15303-15308.