The Soper Group develops catalysts for selective bond making and breaking reactions relevant to organic synthesis and energy conversion and storage. We utilize coordination chemistry to reengineer the way transition metal catalysts impart selectivity in redox bond activation and functionalization reactions. Instead of suppressing single-electron transfer, we exploit the capacity of some metal–ligand pairs to undergo reversible low-energy electron transfer for kinetic control in free radical reactions. We apply these methods for controlled radical chemistry to stoichiometric and catalytic reactions that are challenging or inaccessible using current methods.
To accomplish these aims, researchers in the Soper Group are skilled in the synthesis and handling of air-sensitive materials. We use a variety of spectroscopic techniques to characterize reaction products and intermediates, and to perform detailed mechanistic studies that guide rational catalyst development.
Selected research highlights are available here.