Photochemistry and Catalysis

Our group is interested in designing and understanding organic photocatalytic reactions and other light-driven transformations. As such, one major focus in our lab is the development of organic photoredox catalysts. Our interest started with the design of organic photoredox catalysts for a light-driven polymerization method for the synthesis of well-defined polymers termed organocatalyzed atom transfer radical polymerization (O-ATRP, see O-ATRP section for more details) and has since expanded to various small molecule transformations. To inform our catalyst design, we are interested in understanding the structure-property relationships of organic molecules at all stages of the catalytic cycle. As such, this work involves a synergy of synthetic, computational, and photophysical chemistries. In addition to our work with more traditional transformations, we have identified several interesting reaction methods which are driven by light, but do not require a formal photocatalyst. We are actively searching for additional photochemical systems in which association of reactants leads to formation of a light absorbing complex (electron donor-acceptor or transition metal). For these methodologies, mechanistic studies seek to deduce the light-driven reaction steps and uncover the species responsible for the observed photochemistry and catalysis. 

Recent Photochemistry and Catalysis Publications