Professor Kingsley Cavell/Dr Damien Murphy Project Titles
1. Novel paramagnetic nickel complexes in catalysis: Mechanistic insights through ligand design and advanced EPR studies
The aims of this project are to achieve a greater understanding of the role played by paramagnetic Ni(I)/Ni(III) species in catalytic C-C coupling reactions and alkene oligomerisation/polymerisation. This project combines synthesis, catalysis and advanced paramagnetic spectroscopy to achieve these aims. Novel Ni(I)/(III) complexes stabilised by new, ring-expanded N-heterocyclic carbenes (RE-NHCs) will be synthesised to establish fundamental reaction behaviour, aid in the isolation of potential reaction intermediates, and tested for catalytic performance. Electron spin behaviour and structural insights of these paramagnetic species under catalytically relevant conditions will be investigated using advanced EPR methods including ENDOR, HYSCORE and ESEEM. The work will provide a comprehensive insight into the structural basis, redox states and mechanistic understanding of these unique complexes, thus enhancing our fundamental knowledge of Ni(I)/(III) in catalysis.