Towards a Molecular Understanding of Organometallic Heterogeneous Catalysts (Hybrid)

Friday, April 15, 2022 - 1:10pm
Event Type: 

Matthew P Conley

Matt Conley 

University of California Riverside 

Hosts: Dr. Rossini and Dr. Sadow 


Nearly all large-scale catalytic reactions in chemical industry use a heterogeneous catalyst. These critically important materials usually contain a high surface area inert support (SiO2, Al2O3, etc.), and a catalytically active site dispersed on the support. The structure of an active site in heterogeneous catalysts can be extremely difficult to determine using spectroscopic techniques because available synthetic methods produce complex mixtures of active and dormant sites on a support surface. This limitation results in empirical optimization strategies, and reactions that are less energy efficient than those catalyzed by related homogeneous catalysts. This seminar will describe our efforts to generate well-defined active site structures on oxide surfaces. Well-defined active sites for the polymerization of olefins, and generation of very strong  Lewis/Bronsted acid sites on surfaces will be discussed, with a particular emphasis on spectroscopic characterization of reactive intermediates.


Matt grew up in and around Chicago. He obtained a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004, and was introduced to research in Vladimir Gevorgyan's group. He joined Richard F. Jordan's group at the University of Chicago for his Ph. D. As a member of the Jordan group Matt studied the isomerization mechanisms of Pd(II) complexes. He pursued a postdoc at the ICIQ in Tarragona, Spain with Javier de Mendoza (2008 – 2011), where he worked on guanidinium receptors. In 2011 Matt moved to ETH in Zurich, Switzerland to work in Christophe Coperet's group as a postdoc. In the Copéret group he worked on surface organometallic chemistry to synthesize well-defined heterogeneous catalysts. He also worked on characterization of supported species and molecular organometallic complexes using solid-state NMR. In 2015, he joined the faculty at the University of California, Riverside. Throughout all of his moves he remains a loyal fan of the Chicago Cubs.

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