Research

Hazari Group Research

The main focus of the Hazari group is the mechanism-based design of homogeneous transition metal catalysts for the synthesis of fine and commodity chemicals. A growing interest involves the design and synthesis of small molecules for use in photovoltaics. Our approach to developing new catalysts involves detailed experimental and theoretical studies of reaction mechanisms. In most projects we essentially utilize an iterative loop (Figure 1) in which: (i) Studies are performed to understand how a precatalyst is converted to the active catalytic species. (ii) The activity, selectivity and stability of catalysts are determined under a range of conditions. (iii) Mechanistic investigations under the actual catalytic conditions are performed to provide information about the factors that are important in determining the performance of a system. These studies are often complemented by stoichiometric experiments to probe the elementary steps in a catalytic cycle. (iv) The precatalyst is redesigned or the conditions modified, including the choice of ancillary ligand, to improve the reaction by either increasing the speed at which the precatalyst activates, and/or that the elementary steps occur, and/or decreasing the rate of catalyst decomposition. Details about current projects are available by clicking on the links to the left.