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Workshop / Seminar

Prelim Defense, 11/10/2023, 3pm, Fulmer 201

Fulmer Hall
Room 201
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About the event

Title: Investigating the Formation and Reactivity of ZrII, HfII, and AnII Species Supported by Metal-Arene Interactions

Speaker: Ian Haltom

Group: Prof. Boncella


Since the discovery of bis(benzene) chromium, metal-arene interactions have been extensively studied. In the process, novel organo-actinide species have been able to be isolated, with the caveat that they often exhibit complicated electronic structures. Within the last few decades, arene interactions have helped to stabilize metals in low oxidation states, owing to the arene’s unique ability to stabilize electron-rich metals. As a result, there is a growing understanding of how bonding for metals in various oxidation states occurs. However, there are still gaps in fundamental understanding of how various orbitals play a role in bonding, particularly in how valence d and f orbitals interact in actinides. This makes accurately predicting stable species for organo-actinide complexes difficult, and isolation of new species often requires careful and meticulous experimentation. One ligand system that has shown exceptional ability to stabilize low-valent lanthanides and actinides, however, is 2,6-(2,4,6-iPr3C6H2)2C6H3NH, or more simply “TrippTerNH”. In this research proposal, I will discuss recent efforts in applying this ligand system to group IV metal complexes in the +2 oxidation state, as well as generating a series of isostructural metal complexes for ZrII, HfII, ThII, NpII, and AmII. In performing this research, a family of compounds from early transition metals to early actinide to transuranic metals will be synthesized; their isolation in the same oxidation states and with the same ligand environment will allow for direct comparisons and elucidation of periodic trends as one dives down the periodic table and into the actinides.