Molecular Horizons Seminar - Dr Sinead Keaveney

Complex organic compounds are ubiquitous in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and materials chemistry industries, with these compounds often featuring a diverse range of functional groups. To meet the continuing demand for efficient, sustainable and selective strategies to access complex organic compounds, our toolbox of synthetic methods needs to continually expand. To address this challenge, my research program focuses on developing new, or more efficient, chemical transformations, with detailed mechanistic studies used to guide reaction development.

The presentation will focus on applied organometallic catalysis, where catalyst design has allowed new chemical reactions to be developed. In particular, I am interested in rationally designing catalysts to facilitate challenging and high-value chemical transformations, such as the incorporation of fluorinated species, the development of chemoselective cross-coupling protocols as well as the design of catalysts for efficient C-F activation. Recent work has also involved the use of photocatalysts, where a photocatalyst has been tethered to a typical heat activated transition metal catalyst, to allow unique chemical reactivity to be developed.