Nobel laureate Robert H. Grubbs comes to UCF

Nobel Laureate and California Institute of Technology Professor of Chemistry Robert H. Grubbs will be speaking to UCF students, staff, faculty and guests on February 4, 2013 as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series, which is hosted by the College of Sciences.

The event will start at 4 p.m. in Classroom One, Room 121 and is free and open to the public.

In “Design and Applications of Selective Catalysts for Olefin Metathesis” Grubbs will speak about how olefin metathesis catalysts have become one of the tools for the efficient synthesis of complex molecules. A number of applications of the early catalysts are now being utilized in commercial applications. This reaction provides demonstration of how fundamental science can result in practical applications. Until recently, the catalysts demonstrated poor catalyst controlled selectivity.

Over the past couple of years, complexes based on molybdenum, tungsten and ruthenium have been discovered that will produce olefins good to excellent selectivity for the generation of Z olefins both in cross and in ring closing metathesis. New ligands have been developed that result in different selectivities and open new applications of metathesis in the synthesis of an array of complex molecules.

Grubbs received the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with Richard R. Schrock and Yves Chauvin, for his work in the field of olefin metathesis. Grubbs studied chemistry at the University of Florida (B.S. and M.S.), where he worked with Merle Battiste, and Columbia University, where he obtained his Ph.D. under Ronald Breslow in 1968.

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