Organic Chemistry Seminar: Professor Song Lin, Cornell University (Host: Steven Banik)
About the Talk
"Amping Up Organic Synthesis with Electricity: An Electrocatalytic Approach to Reaction Discovery"
Owing to its many distinct characteristics, electrochemistry represents an attractive approach to discovering new reactions and meeting the prevailing trends in organic synthesis. In particular, electrocatalysis—a process that integrates electrochemistry and small-molecule catalysis—has the potential to substantially improve the scope of synthetic electrochemistry and provide a wide range of useful transformations. Despite its attractive attributes and extensive applications in energy-related fields, electrocatalysis has been used only sparingly in synthetic organic chemistry. Thus, there exists a clear impetus for inventing new catalytic strategies to improve the scope of synthetic electrochemistry and provide new platforms for reaction discovery and synthetic innovations. Toward this end, we developed a new catalytic approach that combines electrochemistry and redox-metal catalysis for the functionalization of alkenes to access a diverse array of vicinally functionalized structures. This talk discusses our design principle underpinning the development of electrocatalytic alkene difunctionalization and hydrofunctionalization with a particular emphasis on enantioselective electrocatalysis. In addition, our recent developments in electrophotocatalysis will be discussed, in which we harness the power of both electricity and light to access catalytic species with exceptionally high oxidizing or reducing potentials. Finally, our recent forays into electroreductive chemistry at deep reducing potentials will be discussed in the context of radical silylation and alkylation chemistry.
About the Speaker
Song Lin grew up in Tianjin, China. He obtained his B.S. degree from Peking University in 2008, where he carried out undergraduate research with Zhangjie Shi on Pd-catalyzed C–H alkylation. In 2008, he embarked his graduate studies at Harvard University working under the direction of Eric Jacobsen. His doctoral research was focused on the development and mechanistic understanding of enantioselective reactions catalyzed by multifunctional hydrogen-bond donors. Motivated by the deep interest in catalysis cultivated during his graduate studies, Song then carried out postdoctoral studies with Chris Chang at UC Berkeley. His postdoctoral research was focused on using molecularly tunable materials, such as covalent organic frameworks, as catalysts for electrochemical reduction of CO2. In the summer of 2016, Song moved to Ithaca to start his independent career at Cornell University, where he is currently a Howard Milstein Faculty Fellow and Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Song has received several early career awards, including Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, ONR Young Investigator Award, Lilly Research Award, Cottrell Scholar Award, NSF CAREER Award, and 3M Nontenure Faculty Award.