Photochemical reactions hold tremendous promise for organic chemistry. They are able to access reaction pathways that are unique from — and often complementary to — traditional thermal processes. As a result, photochemistry enables new mechanisms, new transformations, and thus new chemistry. Sometimes this means taking an existing reaction and improving it (for example, making it faster, safer, greener, cheaper, or more selective). Other times, this means developing an entirely new reaction altogether, making something for which no methods currently exist.
In particular, our research focuses on photoredox catalysis, in which chromophores absorb visible light, then use its energy to perform single electron redox chemistry with organic substrates. The resulting intermediates are able to participate in a wide variety of interesting and powerful organic transformations. We are particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms of these reactions, and we apply our discoveries in order to develop new synthetic methods and make new and never-before-seen molecules!
If you are interested in joining the research group, and have taken (or are currently taking) Chem 234, please email me. I would love to meet with you and discuss our current projects, as well as how you could be a member of the team!