Olefin metathesis is a basic carbon-carbon bond formation technique in the synthesis of polymers, pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals. Professor Grubbs' research group has been instrumental in developing a family of ruthenium catalysts for olefin metathesis, including one named including 'Grubbs' catalyst'. Their studies have included olefin transformations for ring-closing metathesis (RCM), cross-metathesis, and ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) with cyclic olefins. They have also contributed to the development of "living polymerization" in which a polymer will continue to replicate until a quenching agent is presented. Olefin metathesis is recognized as a step forward for 'green chemistry' - chemical processes that are more efficient and generate fewer hazardous wastes. The approach requires less starting material and less energy, and generates less waste and fewer byproducts.
The diverse nature of chemistry allows us to develop new ways of treating disease that don't involve pharmaceuticals. Simple materials chemistry is made possible by recent developments in synthetic strategies and techniques. For example, with novel materials chemistry, we have developed light adjustable intraocular lenses. New chemistry technologies will greatly impact healthcare costs by introducing alternatives to long-term treatment.
Robert H. Grubbs is currently the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, where he has been a faculty member since 1978. Before moving to Caltech, Bob was at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan from 1969 to 1978, where he achieved the rank of Associate Professor. In 2005, Bob was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (with R. R. Schrock and Y. Chauvin) for his contributions to the field of olefin metathesis
Thurssday, June 21, 2018
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