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Professor Amanda Bowman Publishes in Chemical Communications

Colorado College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Amanda Bowman recently published a paper, "Two-step C-H, C-P bond activation at an α-diimine iron dinitrogen complex," in Chemical Communications.

The research, conducted with three colleagues at the School of Molecular Sciences at Arizona State University, involved designing a new iron-containing molecule, (Ph2PPrDI)FeN2, and investigating the ability of the iron compound to assist with or catalyze other chemical reactions.

Bowman notes that in particular, the iron compound was found to have the ability to break carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bonds and then create new ones, a process called C-H functionalization. "The ability to functionalize C-H bonds is vital in producing fine chemicals directly from readily-available basic molecules, thus allowing resources to be used more efficiently and cleanly," she says. "These fine chemicals have applications in important areas ranging from pharmaceuticals to the development of new materials."

C-H functionalization can be difficult to achieve because C-H bonds are normally very unreactive, she says. Using a metal-containing catalyst, such as the iron compound described above, can increase the reactivity of C-H bonds, enabling chemical reactions that might not otherwise be possible.

Another important aspect of Bowman's research is the use of iron, an inexpensive and abundant base metal, instead of the precious metals that traditionally have been used for similar reactions, such as ruthenium. Replacing the rare, costly, and often toxic, precious metals with iron allows for greener chemical reactions.

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/16/2020