29th CEMS Colloquium


Dr. Zhaomin Hou (RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science)


17:30 - 18:30, June 24, 2015 (Wednesday)


BSI Ikenohata Building 3F, RIKEN


New Catalysts, New Reactions and New Functional Materials


The discovery of new catalysts can result in breakthroughs in various areas. New catalysts can facilitate reactions that have been previously considered impossible, and thus help us to make new functional materials that cannot be made by previous means. We have recently found that half-sandwich rare-earth alkyl complexes supported by monocyclopentadienyl ligands can serve as excellent catalysts for the polymerization and copolymerization of a wide range of olefin monomers such as ethylene, 1-hexene, styrene, conjugated and non-conjugated dienes, and cyclic olefins in a regio- and stereospecific fashion. These reactions have afforded a new family of functional polymer materials which are difficult to prepare previously and show unique physical, mechanical and optical properties.
The hydrogenolysis of the half-sandwich rare-earth dialkyl complexes has led to the formation of a new family of rare-earth polyhydride complexes which show novel features in both structure and reactivity. A similar approach to the analogous group 4 metal hydrides has afforded a novel titanium hydride cluster that can cleave and hydrogenate dinitrogen (N2) and benzene at room temperature.