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Selective Synthesis Using Light and Electricity

Photo of guest speaker Prof. Zachary Wickens
Prof. Zachary Wickens
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
University of Wisconsin-Madison
iSTEM Building 2, Room 1218
Organic Seminar

This seminar will describe our investigations into how organic radical ions–typically thought of as fleeting intermediates–can be tamed and exploited as a new family of organocatalysts and small molecule reagents. We identified selective generation of such species as a key hurdle stymying development of these systems. To address this problem, we have leveraged electrochemistry to develop new synthetic transformations driven by organic radical ions. Electrochemistry offers not only an environmentally benign approach to promote redox events but also substantially simplifies the study of these unusual systems by enabling the exclusion of byproducts from oxidation or reductive generation of the key radical ion promoters. This seminar will describe multiple new platforms for synthetic reaction development based on electrogenerated persistent organic radical ions.

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