Our Research focuses on the development and understanding of new catalytic methods for organic synthesis.

Catalytic reactions are becoming more and more commonly used in the synthesis of complex structures - pharmaceutical molecules (medicines), polymers (plastics, clothing) and fuels - among others.


Unfortunately, in the application of catalysis to small molecules, its not always clear how the reaction happens. If we can better understand the reactions and the catalysts, then we can develop improved methods that will be less expensive and generate less waste.


Students in our group will be trained in:

   synthetic organic techniques

   organometallic synthesis









We are particularly interested in developing new catalytic methods for the formation of C-C bonds using readily available precursors and earth abundant first row transition metal catalysts.



Oxidative Decarboxylative Coupling for the Synthesis of Pharmaceutically Relevant Small Molecules

We are exploring reactions that use carboxylic acids and arenes to form new C-C and C-X bonds.  This method will allow us to generate complex structures from simple and readily available precursors under conditions that are benign and sustainable.  We have recently developed the first copper-catalyzed oxidative decarboxyaltive arylation and we are currently exploring the mechanism in order to improve upon our current reaction.







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Nitrogenase Models for a Better Understanding of Multiple Proton/Electron Reductions

We are also interested in reductive C-C bond formation as an efficient route to generate fuels. To better understand how to achieve and control this reduction, we are synthesizing and studying new metal complexes that are structural mimics of the nitrogenase enzyme, which enables the reductive coupling of carbon monoxide.




















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The Hoover Group thanks the following agencies for their generous support of our research:

  © 2017 J. M. Hoover