In this research project we will produce a new generation of Alkaline Earth (Ae) reagents capable of activating small molecules and substrates of strategic importance for the chemical industry. Ae chemistry is almost exclusively limited to the +2 oxidation state, and examples of monovalent Group 2 (G2) metal complexes are rare and completely unknown for the heavy congeners strontium and barium, largely due to synthetic challenges and drawbacks in current molecular design. The overarching objective of this research project is to overcome such challenges through an innovative molecular design and produce: 1) the first examples of molecular monovalent Sr and Ba complexes; 2) experimental and theoretical evidence of transition metal-like behaviour of G2 metals; 3) facile transformation of small molecules of strategic importance for the chemical industry (e.g. CO, CO2, N2). These discoveries will boost the fundamental knowledge of Ae metals and impact the progress in other disciplines such as catalysis, sustainable chemistry and materials science, together with putting the UK at the forefront of an innovative research field.
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