Project Highlight: Dong Wang

Image of Dr. Dong Wang

Our first project highlight of 2020 is of Dr. Dong Wang from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. His research interests lie with the design of biomimetic and bioinspired complexes based on first-row late-transition metals for catalyzing energy-demanding reactions such as the functionalization of inert hydrocarbons and the splitting of water to generate chemical fuels. He is also interested in capturing and characterizing reactive high-valent metal-oxo intermediates involved in these catalytic systems.

With the support of the CBSD CoBRE funds, Dr. Wang was able to make significant progress on a project aimed to develop high-valent dinuclear cobalt complexes with a biomimetic core structure inspired by soluble methane monooxygenase that hydroxylates the strong carbon-hydrogen bond of methane. The cobalt complex that his lab recently obtained is 3-5 orders of magnitude more reactive than other related complexes previously reported. His work sheds light on the development of more reactive cobalt complexes for carbon-hydrogen bond activation.

His research was recently published in the Journal of American Chemical Society (JACS). What is more is his graduate student, Yan Li was included in the latest JACS spotlight!