The North Jersey ACS NMR Topical Group is pleased to presents its February meeting at Rutgers, Wednesday, February 19, 2020  [ register ]

Featured PresentationDr. Abby R. O'Connor

Speaker: Dr. Abby R. O’Connor, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, The College of New Jersey

Title: “Examining sulfonamide containing ligand scaffolds in catalytic base-free transfer hydrogenation and beyond !”


Work in the O’Connor lab has focused on the catalysis of iridium complexes containing pyridinesulfonamide ligands. We discovered iridium-catalyzed transfer hydrogenation of polar substrates under conditions that do not require basic additives and rigorously dried and degassed substrates and solvents. These catalysts tolerate a wide substrate scope and including base sensitive functional groups. Variation of the electronics of the catalysts and substrates influences the yield of product, as determined by 1H NMR spectroscopy. Control experiments support a homogeneous catalyzed pathway. Variation of the structural rigidity of the ligand framework has been explored and high catalysis activity is only observed with flexible ethylene or methylene linkers between the sulfonamide and pyridine moieties; substitution with a more rigid aromatic linker prevents catalysis (Figure 1). Initial NMR spectroscopic studies support the formation of an iridium hydride intermediate and the potential for ligand dissociation under catalytic conditions. Our preliminary mechanistic and kinetic findings via experiment and theory are highlighted to provide an explanation as to why these systems operate under base-free conditions. Also highlighted in this presentation are new ligand scaffolds being developed by our lab for rare earth element binding and recovery and CO2 reduction


6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Seminar

Dinner Cost  (pay at the door):

$10 employed / $5 students, postdoc, retired, unemployed. No charge for seminar only.

Meeting Venue

Rutgers University
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, CCB
Room 1203
123 Bevier Rd
Piscataway, NJ 08854   [ Driving Directions to the new CCB Building ]

Parking: Parking will be available in LOTS 54 & 51B (described in Driving Directions)

Important: If you are driving, before leaving home please read & heed this message from the Rutgers Parking Department:

“Guests must use the below link to register for the event. Until this process is completed their vehicles are not registered and your guests may receive a citation . . .”


Justyna Sikorska (Chair) (Co-Chair)


Please register online [ here ] or via e-mail to
Justyna Sikorska (Chair) (Co-Chair)