Mitsui Chemicals Successfully Hosts
The Fifth Catalysis Science Symposium


【Summary of lectures】

〔Plenary Lectures〕

<Plenary lecture 1> [3/9(Wed.)10:10 – 11:00]

Dynamics of Chemical Reactions and Photochemical Processes
Prof. Yuan T. Lee (Academia Sinica, Taiwan)

Prof. Lee is an experimental physical chemist who was the first Taiwanese to receive the Nobel Prize in 1986. He developed crossed molecular beam techniques and has succeeded in observation of the dynamics of certain chemical reaction processes.
In the lecture, in addition to the crossed molecular beam method, recent investigation of the ozone hole photochemistry was given in order to demonstrate the dynamics of chemical reactions and photochemical processes that can be obtained.

<Plenary lecture 2> [3/10(Thu.)10:00 – 10:50]

The Structure and Mechanism of ATP Synthase
Prof. Sir John E. Walker (Medical Research Council, U.K)

Prof. Sir John Ernest Walker is a leading authority in the field of molecular biology and is well known for his contribution to mitochondria research. After he established the details of the genetic code of mitochondrial DNA, Prof. Sir John Walker began studying adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase from mitochondria and bacteria. He has identified their subunit composition and structure including the catalytic domain, and has elucidated the mechanism of ATP synthesis in detail. For these contributions he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1997 jointly with Prof. Boyer, and he received his knighthood in 1999.
In the lecture, the latest findings on the structure of ATP synthase and the enzymatic mechanism underlying the ATP synthesis were given.

〔Special Lectures〕

<Special lecture 1> [3/9(Wed.)13:20 – 14:10]

Cross-coupling Reactions of Organoboron Compounds: Carbon-Carbon Bonding Made Easy
Emeritus Prof. Akira Suzuki (Hokkaido University, Japan)

Emeritus Prof. Suzuki is a leading authority on organo-boron chemistry and is an authority on synthetic organic chemistry. The Suzuki coupling, which uses stable, easily usable, and non-toxic organo-boron reagents is widely used in industrial manufacturing, in pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, liquid crystals and organic EL materials. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize jointly with Prof. Negishi and Emeritus Prof. Heck.
In the lecture, an overview of the Suzuki coupling reaction and examples of the industrial applications were given.

<Special lecture 2> [3/10(Thu.)13:10 – 14:00]

Magical Power of Transition Metals: Past, Present, and Future
Prof. Ei-ichi Negishi (Purdue University, U.S.A.)

Prof. Negishi has made a number of significant contributions in the field of organometallic chemistry. Reactions between organometallic compounds and organo halide using palladium catalysts are known as Negishi coupling, and for these findings he was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize together with Emeritus Prof. Suzuki and Emeritus Prof. Heck. In addition, he has developed carbo-alumination using zirconium catalysts and its asymmetric version (ZACA reaction*).
In the lecture, in addition to the distinctive features of transition metals in the catalytic reactions, the progress of the ZACA reaction using chiral zirconium catalysts and its applications for the synthesis of chiral compounds of biological and medicinal interest were given.

* : Zr-Catalyzed Asymmetric Carboalumination of Alkenes

〔Invited Lectures〕

<Invited Lecture 1> [3/9(Wed.)11:00 – 11:50]

Hydrocarbon Upgrading to Fuels and Chemicals: Progress towards Homogeneous Catalysts
Prof. John E. Bercaw (California Institute of Technology, U.S.A.)

Prof. Bercaw, whose research interests include synthetic, structural, and mechanistic organo-transition metal chemistry is deeply involved in inorganic and organometallic chemistry. His recent research topics include olefin polymerization catalysts, the hydroxylation reaction for hydrocarbons using transition metal complexes and useful chemicals production through synthesis gas (CO+H2) conversion.
In the lecture, in addition to a mechanistic study of the Shilov System*, an overview of the recent progress towards both direct and indirect (via synthesis gas (CO + H2)) conversion of light alkanes to value-added products and to more valuable chemicals and liquid fuels was given.

* : catalytic oxidation reaction for alkanes to alcohols with Pt complexes

<Invited Lecture 2> [3/9(Wed.)14:10 – 15:00]

Water Splitting on Heterogeneous Photocatalysts
Prof. Kazunari Domen (The University of Tokyo, Japan)

Prof. Domen is a leading authority on hydrogen production from water using heterogeneous photocatalysts and has promoted the development of photocatalysts for efficient solar energy conversion. Although titanium oxide, tantalum and niobium are generally used in this field, Prof. Domen decided to focus on (oxy)nitrides of gallium or germanium for the development of photocatalysts, and this has resulted in water splitting by the use of visible light existent within solar light.
In the lecture, the art and future challenges of photocatalytic water splitting using visible light as a result of employing solid solution photocatalysts such as GaN-ZnO and ZnGeN2-ZnO, in addition to the Z-scheme photocatalyst systems mimicking photosynthesis in green plants, were given.

<Invited Lecture 3> [3/9(Wed.)15:00 – 15:50]

Challenges in Arene Assembling Chemistry
Prof. Ken-ichiro Itami (Nagoya University, Japan)

Prof. Itami is a synthetic organic chemist who has been promoting interdisciplinary organic synthesis. He has developed a highly selective and a highly efficient synthetic methodology through a novel proposal involving the ligands of palladium catalysts. His new methodology, which can assemble arenes in a simple way, is drawing a lot of attention for pharmaceutical and carbon material applications.
In the lecture, (1) catalytic C–H bond direct arylation of arenes, (2) rapid synthesis of pharmaceuticals and natural products, and (3) synthesis of novel carbon nano-materials were given.

<Invited Lecture 4> [3/10(Thu.)10:50 – 11:40]

Iron Catalysis in Organic Synthesis
Prof. Ei-ichi Nakamura (The University of Tokyo, Japan)

Prof. Nakamura's career has ranged over the entire field of chemistry and his research interests include the development of reactions using organo-metals, mechanistic studies of a series of organic reactions on the basis of theoretical studies and the chemistry of carbon cluster compounds such as fullerenes and carbon nanotubes. He has also recently been investigating reactions using iron catalysts which are abundant and environmentally benign.
In the lecture, a series of iron-catalyzed C-C bond formation reactions which include 1) (asymmetric) carbo-metalation of olefins, 2) cross-coupling of alkyl halides, and activation of sp2- and sp3 C-H bonds was given.

<Invited Lecture 5> [3/10(Thu.)14:00 – 14:50]

Applications of Orthogonal, "Click" Chemistries in the Synthesis of Functional Soft Materials
Prof. Craig J. Hawker (University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A.)

Prof. Hawker is a leading authority on the development of novel well-defined functional macromolecules by the combination of the controlled radical polymerization technique with high-yielding chemical reactions that are so-called “Click chemistries”.
In the lecture, some synthetic examples of supramolecular block copolymers possessing reactive domains utilizing “Click chemistries” and the applications of supramolecular copolymers for nanoporous thin films and hydrogels were given.

<Invited Lecture 6> [3/10(Thu.)15:10 – 16:00]

Phenoxy–Imine Ligand as a Basis of the Highly Active and Selective Industrial Catalysts: Principles and Practice
Dr. Haruyuki Makio (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., Japan)

Dr. Makio is engaged in projects related to transition-metal catalyzed olefin polymerization and he is currently working on the creation of new olefin-based value-added polymer materials using heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts.
In the lecture, the reaction mechanisms and the structure–reactivity relationships that take place in olefin polymerization using Mitsui Chemicals' post-metallocene FI catalysts were given. In addition, the creation of novel olefin polymer materials using FI catalysts and the design and development of ethylene trimerization catalysts based on the technology of FI catalysts were also given.

<Invited Lecture 7> [3/10(Thu.)16:00 – 16:50]

Precision Radical Polymerization with Transition-Metal Catalysis: A Bridge between Polymer Chemistry and Catalysis Science
Prof. Mitsuo Sawamoto (Kyoto University, Japan)

Prof. Sawamoto is an inventor of the transition metal-catalyzed precision (living) radical polymerization technique which is industrially available for the development of well-defined polymer syntheses due to an inherent simple and easy methodology.
In the lecture, recent progress in catalyst development and mechanistic understanding were given in addition to the precision synthesis of functionalized and/or sequence-controlled polymers and macromolecules via radical/metal catalysis.

〔Commemorative Lectures〕

<“2011 Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Award” 1>

Photoredox Catalysis and Accelerated Serendipity
Prof. David W. C. MacMillan (Princeton University, U.S.A.)

Prof. MacMillan has made a great contribution to the field of organocatalysis. He has realized a number of asymmetric reactions using organocatalysts having a chiral imidazolidinone framework (the MacMillan’s catalyst). Recently, he has developed a novel activation methodology of substrates via a radical mechanism (SOMO-Activation) which uses chiral organocatalysts in combination with the one-electron oxidant. Furthermore, he has expanded this concept to organocatalytic photoredox reactions using a ruthenium complex as a photoredox agent.
In the lecture, the development of SOMO and photoredox catalysis as well as an introduction to accelerated serendipity were given.

<“2011 Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Award of Encouragement” 2>

Development of Highly Active Heterogeneous Catalysts Based on the Properties of Metal Hydroxides
Associate Prof. Kazuya Yamaguchi (The University of Tokyo, Japan)

Associate Prof. Yamaguchi has developed highly active heterogeneous catalysts based on the concept of “concerted activation” using metal hydroxides which have both Lewis acid sites and Brønsted base sites. Concretely, he has developed catalysts upon which ruthenium hydroxide is monomerically dispersed for the oxidation of various kinds of alcohols. Besides alcohol oxidation, he has revealed that these catalysts can promote other transformations including hydrogen transfer reactions and hydrations.
In the lecture, concepts for developing highly active heterogeneous catalysts based on the properties of metal hydroxides and the use of these for green functional transformation were given.

<“2011 Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Award of Encouragement” 3>

Unsaturated Alcohols as Surrogates of Organometallic Reagents in Palladium–Catalyzed C–C Bond Formation
Associate Prof. Hideki Yorimitsu (Kyoto University)

Associate Prof. Yorimitsu has investigated novel palladium-catalyzed C-C bond formations and has found that homoallyic alcohols act as allylic metal equivalents via retro-allylation in the allylation of aryl halides. His strategy uses the properties of neutral molecules and realizes universally regio- and stereoselective allylations which have been difficult to achieve with conventional cross-coupling reactions. Moreover, he has developed a new methodology for constructing heterocycles like epoxides using the palladium-catalyzed cyclization of allylic alcohols with aryl halides.
In the lecture, descriptions of these two reactions including the reaction mechanisms that can realize high selectivities were given.

Mitsui Chemicals Successfully Hosts The Fifth Catalysis Science Symposium(PDF:416KB)pdf