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Grubbs Group – Professor Product Portal

Robert H. Grubbs

Professor Robert H. Grubbs

Research in the Grubbs group has centered on the development and application of a suite of highly active, selective, and bench stable ruthenium alkylidene complexes capable of catalyzing versatile olefin metatheses. Most notably, access to monodisperse polymers and macrocyclic/linear small molecules has been enabled through the use of these precatalysts. The ligands on ruthenium include, but are not limited to, neutral phosphines, N-heterocyclic carbenes, and pyridyl moieties, which allow for manipulations of initiation and/or propagation activity, stability, and selectivity. Similar accomplishments have been achieved with anionic ligand variations. Traditionally, olefin metathesis predominantly forms the thermodynamically favored (E)-olefin. Recent developments, however, which make use of cyclometallated N-heterocyclic carbene ruthenium alkylidene complexes, have unveiled a catalyst that forms (Z)-olefins almost exclusively. Advances in metathesis catalysts in the Grubbs group have had ubiquitous applications in the fields of energy, materials, pharmaceuticals, and natural product total synthesis.

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Recent papers from the Grubbs Group

Johns AM, Ahmed TS, Jackson BW, Grubbs RH, Pederson RL. 2016. High Trans Kinetic Selectivity in Ruthenium-Based Olefin Cross-Metathesis through Stereoretention. Org. Lett.. 18(4):772-775.
Dornan PK, Wickens ZK, Grubbs RH. 2015. TandemZ-Selective Cross-Metathesis/Dihydroxylation: Synthesis ofanti-1,2-Diols. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.. 54(24):7134-7138.
Engle KM, Lu G, Luo S, Henling LM, Takase MK, Liu P, Houk KN, Grubbs RH. 2015. Origins of Initiation Rate Differences in Ruthenium Olefin Metathesis Catalysts Containing Chelating Benzylidenes. J. Am. Chem. Soc.. 137(17):5782-5792.
Herbert MB, Grubbs RH. 2015. Z-Selective Cross Metathesis with Ruthenium Catalysts: Synthetic Applications and Mechanistic Implications. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.. 54(17):5018-5024.
Marx VM, Sullivan AH, Melaimi M, Virgil SC, Keitz BK, Weinberger DS, Bertrand G, Grubbs RH. 2015. Cyclic Alkyl Amino Carbene (CAAC) Ruthenium Complexes as Remarkably Active Catalysts for Ethenolysis. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.. 54(6):1919-1923.


  • Catalysis
  • Organic Synthetic Chemistry

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