The Chemistry


Our team uses inorganic and organometallic chemistry and catalysis to solve fundamental problems in organic chemistry related to energy and pharmaceuticals.

Superseding Limitations in Aryne Reactions

Arynes are potent electrophiles that are widely used in the synthesis of biologically active molecules. Reactions involving these intermediates are often plagued with poor selectivity and limited scope. In the Roberts group, we are interested in using transition metals to unlock new modes of aryne reactivity.

Early Transition Metals for Catalysis

Despite their high natural abundance compared to late transition metals, early transition metals are under utilized in catalysis. This is primarily due to the fact that by lacking d electrons, these metals are not able to participate in fundamental organometallic reactions. In the Roberts group, we are interested in pairing d0 metals with redox active ligands as electron-reservoirs to enable new catalytic reactions.

Redox-Neutral Photoredox Catalysis

Photoredox reactions often rely on external oxidants or reductants to turnover the catalytic cycle. In the Roberts group, we design new photocatalytic cycles with the aim of achieving redox-neutrality.


We are grateful to the NIH (1R35GM146957), NSF (CHE-1954751), NSF CAREER (CHE-2237586), and the ACS PRF (62432-DNI1) for funding.