Welcome to the Sevov Lab!
The Sevov lab develops strategies at the interface of homogeneous catalysis and electrochemistry for the sustainable utilization of electricity that is generated from renewable sources. By treating electrical energy as a reagent, our group aims to demonstrate that toxic, explosive, or expensive reagents, which drive traditional synthetic organic processes, can be replaced with inexpensive and benign additives. This will enable organic synthesis to be performed in a safe, sustainable, and scalable manner. In addition to the application of electrical energy to synthesis, we seek to design large scale energy storage systems that can assist with the integration of intermittent electrical loads from renewable sources into the electrical grid. Sevov lab members addressing these challenges will be trained and exposed to the multidisciplinary fields of organic and organometallic synthesis, catalyst design, mechanistic study, materials development, and electroanalytical evaluation.
Electrically-Driven Homogeneous Catalysis
The development of metal-catalyzed reactions has revolutionized synthetic organic chemistry. Because many of these catalytic processes necessitate changes to the oxidation state of the metal, catalysts are generally of noble metals with vetted ligands that facilitate the redox events. To render these transformations favorable, high energy additives are added or substrates are prefunctionalized. Our lab is interested in utilizing electrochemistry in combination with homogeneous catalysis to drive chemical reactions by modulating the input of electrical energy, which allows electrons to be treated like inexpensive reagents. In doing so, our lab will develop methods for complex organic synthesis that (i) utilize earth-abundant metal catalysts, (ii) convert stoichiometric reagents into catalysts, and (iii) access high-energy intermediates under mild conditions to accelerate turnover-limiting processes.
Large-Scale Energy Storage
Integration of electrical energy that is harnessed by wind turbines or photovoltaics into the electrical grid requires large-scale energy storage systems that can modulate the variable and intermittent nature of these energy sources. However, the immense scale of this challenge precludes the use of most established battery technologies due to their cost. Our group will pursue an interdisciplinary approach of organic synthesis, polymers and materials development, and electroanalytical chemistry to invent scalable energy storage devices that utilize inexpensive liquid anode and cathode materials for shuttling and storing energy.
The Sevov lab is currently looking for highly motivated graduate and undergraduate students with interests in organic and organometallic synthesis, catalysis, or energy storage. Inquiries about positions in the group are welcomed.