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Friday Science Seminar: Direct determination of transition metal, lanthanide and actinide M-X bond dissociation energies

Join us in welcoming SOU alumnus and PhD candidate with University of Utah’s Department of Chemistry, Jason Sorenson.

Among the most fundamental principles of chemistry is the chemical bond, and the bond dissociation energy (BDE) is the most useful quantitative descriptor of that bond. The BDEs of molecules formed from the lighter main group elements are well known and are readily calculated using a number of computational methods, including density functional theory (DFT). In contrast, the BDEs of transition metal-, lanthanide-, and actinide-containing molecules pose a major challenge to computational chemistry. This is largely due to the need to treat electron correlation to the same degree of accuracy in the bound molecule as in the separated fragments. The designing of new catalytic materials is an important objective for the development of cleaner and more sustainable chemistry. The development of fast and accurate computational methods for these heavy metal systems is needed in order to model catalytic phenomena and develop rational means of designing new materials. DFT is one of the most important tools theoretical chemists have to study catalytic materials, as it is easily scalable for larger systems. One of the major obstacles that has prevented progress in the design of faster and more accurate computational methods is the lack of precise and accurate experimental benchmarks of the BDEs of M-X bonds. 

Jason obtained an ACS-accredited B.S. degree in Chemistry from Southern Oregon University and began his graduate studies at the University of Utah in August, 2015.  Jason's research efforts have focused on develop an ion trap experiment, and has also been working to measure bond dissociation energies.  Thus far, he has published bond dissociation energy measurements for TiSi, TiSe, ZrSi, ZrSe, HfSi, HfSe, VSi, VSe, NbSi, NbSe, TaSi, and TaSe.  He has also measured the bond dissociation energies of 48 other transition metal, lanthanide and actinide containing molecules with an emphasis on sulfur and selenium species.


This is a free event and open to the public. Light refreshments provided by the STEM Division.

Please visit our website to learn more about our future lecture series topics.

Friday, October 25 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Science Building Room 151
1250 Ashland St Ashland, OR 97520 United States

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Target Audience

Prospective Students, Faculty/Staff, Alumni, Students, Community





STEM Division

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