John E. Bercaw

Centennial Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus
B.S., North Carolina State University, 1967; Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1971. Arthur Amos Noyes Research Fellow, Caltech, 1972-74; Assistant Professor, 1974-77; Associate Professor, 1977-79; Professor, 1979-93; Shell Distinguished Professor, 1985-90; Centennial Professor, 1993-2016. Executive Officer for Chemistry, 1999-2002.

Assistant: Pat Anderson

The Bercaw Group is investigating the general area of organotransition metal chemistry. New compounds are prepared using specialized vacuum line, Schlenk, and glove box techniques, and they are commonly characterized by multinuclear NMR spectrometry and by single crystal X-ray diffraction methods.

Reaction mechanisms are studied by isotopic labeling, characterization of intermediates, dynamic NMR techniques, and monitoring of reaction kinetics and stereochemistry. These studies are ultimately directed toward assessing the roles of transition metals in catalysis and developing new stoichiometric and catalytic reactions for converting readily available molecules such as olefins and alkanes into more valuable products.

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