October 2007 Meeting
Basolo Award Presentation
Basolo Medal

Joint Meeting of the Northwestern University Department of Chemistry and the Chicago ACS Section

Basolo Medal


Prof. Richard R. Schrock

Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Prof. Richard R. Schrock
Topic:   "Catalytic Reduction of Dinitrogen to Ammonia at Room Temperature and One Atmosphere with Protons and Electrons"
Date:  Friday, October 19, 2007

Background information about the Basolo Award

NOTE: The Basolo Medal Lecture will be held at 4:30 P.M. - 5:45 P.M. at Northwestern University.
--- The Medalist Lecture is open to the public and admission is free to all those wishing to attend. ---


Northwestern University
Technological Institute
2145 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL
Lecture Room 3


We have been able to reduce dinitrogen selectively and catalytically to ammonia at 1 atm and room temperature with protons and electrons. Reduction takes place at a single molybdenum center that is sterically protected against bimetallic decomposition reactions with meta-terphenyl-substituted triamidoamine ligands such as [(HIPTNCH2CH2)3N]3- where HIPT is hexaisopropyl-metaterphenyl. The reducing equivalents make either ammonia (~60% from dinitrogen) or dihydrogen. All evidence suggests that N2 is being reduced at a single Mo center in which the oxidation state of the metal varies between Mo(III) and Mo(VI).

Recent studies concern complexes that contain a variety of "Hybrid" ligands, in which only two HIPT groups are present in the ligand, with the third group being a sterically less demanding aryl. Attempts to reduce dinitrogen catalytically led to little or no ammonia being formed from dinitrogen. [(HIPTNCH2CH2)3N]3- complexes of tungsten, chromium, and vanadium all failed to yield any catalytic turnover of dinitrogen to ammonia. Other ligand variations will be discussed as time permits.


Richard R. Schrock received his Ph.D. degree in inorganic chemistry from Harvard in 1971 under John Osborn. After one year as an NSF postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University working for Lord Jack Lewis, and three years in Central Research and Development at DuPont in Wilmington Delaware, he moved to M.I.T. in 1975. He became full professor in 1980 and the Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry in 1989. His interests include the inorganic and organometallic chemistry of high oxidation state, early metal complexes, the chemistry of high oxidation state dinitrogen and related complexes, the controlled polymerization of olefins and acetylenes with alkylidene complexes, and the catalytic reduction of dinitrogen. He has received numerous awards including: ACS Cope Scholar Award (2001), the RSC Centenary Medal (1991), the Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson Medal (2002), the Sir Edward Frankland Prize (2004), the August Wilhelm von Hofmann Medal of the German Chemical Society (2005, with R. H. Grubbs), and the ACS F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry (2006). In 2005 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with R. H. Grubbs and Y. Chauvin. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. He was Associate Editor of Organometallics for eight years, has published more than 460 research papers, and has supervised over 140 Ph.D. students and postdocs.


Location of the dinner
   and general meeting:     
Zhivago's Restaurant & Banquets
9925 Gross Point Road,
Skokie Illinois

Cost:     $34.00 each for Section members and one guest.   Students and out of work half price.   $36 for others.
Basolo Lecture:    4:30 PM - 5:45 PM at Northwestern University
Job Club:  5:30 PM - 6:30 PM at Zhvago's Restaurant

Reception:    6:15 PM - 7:15 PM at Zhivago's Restaurant.  Complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres
Dinner:    7:15 PM at Zhivago's Restaurant
General Meeting :   8:30 PM

Reservations:   (847) 647-8405, or by e-mail: chicagoacs@ameritech.net
                  by noon, Tuesday, October 16

Please honor your reservations. We must pay for all dinners ordered. No-shows will be billed.

From the city: Take Lake Shore Drive North to Sheridan Road into Evanston. Continue on Sheridan Road to the Tech Institute. From the west: take I-88 east to 294 north to Dempster east. Proceed east on Dempster into Evanston. Turn left onto Chicago Ave. and proceed to Sheridan Road. Take Sheridan Road north to the Tech Institute. The Technological Institute is at the intersection of Sheridan Road and Noyes Street in Evanston.

To those attending the Basolo Medal lecture, parking after 4:00 P.M. is available in the lot across from the Technological Institute at the corner of Noyes Street and Sheridan Road. Parking is also available on the side streets just west of this lot--however, observe the posted signs. Car-pooling is always encouraged.

Lecture room 3 is on the first floor of the Technological Institute and is most easily reached by entering through the main doors facing Sheridan Road. The lecture room is clearly marked and there will be signs at the entrance to guide you to the room.

DIRECTIONS TO Zhivago's Restaurant:
From the Tech Institute: Go North on Sheridan Rd. and turn left on Central St. Turn left on Gross Point Rd. and proceed to the restaurant.

From Edens Expressway heading North:  Take to the restaurant.From Edens Expressway heading South:  Exit to the restaurant.

PARKING is free in the lot.


6:15 PM - 7:15 PM Reception:   Complementary wine, soft drinks, and hors d'oeuvres

7:15 PM Dinner:

APPETIZER COURSE -  Fresh tomato and mozzarella salad, breads, fire cracker meat rolls with Asian sauce, calamari and fresh vegetables served family style

SOUP COURSE:  Cream of Mushroom

DINNER COURSE:  Choice of entrée

DESSERT COURSE - Assorted pastries and fresh fruit served family style.

Updated 9/20/07