Our research interests cover broad areas of organometallic chemistry and bioinorganic chemistry. The central theme is catalysis. Although we approach problems in a mechanistic way, and use a variety of physical methods, we also synthesize new compounds, ranging from models for metalloenzymes through organometallics to small organic compounds.
Much of our work lies at the interface between inorganic and organic chemistry. We have reported the asymmetric synthesis of -amino acid amides and esters from zirconaaziridines.
By using a chiral carbonate we can achieve a dynamic kinetic resolution (or “asymmetric transformation”). The stereochemical outcome depends upon the rate of configuration change of the carbon in the zirconaaziridine ring, so we are studying how this change in stereochemistry occurs. By using related electrophiles (carbodiimides) we can prepare a-amino amidines with control of stereochemistry. We hope that, by using epoxides and/or aziridines as electrophiles, we can devise a general method for preparing and controlling the stereochemistry of 1,3-N,O- and 1,3-N,N-disubstituted carbon chains.
We are also:
“Thermodynamics of the metal-hydrogen bonds in (η5-C5H5)M(CO)2H (M = Fe, Ru, Os)”, D. P. Estes, A. K. Vannucci, A. R. Hall, D. L. Lichtenberger,* J. R. Norton*, Organometallics, 2011, 30, 3444-3447.
“Facile Reaction of Carboxylic Acids with Isonitriles in Toluene”, J. G. Polisar, L. Li, J. R. Norton*, Tetrahedron Letters, 2011, 52, 2933-2934.
“Zirconium-Catalyzed Carboalumination of α-Olefins and Chain Growth of Aluminum Alkyls: Kinetics and Mechanism”, J. M. Camara, R. A. Petros, J. R. Norton*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 5263-5273.
“Mechanism of Insertion of Alkynes into a ‘Constrained Geometry’ Zirconaaziridine: Dissociation of PMe3 is Faster than from the Corresponding Cp2 Complex” K. E. Kristian, M. Iimura, S. A. Cummings, J. R. Norton*, K. E. Janak, K. Pang, Organometallics 28, 493-498 (2009)
“Synthesis, Electrochemistry, and Reactivity of Half-Sandwich Ruthenium Complexes Bearing Metallocene-Based Bisphosphines” A. P. Shaw, J. R. Norton*, D. Buccella, L. A. Sites, S. S. Kleinbach, D. A. Jarem, K. M. Bocage, C. Nataro*, Organometallics (In Press, 2009)
“Chain-Transfer Catalysis by Vanadium Complexes during Methyl Methacrylate Polymerization” J. W. Choi, J. R. Norton, Inorg. Chim. Acta 130, 4250-4252 (2008) (Special Issue, Robert J. Angelici)
“Direct Measurement of the Rate of Interconversion of Zirconaaziridine Enantiomers”, S. A. Cummings, J. A. Tunge, J. R. Norton, J. Am. Chem. Soc 130, 4669-4679 (2008)
“Initiating Radical Cyclizations By H• Transfer From Transition Metals” J. Hartung, M. E. Pulling, D. M. Smith, D. X. Yang, J. R. Norton*, Tetrahedron 64, 11822-11830 (2008)
“Synthesis and Properties of Carboxy-Substituted Half-Sandwich Ruthenium Complexes with Chelating Bisphosphine Ligands (n5-C5H4CO2H)Ru(n2-L)X (X = I, H)” A. P. Shaw, H. Guan, J. R. Norton, J. Organomet. Chem. 693, 1382-1388 (2008)
“Unusually Weak Metal-Hydrogen Bonds in HV(CO)4(P-P) and Their Effectiveness as H• Donors” J. W. Choi, M. E. Pulling, D. M. Smith, J. R. Norton, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130, 4250-4252 (2008)
“Using a Two-Step Hydride Transfer to Achieve 1,4 Reduction in the Catalytic Hydrogenation of an Acyl Pyridinium Cation” A. P. Shaw, B. L. Ryland, M. J. Franklin, J. R. Norton*, J. Y.-C. Chen, M. L. Hall, J. Org. Chem. 73, 9668–9674 (2008)
“Electron Exchange Involving a Sufur-Stabilized Ruthenium Radical Cation” A. P. Shaw, B. L. Ryland, J. R. Norton, D. Buccella, A. Muscatelli, Inorg. Chem, 46, 5805-5812 (2007)
“Enantioselective Methylalumination of a-Olefins” R. A. Petros, J. M. Camara, J. R. Norton, J. Organomet. Chem 692, 4768-4773 (2007) (Special Issue, Gerhard Erker)