Issue Date: January 8, 2018
ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry: Clifford P. Kubiak
Sponsor: Dow Chemical Foundation
Citation: For his groundbreaking and detailed studies of the reduction of carbon dioxide by transition-metal catalysts.
Current position: professor of chemistry, University of California, San Diego
Education: B.S., chemistry, Brown University; Ph.D., chemistry, University of Rochester
Kubiak on his biggest research challenge: “The biggest challenge was setting up my lab as an assistant professor and training the first group of students without any senior students or postdocs in the lab to help. Those first experiments, when they worked, were thrilling. Almost everything since then has seemed easier, even though I think our science is being performed on a higher level. Some of our biggest challenges have been to understand the selectivity of CO2 reduction catalysts that produce only CO, even when there are enormous quantities of protons available that could be reduced to the thermodynamically more stable product, H2.”
What his colleagues say: “With the tremendous global interest in carbon-based solar fuels, the Kubiak laboratory has become one of the most important centers internationally for studies of the reduction of CO2. His most recent work defines the best and most advanced understanding of mechanisms of the catalytic reduction of CO2 to higher energy content carbon-based fuels and fuel precursors.”—Guy Bertrand, University of California, San Diego
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