Anna Wuttig, Ph.D.


Anna Wuttig, Ph.D.
National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow
University of California, Berkeley
Host: Professor Lawrence Que Jr.


Mechanism-Guided Control of Electrocatalytic Reaction Selectivity

Catalysis driven by electricity integrates renewable energy sources in the synthesis of products across the chemical value chain. Irrespective of the desired reaction, selective and efficient electrochemical transformations require the management of electrons and protons. I highlight two reactions in which we utilize a mechanistic approach to elucidate the role of controlled proton or electron transfer in directing product selectivity. In the electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to fuels, electrokinetic and spectroscopic studies reveal the disparate proton-coupling requirements for CO2 versus H+ activation, demonstrating that impeding interfacial proton transfer to the electroactive surface is an effective strategy for selective catalysis. In reductive cyclizations catalyzed by molecular Ni catalysts, synthetic and electroanalytical studies disclose the electron transfer requirements to electrogenerate synthetically tractable radical intermediates, establishing how ligand design drives selective radical processes.

Anna Wuttig, Ph.D.

Anna Wuttig, Ph.D., is a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Artium Baccalaureus in chemistry from Princeton University. Her research encompasses exploring synthetic possibilities afforded by electrochemical approaches. She aims to understand how to integrate renewable electricity into chemistry value chains.

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Start date
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, 11 a.m.
End date
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, Noon