Charge Transfer as Key Principles of C-H bond Activation and Cross Coupling

Kiyoung Park
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
Nov. 30 17:10~17:35


Metalloenzymes and metallocofactors in nature often demonstrate uniquely high efficiency that cannot be observed elsewhere. One example is C-H bond activation by non-heme iron enzymes; mononuclear and binuclear iron sites can utilize O2 to form high-valent intermediates that abstract H atom from strong bonds such as the C-H bond of methane. The principle of these reactions has been elucidated on the basis of intermediate structures established by nuclear resonance vibrational spectroscopy, revealing that spin-polarized charge transfer from oxo ligand to Fe center determines intrinsic barrier for the reaction.

A series of high-valent organometallic complexes that show different rates of reductive elimination process have been spectroscopically and computationally studied. A good correlation amongst the energy level of redox-active metal d orbitals, the type of supporting ligands, and cross coupling reaction rate demonstrate that the activity and selectivity of C-C bond cross coupling reaction can be understood in parallel with enzyme’s strategy to raise the reduction potential of a metal center by dissociating or exchanging ligands.



  • 2005-2010, Ph.D, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Bioinorganic Physical Chemistry; PI: Prof. Thomas C. Brunold)
  • 2000-2004, B.S. Seoul National University (Chemistry)

Professional Career

  • 2014-Present, Assistant Professor, KAIST
  • 2010-2014, Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University (PI: Prof. Edward I. Solomon)


Academic Activity

  • 2017-Present, Editorial Advisory Board; J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. (Springer)


Awards and Honors

  • 2016-2017, POSCO-TJ Park Chung-Am Science Fellowship


Research Interests

  • Mechanisms of transition-metal catalysts
  • Electronic and geometric structure/function correlation in transition-metal catalysts
  • Development and design of catalysts based on structure/function correlation