The Mayer Group explores fundamental chemical reactivity, especially oxidation/reduction reactions that involve bond making and bond breaking (inner-sphere redox reactions). Our primary focus is on proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) reactivity. These reactions range from hydrogen atom transfers, in which the electron and proton move from one reagent to another, to multiple-site PCET in which the e– and H+ are separated in the reactants or product. We study PCET reactions with transition metal complexes, organic molecules, and nanoparticles.
These studies provide insights into biochemical processes, such as metalloenzyme catalysis and tyrosine oxidations, and into interfacial redox reactions that are key to various energy conversion technologies, such as fuel cells and solar fuel production. We make new molecules, design novel electrocatalysts, and prepare nanoparticles, we examine their structure and properties, and we study their reactivity.
We are especially interested in connections between the thermodynamic properties of the materials - such as reduction potentials, acidity, and bond strengths - and the kinetics and mechanisms of their reactivity. When placed on the same thermodynamic footing, we often discover that there is much in common between the reactivities of transition metal complexes, organic molecules, electrocatalysts, and interfacial reactions of nanoscale materials. Please use the links below for more information about ongoing research in the group.