ABSTRACT: This talk will explore two very old concepts in chemical bonding and identify new insights based on modern spectroscopic and computational techniques. The nature of halogen bonding has been debated for several decades, specifically with regards to the importance and relevance of charge transfer (or covalent) contributions to their relatively weak intermolecular interaction. Based on x-ray spectroscopic evidence, I will argue that charge transfer contributions are important contributions to the properties of halogen bonds and that these represent a new opportunity in magnetism and electronics. The concept of pi backbonding in organometallic chemistry is widespread and provides the foundation for understanding the chemical behaviour of transition metal pi complexes. The concept of ligand-induced backbonding is identified as an approach for enabling backbonding in systems for which this process is generally unfavourable.
BIO: Dr. Kennepohl completed his undergraduate work at Concordia University with Nick Serpone, followed by his Ph.D. in 2002 at Stanford under the supervision of Prof. Ed Solomon. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Caltech with Prof. Harry Gray, Dr. Kennepohl joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at the University of British Columbia where he is an Associate Professor. His work on understanding the relationship between electronic structure and reactivity has been featured extensively in top tier scientific journals including Nature Communications, the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Angewandte Chemie.