Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Type



Chemistry and Biochemistry

Director of Thesis

Aaron Vannucci

Second Reader

Pooja Ayare


Two molecular nickel-based catalysts, (2,2’bipyridine-4,4’-carboxylic acid)nickel(II) chloride and (2,2'-bipyridine-4,4'-diamidopropylsilatrane)nickel(II) chloride, were synthesized and subsequently attached to a solid support in the form of amorphous silicon dioxide to create two hybrid molecular/heterogeneous catalysts. Characterization using ICP-MS and ATR-FTIR confirms that both catalysts are bonded to the SiO2 support. The catalysts were both able to catalyze a Suzuki-Miyarua cross-coupling which their molecular counterparts were unable to; the carboxylate catalyst was able to achieve yields of 10% and the silatrane catalyst achieved yields of up to 50%. Post-reaction analysis indicated that while some catalyst desorption occurred in both complexes, active catalytic species remained adhered to the surface post-reaction, with the silatrane catalyst showing more resistance to leaching. These hybrid catalysts represent another advancement in the field of surface stabilized metal oxide catalysts using an earth abundant transition metal.

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