Chirik Group and Momentive collaboration featured in Science magazine

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012

New technology could improve industrial processes.

The Chirik Group, in collaboration with Momentive Performance Materials Inc., has developed a new iron hydrosilylation technology that is featured in the February 3, 2012 issue of Science magazine article.

The paper "Iron Catalysis for Selective Anti-Markovnikov Alkene Hydrosilylation Using Tertiary Silanes" is the result of research conducted by graduate students Aaron Tondreau (now a postdoc at ETH Zurich) and Crisita Atienza of the Chirik group, Professor Paul Chirik, and researchers at Momentive Performance Materials.

Hydrosilylations are one of the most widely used reactions for the production of silicone and silane-based products.  In addition, the hydrosilylation reaction is an important cross-linking mechanism, typically catalyzed by platinum, to promote the curing of silicone rubbers, room temperature vulcanizates (RTVs) and silicone release coatings, to name a few applications.

“This project is a great example of how academia and industry can collaborate to create innovative solutions,” said Professor Chirik.  “This is groundbreaking research because it’s one of the first examples of an effective base metal catalyst capable of industrially relevant hydrosilylation.”

“This technology has the potential for a significant impact on a variety of current and potential future products produced through hydrosilylations,” explains Dr. Eric Thaler, Chief Technology Officer for Momentive Performance Materials’ global Silicones and Quartz Division.  “In addition, this research may result in a significant cost savings.  The cost of platinum has increased by approximately 400% over the past ten years,” notes Dr. Thaler.  The project is still in the research phase and has not yet been commercialized by Momentive.

The collaboration between Momentive and Professor Paul Chirik began in 2008 at Cornell University and has resulted in six patent applications to date for Cornell, Princeton, and Momentive.

A news article about this paper can be found at C&EN.