Steven Bergens, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Science - Chemistry

Contact

Professor, Faculty of Science - Chemistry
Email
steve.bergens@ualberta.ca
Phone
(780) 492-9703
Address
E4-51A Chemistry Centre - East
11227 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G2

Overview

About

BSc, MSc, University of Toronto
PhD, University of Chicago


Research

Research in the group is focused on enantioselective homogeneous catalysis and heterogeneous catalysis of electrochemical reactions in fuel cells. Enantioselective homogeneous catalysis occurs in solution where a prochiral substrate is preferentially transformed into one enantiomer of a chiral product by a small amount (typically 0.1%) of a chiral catalyst. Enantioselective catalysis is the most efficient method to produce chiral molecules, and is of major interest to the production of pharmaceuticals. Research in the group on enantioselective catalysis includes design, synthesis, and study of new chiral transition metal catalysts; elucidation of mechanisms of enantioselective catalytic transformations using isotope substitution, kinetics, and low temperature NMR; and preparation of highly reusable polymeric catalysts by ring opening olefin metathesis polymerization (ROMP).

A fuel cell is a device that converts the free energy of oxidation of a fuel directly into electrical work. Theoretical efficiencies of fuel cells routinely exceed 90%, and the development of a fuel cell that operates with methanol as fuel would have tremendous beneficial effects both on the environment and on the economy. Research on fuel cells in the group includes synthesis of nanoparticle cocatalysts for the electrochemical oxidation of hydrogen and alcohols; and use of magnetic resonance imaging to observe the distribution of water throughout operating fuel cells.

Research in the group is inherently multidisciplinary. Graduate students become proficient in the techniques and principles of synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry, enantioselective catalysis, electrochemistry, and the construction and operation of prototype fuel cells.


Courses

CHEM 241 - Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry

The chemistry of main-group elements including a survey of the structure, bonding, and reactivity of their compounds. Transition-metal chemistry will be introduced. The course will include applications in industrial, biochemical, environmental, and materials science. Students who have obtained credit for CHEM 331 cannot take CHEM 241 for credit. Prerequisites: CHEM 102 or 105 and CHEM 161 or 164 or 261.

Fall Term 2020
CHEM 443 - Asymmetric Catalysis

An introductory course on asymmetric catalysis. Emphasis will be on reactions catalyzed by chiral transition metal complexes, but non-metal catalyzed reactions and heterogeneous catalysis will be covered. Topics include the general principles of catalysis; mechanisms of common steps in catalytic cycles; rapid pre-equilibrium and steady-state kinetic treatments of catalytic rates; the origins of catalytic selection; and the strategies and principles of new catalyst, ligand, and reaction development. The course will include a survey of common enantioselective catalytic reactions and daily examples from ASAP articles that illustrate the principles and theories being taught in the course. Introductory level knowledge of transition metal and organic chemistry is required. Prerequisite: CHEM 241 and one 300-level chemistry course.

Winter Term 2021
CHEM 543 - Asymmetric Catalysis

An introductory course on asymmetric catalysis. Emphasis will be on reactions catalyzed by chiral transition metal complexes, but non-metal catalyzed reactions and heterogeneous catalysis will be covered. Topics include the general principles of catalysis; mechanisms of common steps in catalytic cycles; rapid pre-equilibrium and steady-state kinetic treatments of catalytic rates; the origins of catalytic selection; and the strategies and principles of new catalyst, ligand, and reaction development. The course will include a survey of common enantioselective catalytic reactions and daily examples from ASAP articles that illustrate the principles and theories being taught in the course. Introductory level knowledge of transition metal and organic chemistry is required. Not open to students with credit in CHEM 443 or 533.

Winter Term 2021

Publications

An Unexpected Possible Role of Base in Asymmetric Catalytic Hydrogenations of Ketones. Synthesis and Characterization of Several Key Catalytic Intermediates
Author(s): R.J. Hamilton, S.H. Bergens
Publication: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Volume: 128
Page Numbers: 13700-13701
External Link: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja065460s
Insights into the Distribution of Water in a Self-Humidifying H2/O2 Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Using 1H NMR Microscopy
Author(s): K.W. Feindel, S.H. Bergens, R.E. Wasylishen
Publication: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Volume: 128
Page Numbers: 14192-14199
External Link: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja064389n
A Ruthenium-Dihydrogen Putative Intermediate in Ketone Hydrogenation
Author(s): R.J. Hamilton, C.G. Leong, G. Bigam, M. Miskolzie, S.H. Bergens
Publication: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Volume: 127
Page Numbers: 4152-4153
External Link: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja043339k
In Situ Observations of Water Production and Distribution in an Operating H2/O2 PEM Fuel Cell Assembly Using 1H NMR Microscopy
Author(s): K.W. Feindel, L.P.-A. LaRocque, D. Starke, S.H. Bergens, R.E. Wasylishen
Publication: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Volume: 126
Page Numbers: 11436-11437
External Link: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja043339k
A Reusable Polymeric Asymmetric Hydrogenation Catalyst Made by Ring-Opening Olefin Metathesis Polymerization
Author(s): C.K. Ralph, O.M. Akotsi, S.H. Bergens
Publication: Organometallics
Volume: 23
Page Numbers: 1484-1486
External Link: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/om049894c