John E. Bercaw
John E. Bercaw
John Bercaw in 1986
|Known for||Metallocene chemistry|
|Awards||1980 ACS Award in Pure Chemistry|
|Institutions||California Institute of Technology|
|Thesis||Titanocene as a reactive intermediate in the reduction of molecular hydrogen and nitrogen (1971)|
|Doctoral advisor||Hans-Herbert Brintzinger|
|Other academic advisors||Jack Halpern|
|Doctoral students||Peter T. Wolczanski|
Early life and education
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Bercaw obtained his bachelor of science in 1967 from North Carolina State University and later his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1971 under the direction of Hans-Herbert Brintzinger, followed by postdoctoral research with Jack Halpern at the University of Chicago.
His research interests are in synthetic, structural and mechanistic organotransition metal chemistry, including most recently catalysts for polymerization and trimerization of olefins and investigations of hydrocarbon hydroxylation; fundamental transformations and thermodynamics of organotransition metal chemistry; catalysts for hydrocarbon partial oxidation; catalysts for olefin trimerization and polymerization; homogeneous transformations of carbon monoxide and dihydrogen to fuels and chemicals.
Prof. Bercaw has greatly enhanced our understanding of the mechanisms of Ziegler-Natta (ZN) olefin polymerizations. This metal-catalyzed polymerization process is operated on a vast scale and produces, worldwide, over 200 billion pounds of polyolefins per year. Bercaw’s work has led to a fundamental understanding of the detailed mechanisms of chain growth in ZN polymerizations and the factors which control syndio- and isotacticities and the degree of comonomer incorporation in copolymerizations; these variables are critical in determining the physical properties of the resultant polymers and copolymers.
Commercial processes have been based on Bercaw’s discoveries. For example, new and superior ethylene/alpha-olefin copolymers are now industrially produced with titanium catalysts utilizing (η5- C5Me4)SiMe2NCMe3 and related ligands devised in Bercaw’s laboratories. These copolymers have proved to have superior properties. These types of systems have also allowed superior methods for production of ethylene/propylene and ethylene/propylene/diene elastomers.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2009-07-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Bercaw, John Edward (1971). Titanocene as a reactive intermediate in the reduction of molecular hydrogen and nitrogen (Ph.D.). University of Michigan. OCLC 68280047 – via ProQuest. (Subscription required (help)).
- "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
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