Yuwen Wang, PhD student in the BIG-NSE graduate school and group member of Matthias Driess is one of the 45 finalists for the Reaxys PhD Prize 2019. The committee honoured her publication “An Isolable Bis(silylene)-Stabilized Germylone and Its Reactivity” in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
360 valid submissions with extremely high quality from ambitious chemistry researchers all over the world were received for this year's Reaxys PhD Prize.
The Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium will take place in Amsterdam on October 3 and 4 where all finalists can meet together, talk to the members of the Reaxys Advisory Board and showcase their research during a poster presentation session; three final winners will be identified afterwards by the Advisory Board.
In her honoured work Yuwen Wang et al. synthesized the first zerovalent germanium complex (so-called ‘germylone’) stabilized by two silylene donor atoms. The authors showed by natural bond orbital analysis of the germylone that the complex unambiguously exhibits two lone pairs of electrons on the zerovalent Ge0 atom displaying quite unusual reactivities due to its electron-rich character. In strong contrast to transition-metals, compounds of zerovalent main-group element are very rare and show a striking reactivity in small molecule activation. Perhaps most notably, the germylone can split the B-H bonds in hydroborane and enables heterolytic hydrogen activation in the presence of triphenylborane.
The Reaxys PhD Prize given by Elsevier recognizes young chemists for innovative and rigorous research. This global competition is open to anyone who is doing or has recently completed a PhD in any discipline of chemistry.